» The Institute for Women in Leadership

Chapman University is developing The Institute for Women’s Leadership as an interdisciplinary model for research and practical programming led by Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and will include the Argyros School of Business and Economics, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law, the College of Educational Studies and the College of Performing Arts.

Although women have apparently broken through the glass ceiling in politics and business, they still have not reached equality at the highest levels. For example, while women currently comprise about 1/3 of Ambassadors, they are seldom given high profile assignments. The challenges that face women who wish to advance to positions such as CEO of a major corporation, Ambassador, Governor or even President of the United States are numerous and very similar across all areas. The Institute for Women in Leadership would work with emerging leaders to prepare them for significant roles on the global stage. Students would benefit from classes, and a woman leader-in-residence, who would serve as a role model.

+ - Research

Research would focus on questions such as:

  • What challenges do women face in male dominated professions and how can these challenges be overcome?
  • What have women done to be successful?
  • How have women revised damaging stereotypes and gone on to hold leadership positions?
  • What are the pathways to power?

+ - Program

The wider community would benefit from seminars, workshops and a certificate program in leadership. The institute would connect with established programs on campus such as Peace Studies, Women’s Studies, Political Science, The Master of Arts in International Studies, The Dale E. Fowler School Law, the Argyros School of Business and Economics, the minor in Leadership Studies in the College of Educational Studies, while at the same time providing a niche specialization. Programming would include an annual conference Pathways to Power which would bring women from throughout the world and from across the nation to convene at Chapman University focused on the topic of Women in Leadership.

While there are some programs on the east coast, notably Yale Law School’s Women’s Campaign School and Rutgers’ Center for the American Woman in Politics, no university has an institute that crosses the interdisciplinary boundaries as this one will, nor do any focus on Ambassadors (although it should be noted that Howard University does have a conference once a year with Ambassadors).

+ - Leadership


Loretta SanchezCongresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California's 46th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange and Garden Grove in Orange County. She began her congressional career in January of 1997 and is currently serving her ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Sanchez is the leading voice in Congress for women in the military. She is founder and co-chair of the Women in the Military Caucus and is the highest ranked female on the Armed Services Committee.  Rep. Sanchez fought to allow female service members to serve in combat roles and she has implemented significant measures to fight sexual assault in the military, successfully updating outdated sexual assault provisions in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, originally enacted in 1950, in order to grant additional survivors' rights. She also legislated to implement a sexual assault database in the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law No: 110-417.

A recognized leader on military and national security issues, Rep. Sanchez is the second highest ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee. She currently serves as the Ranking Member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, where she is working to prepare our Armed Forces for a new generation of security challenges. On the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, Rep. Sanchez focuses on Army and Air Force acquisition programs and weapons systems, along with the Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs and National Guard issues. Rep. Sanchez is also a senior member of the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, where she served as Ranking Member during the 112th Congress. Rep. Sanchez was appointed by Leader Pelosi to the prestigious Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

In Congress, Rep. Sanchez is a leader in securing America's borders. A strong advocate for border security, she frequently appears on MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, FOX News, and other national media outlets to discuss the importance of economic development and trade along the U.S.-Mexico border and ports of entry. She frequently meets with the Homeland Security Secretary and other national security officials to provide guidance on critical issues, including combating human, weapons, and drug trafficking and ensuring interagency cooperation on national security issues.

Rep. Sanchez is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Blue Dog Coalition, the New Democrat Coalition, and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. She is also co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Korea. She was appointed by Leader Pelosi to serve on the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a bipartisan, bicameral committee that continually monitors matters relating to the US economy, including unemployment, foreclosures, and interest rates.  Congresswoman Sanchez strongly supports small businesses and is founder and co-chair of the Small Business Information Technology (IT) Caucus. Last year, Congresswoman Sanchez founded the Regulatory Review Caucus, which she co-chairs.

A product of public schools and Head Start, Sanchez is a graduate of Chapman University and American University's MBA program. Prior to serving in Congress, Sanchez worked in the financial markets, with firms including Booz Allen Hamilton and Fieldman Rolapp, she currently serves as a member of the Chapman's Board of Trustees.

Joann LeatherbyJoann Leatherby is dedicated to education, the arts and disadvantaged children. Joann has been an active member of Chapman’s Board of Trustees since 1994, chair of the school’s Advancement Committee and was the 2012 Gala Chair for the American Celebration, which features live song and dance entertainment accompanied by a live orchestra that is all provided by more than 100 Chapman students.

Leatherby has been a huge supporter of Chapman University for decades and played a key role in providing an extensive vision for Chapman’s future.  She has also spearheaded the campaign to build Leatherby Libraries and create the Chapman Plan, which has led to increased institutional support for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Joann also supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, South Coast Repertory Theatre, Pacific Symphony and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.  She also co-founded Casa de Amma, an apartment community fostering growth and independence in adults with special needs.

Faculty Lead

Ann GordonDr. Ann Gordon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Associate Dean, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and Director, The Ludie and David Henley Social Science Research Laboratory.
Dr. Gordon specializes in research methods, women and politics, political communication, voting behavior and public opinion. She is co-editor of Anticipating Madam President (Lynne Rienner, 2002), author of Playing Politics: An Active Learning Approach to American National Government (McGraw-Hill, 2004) and co-author of When Stereotypes Collide: Race, Gender, and Videostyle in Congressional Campaigns (Peter Lang, 2005).

Dr. Gordon was the first person to publish a scholarly book on the prospects for a woman president. Her work has been recognized nationally, she received the Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics (co-recipient), “When Stereotypes Collide: Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Videostyle in Congressional Campaigns.”  Additional recognition includes the Goldsmith Research Award, Kennedy School of Government, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, Harvard University, 1999.

She is the Founding Director of the Earl Babbie Research Center, Chapman University, 2011- present, was the Founding Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, Chapman University, 2008-2011 and serves as a mentor and advisor to students pursuing research as the Director of The Ludie and David C. Henley Social Sciences Research Laboratory.

Dr. Gordon received her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University, Northridge, her Master of Arts degree from Arizona State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.

+ - Participating Faculty

Dr. Deepa Badrinarayana, Associate Professor, Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Professor Badrinarayana comes to Chapman from Pace Law School, where she completed her Doctorate in Judicial Studies in Environmental Law. Professor Badrinarayana researched for Professor Frank P. Grad at Columbia Law School on environmental and public health laws. Between 2005 and 2006, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global Legal Studies, Columbia Law School. Professor Badrinarayana is also a consultant to the United Nations Global Compact, on issues of corporate voluntarism and regulations. Before coming to the United States, Professor Badrinarayana was a Research Officer for a Government of India-World Bank Environmental Capacity-Building Project, at the National Law School of India University. In addition to research and advocacy, she also trained government officials and legal professionals in environmental law. Professor Badrinarayana was part of a team that advised the Government of India on its new legislation to manage biomedical waste. Professor Badrinarayana holds an LL.M. in Environmental Law from Pace Law School and a B.A.LL.B.(Hons) from the National Law School of India University. She is also a Member of the World Conservation Union, Committee on Environmental Law.

Dr. Anaida Colon-Muniz, Associate Professor, College of Educational Studies
Anaida Colón-Muñiz is currently an associate professor at Chapman University, Orange.
For the last 13 years, she has served in various roles for the College of Educational Studies. She coordinates the Multiple Subject and the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs and teaches in these programs. She teaches the capstone teacher Action Research courses as well as serves on the faculty and committees for the doctoral program. She is currently on the steering committee of a teacher academy at Chapman University and on the International Committee.

Dr. Colón-Muñiz received a Bachelor of Science degree from Binghamton University and a Master of Science from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. She became a bilingual teacher and teacher trainer for the New York City School District before pursuing a doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In 1982, she became a faculty member for California State University, Fullerton, and later worked at San Diego State University Foundation. She returned to the public schools, serving as program administrator for bilingual education, foreign languages, English language development and curriculum for three urban school districts in California, Rowland, Orange and Santa Ana, before returning to higher education. Her research and broad interests include bilingual education, transfer and maintenance of heritage languages and English language development. She also focuses her work on language policy in education here and abroad, and the language and culture of Puerto Rico. In addition, she continues to pursue issues of civil rights in education, literacy and biliteracy affecting Latino youth. In 2006 and 2007, she coordinated the 60th Anniversary celebrations on the landmark case Mendez v. Westminster, et al. and helped to establish an archive for the case. She is currently involved in a Latino oral history project on the segregation era. She is also engaged in research on a bilingual charter school’s extended day program. She dedicates her life’s work to the improvement of educational opportunities for language minority and poor children, with a special emphasis in on the role of teachers and teacher educators. She was National President for the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women for 2007 and 2008 and continues to be on the board of the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center, in Santa Ana, California, after having served as President. She has also served as a key consultant in the development of El Sol Science and Arts Academy Charter in Santa Ana, California.

Dr. Nina LeNoir - Professor, Chair, Department of Theatre , College of Performing Arts
Nina LeNoir received her MFA in directing and PhD in theatre history/criticism from The University of Texas at Austin.  She has BA in chemistry from Hollins College and an AOS degree in acting from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NY.

As a scholar, her dissertation, The Contribution of the Theatrical Past to Performance in the Future, explored early uses of the Internet and World Wide Web as mediums for performances. She has published essays on the topic in two books, Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance and Theatre in Cyberspace, and contributed an essay to Bradley University's centennial publication, The University as Learning Community.  She has also published on directing and dramaturgy in Theatre Symposium. She has presented papers on a wide variety of topics such as assessment in theatre education, directing pedagogy, mentoring faculty, and the status of women directors in professional theatre.

As an academic administrator, Dr. LeNoir was Interim President of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, and previous to that role, was the Director of Instruction. She served on the faculty of Minnesota State University as Associate Professor and Head of Performance, and as Assistant Professor at Bradley University.

She has been active in the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), holding several offices:  Member at Large-Operations on the Governing Council, Directing Focus Group Representative, Conference Planner, and Graduate Student Representative.  She served on the Professional Development Committee, Marketing Committee, Finance Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Conferences.

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