Cox Institute Grad Assistants Present Papers at Leadership Conference

Cox Institute Grad Assistants Present Papers at Leadership Conference

July 16, 2020
Caroline Windham (L) and Charlotte Norsworthy at the 2019 ALE conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This year’s conference was held virtually online.

Two graduate assistants of the James M. Cox Jr. Institute for Journalism Innovation, Management and Leadership presented research papers this summer during a national leadership conference.

Charlotte Norsworthy and Caroline Windham presented peer-reviewed papers they had co-authored with Dr. Keith Herndon, director of the Cox Institute, as part of the Association of Leadership Educators annual conference in July.  The conference was originally scheduled for Nashville, Tennessee, but was held virtually online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Norsworthy was the lead author on an innovative practice paper entitled Leading by Ear: Podcasting as an Educational Leadership Tool. The paper documents the pedagogical framework that underpins the work of The Lead, a podcast hosted and produced by Norsworthy and sponsored by the Cox Institute.

The paper explains how the student-produced podcast is used as an educational tool to showcase leadership and ethics. It illustrates how podcasting provides a unique pedagogical experience for students to engage with leadership themes in a way that is accessible, practical, and relevant.

This paper received the Distinguished Innovative Practice Paper Award as one of the conference’s top papers and will be published in a special conference issue of the Journal of Leadership Education.

“It’s been incredible to really dig into the impact of audio storytelling throughout my master’s studies,” said Norsworthy. “This paper is the culmination of a broader effort to make podcasts an accessible educational tool, and I’m excited we’ve made a significant step in that direction.”

Windham’s co-authored paper was entitled Entrepreneurial Leadership: Teaching Product Development Principles Using the Perceived Attributes of Innovation. This paper reflected Windham’s work in developing a classroom exercise used to demonstrate the importance of product development within the context of entrepreneurial leadership.

The paper explains an exercise where students were presented with three smartphone options based on patent filings and were asked to rate them using their training in the perceived attributes of innovation: compatibility, observability, trialability, complexity and relative advantage.

“Working on the paper and researching the history of entrepreneurial leadership and innovation was a great subject for my independent study,” Windham said. “It also allowed me to weave the things I’d learned into my master’s capstone project and apply them to improving the final finished product.”

Windham completed her Master of Arts in Emerging Media in May 2020. Norsworthy will complete her Master of Arts in Journalism in December 2020.  Material in both of their papers reflected work undertaken as graduate assistants in the Cox Institute and work produced as part of independent studies directed by Dr. Herndon.

“Both of these students represent the best of our college. I taught them as undergraduates, but it has been especially gratifying to see how they have excelled in their graduate studies,” Herndon said.