Working executives earn PhD

Executives Celebrate Graduation from Doctoral Program

Center for Values-Driven Leadership Doctoral Program, Press Release


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Eleven Global Executives Graduate from Benedictine University with Doctorates in Values-Driven Leadership

Chicago, Illinois (May 14, 2016) ~ On Saturday, May 14, eleven global leaders graduated from Benedictine University’s Center for Values-Driven Leadership (CVDL,, after earning their Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D).

“Earning your Ph.D. while leading within a company takes an incredible amount of endurance,” says Dr. Jim Ludema, director of the Center for Values-Driven Leadership. “We are exceptionally proud of the contribution our alumni, including these most recent graduates, make as both scholars and practitioners. They are having a transformative impact on business and society, across the globe.”

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 Ludema. Research areas included ethical leadership, emotional intelligence, diversity and inclusion, and employee recognition.

While the topics varied widely, Ludema says the research has one thing in common. “Their research extends our understanding of the impact values-driven leadership has on business and society, including the financial success of a business.”

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:

Candidates for Doctor of Philosophy in Values-Driven Leadership

Walter R. Baehrend Jr.
“Refinements in the Ethical Leadership Style Questionnaire”

Jean Russo Gould
“The Link Between Values-Based Organizational Culture and Performance: An Exploratory Study of Small and Medium-Sized Businesses”

Kathy Hopinkah Hannan
“Diversity & Inclusion Leadership: A Correlative Study of CEO Authentic and Transformational Leadership Styles and their Relationship to Gender Diversity and Organizational Inclusiveness in Fortune 1000 Companies”

Edwin John Heiser
“The Role of CEO Leadership in Driving Strategic CSR: An Enhanced Stakeholder Collaboration Model”

Tina Huesing
“The Nature of Global Leaders’ Work”

Michael Kuppinger
“Teams: The Fundamental Unit of Organizational Performance – A 21st Century Team-Centric Model”

Michele “Shelly” Major
“The Effect of Emotionally Intelligent Relationships on Patient Satisfaction with Nursing Care”

Matthew Schatteman
“The Value of Values: An Examination of Corporate Value Statements”

Kasey Short
“Understanding the Impact of Recognition on Employees, Their Work and Feelings Toward Managers”

Remi Vespa
“Companies as Places of Empowerment”

Carla Worthey
“Optimism and Positive about People: Key Traits to Hospital Leadership and Success?”


More information on the executive doctoral program and its graduates can be found at


About Benedictine University

Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fifth consecutive year in 2015, and the University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fifth largest in the Chicago area.

About the Center for Values-Driven Leadership

The Center for Values-Driven Leadership helps leaders develop themselves and others, build flourishing companies, and transform business and society. More information about the Center can be found at or by calling (630) 829-6225.


Slideshow images by Rachel Maynard, copyright CVDL.

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