Air Force Vets, CEOs, Entrepreneurs among First to Graduate from Benedictine’s Unique Doctoral Program in Values-Driven Leadership

Center for Values-Driven Leadership Doctoral Program, Press Release


Three graduates celebrate a successful dissertation defense.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Photo: Three graduates celebrate a successful dissertation defense.

Chicago, Illinois ~ On Saturday, May 10, 17 senior leaders will graduate from Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL,, after earning their Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D) or Doctorate of Business Administration (D.B.A.). The 17 students are members of the program’s first cohort; five additional classmates are scheduled to complete their degrees before the end of the year.

Students in the doctoral program are all senior leaders in their companies who are using values-driven approaches to business to yield strategic results. Each student completed a scholarly dissertation on a topic of their choice.

“The topics our students explored are as varied and engaging as the students themselves,” says Dr. Jim Ludema, director of the CVDL. Topics included:

  • “Leading out of the Darkness into the Light: My Story of Building a Business as a Leader with Bipolar Disorder,” by Indigo Tripplett, CEO of Careers in Transition; Atlanta, GA.
  • “The Nature of Mid-Life Introspection,” by Lee DeRemer, Colonel (retired), U.S. Air Force; Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton; York, PA
  • “General Growth Process: From Concept to Living Enterprise,” by Shaun Passley, CEO, ePazz; Chicago, IL
  • “Searching for the Links between Culture and Performance: The role of Values Work as Emergent Values Practices in one Company’s Journey from Imagined to Transformational Change,” by Anna Amato, CEO, edtec central; Ferndale, MI.

“I am incredibly proud of the work our students have done as they extend our understanding of the impact this approach to business can have on financial success, the lives of team members and other stakeholders, and the community around them,” says Ludema.

The doctoral program offers a unique combination of research, theory, practice, and action-based learning to equip students with the knowledge and skills needed to lead strategically at the intersection of business and society. To learn more about the program, visit or contact Amber Johnson, CVDL corporate relations adviser, at

A complete list of graduates and their dissertation titles can be found below:

Candidate for Doctor of Business Administration in Values-Driven Leadership

Benjamin Mitchell White
“Creation of the Return on Values Assessment Instrument”

Candidates for Doctor of Philosophy in Values-Driven Leadership

Anna Marie Amato
“Searching for the Links between Culture and Performance: The role of Values Work as Emergent Values Practices in one Company’s Journey from Imagined to Transformational

Shannon Brown
“How Values Driven Organizations Manage Critical Incidents: The Process Model of Organization Identity/Action Alignment”

Kerrie Aman Carfagno
“Digital Coaction: The Role of Social Media in Crisis Management”

Basil Kuo Chih Chen
“Constructing Positive Organization Identity with Virtuous Positive Practices”

Michael Chukuemeka Chikeleze
“Validation of the Ethical Leadership Style Questionnaire (ELSQ)”

Lee Earl DeRemer
“The Nature of Mid-Life Introspection”

Barbara Ann Fahey
“Resolution of Paradoxical Tensions: Linking Founder/CEO Values to the Viability of their Company”

Edna Denise Lackey
“Self-Regulation and Heart Rate Variability: Promoting Psychological Resilience in Healthcare Leaders”

Carolyn Marie Maraist
“A Cross-Cultural Narrative Exploration of the Life Stories of Chinese and American Peacebuilders”

Premalatha Mony
“Values-Based Leadership in a Healthcare Organization: Its Impact on Decision Making and Organizational Outcomes”

Lee P. Murphy
“Influencing Organizational Change by Improving Individual and Organizational Dimensions of Health”

Shaun A. Passley
“General Growth Process: Concept to Living Enterprise”

Joseph A. Ricciardi
“To Lead is To Love: An Exploration into the Role of Love in Leadership”

David Brian Smith
“How do Leaders Influence Organizational Culture, especially as it Relates to Virtuous Aspects of those Cultures?”

Indigo Debra Triplett
“Leading out of the Darkness into the Light: My Story of Building a Business as a Leader with Bipolar Disorder”

Joanna Beth Tweedy
“Sustainability and Flourishing: What’s Love Got to Do with It?”


About Benedictine University

Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois with branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2001-2011 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit research institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the third consecutive year in 2013.

About the Center for Values-Driven Leadership

The Center for Values-Driven Leadership offers research, education, and outreach opportunities to help business leaders forge new paths to profitability. It is a gathering place where top executives, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders come together to innovate at the forefront of values-driven business practice. More information about the Center can be found at or by calling (630) 829-6225.

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