We provide opportunities to campus students including highly experiential courses and training, innovative lectures and events, creation of a leadership e-portfolio through a developmental learning process, and participation in collaborative learning/service learning on and off campus that prepare students to be successful leaders now and after they graduate.
Associate Dean Reneé Collins, Ed.D.
Western’s Leadership Advantage is a partner with the Karen Morse Institute under the direction of Dr. Karen Stout, and LEADS which is under the direction of Associate Dean Dr. Reneé Collins within the Division of Enrollment & Student Services.
Joanne DeMark, Ph.D., Leadership Development Specialist
On a daily basis, the program is directed by Joanne DeMark, Ph.D., Leadership Development Specialist. Dr. DeMark came to Western Washington University after successful tenures as a co-founder and co-administrator of a 16-year leadership development and prejudice reduction non-profit, a decade as a human resource development executive in a healthcare software and services firm, and 15 years as an assistant management professor, adjunct, in the Health Policy and Management Masters program at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Dr. DeMark has consulted to dozens of organizations across the United States focusing on leadership, team and organizational development, communication skills, conflict resolution, and cross-culturally competent leadership. As a non-profit co-administer, Dr. DeMark helped her organization obtain funding from the Kellogg Foundation, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Arthur Blank Foundation, and the United Way among others. During her work in healthcare software and services, Dr. DeMark managed a direct budget of 6 million dollars and managed 23 employees. She helped implement a performance management system and a leadership curriculum in a post-merger environment that resulted in smoothing the transition of three company cultures into one; she received awards for her work. Dr. DeMark obtained her Ph.D. in an APA-approved program in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida.
Our Student Staff
Each year, Western’s Leadership Advantage is a vibrant learning environment where graduate and undergraduate scholar leaders learn through various assistantship, internship and independent study opportunities. Western Leadership Advantage benefits from the contributions of these student leaders, alumni, and volunteers.
Yesugen Battsengel graduated from Decatur High School in Federal Way, WA and is now a second year student at Western. She is going to be majoring in Human Services with a minor in Education and Social Justice. Working in LEADS and as a LeaderCorp member, she is excited to expand her leadership and people skills, and to teach others. Her future aspiration is to be a family and community engagement leader.
Saul Paez-Martinez is currently a Junior at Western. He attended Hudson’s Bay High School and is now majoring in Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management in the College of Business and Economics with a minor in Business Analytics. As a Program Assistant in LEADS, he especially enjoys promoting and teaching leadership skills with a variety of programs across campus.
Mikayla Arsenian graduated from Federal Way High School in Federal Way, WA and is currently a sophomore at Western Washington University. As of right now, Mikayla plans on majoring in Sociology/Social Studies with an emphasis on Secondary Education and minoring in Women Gender Studies and Education and Social Justice. While working in LEADS and as a LeaderCorps member, she is most excited about developing her leadership and teaching skills. Her career goal is to become a sociology and AVID teacher at the high school she attended, while advocating for students that are marginalized by the social system.
Maria Dimas is currently a second-year student at Western Washington University. She graduated from White River high school in Buckley,WA and is interested in majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Human Services.While working in LEADS she enjoys learning and creating different modules. Her career goal is becoming a graphic design teacher.