Stacie L.L. Morgan, PhD: Igniting Bold Thoughts

When she first arrived on the Hill in 2009 to fill a faculty vacancy in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) MBA program, Stacie L. L. Morgan immediately recognized the untapped potential of the Norwich brand—and resolved to do something about it. Now at the helm of two CGCS leadership master’s programs as well as NU’s newly minted Leadership & Change Institute (LCI), Morgan is that much closer to realizing her vision.

Stacie L. L. Morgan. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Stacie L. L. Morgan. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Specializing in the process, rather than the product, of strategic thinking, Morgan is “able to divorce [myself] from the complexities of the present to envision an organization’s true capabilities,” she explains. As a result, she saw Norwich not where it could be, but where it should be: at the vanguard of preparing leaders skilled at addressing the world’s greatest challenges. She also saw an opportunity to take the Norwich legacy of producing leaders even further, by packaging the Corps learning-laboratory model into leadership training for professionals.

Morgan brings decades of experience to the LCI in what she calls a “sweet spot” of the university. With an MEd in organizational development and training, and a PhD in strategic management and leadership, she is an expert at guiding multinational corporations, governmental agencies, and the U.S. military through complex changes.

Inspired by overwhelming alumni requests for more access to Norwich’s leadership expertise, Morgan and LCI co-founder Shelley Brown knew it was time to “pull the trigger” on their percolating idea: to expand their annual Graduate Leadership Summit into a suite of offerings available on a permanent online engagement platform for alumni, organizations, and individuals.

The introduction of two LCI Fellows in 2016, Lt. Col. William “Corby” Myles and Lt. Col. Daniel P. Finnegan, both of the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG), added substance to the budding Institute’s genesis. Myles, commander of the 229th Information Operations Squadron, VTANG, Northfield, Vt., is responsible for cyber and information operations training and education courses. “Prior to my LCI experience, leadership development in the 229th Information Operations Squadron was ad hoc—completely dependent on the experiences and expertise of organizational leaders, without any standard procedure for implementation,” Myles says of his year working with Morgan in the developing think tank. “My LCI interaction helped me determine the best way to implement a formal, deliberate leadership-development program for my squadron.”

The Institute was formally launched in April 2017 with its premier professional development opportunity: “Leadership Challenge I.” During the six-week course, individuals and employee groups partner with high-profile companies to address their toughest leadership challenges.

“Students who participated in past Leadership Summits told us that the real-life experience it offers validates their Norwich learning,” Morgan explains. “And organizations told us that it showcases what a Norwich education can do. We wanted to leverage this on a much larger scale through the LCI to help solidify the Norwich brand of leadership and its value to the world.”

As an incentive, participating organizations also receive $4,000 tuition vouchers for employees wishing to enroll in a CGCS graduate program.

Morgan invites everyone to join the LCI community,* which enables its members to participate in the evolution of the LCI’s offerings, such as its new subscription-based leadership development modules.

As any true leader does, Morgan deflects credit for the LCI—praising her many colleagues who “give everything they have to make this happen.”

“This has truly been a team effort,” she says. “It takes many different perspectives to arrive at the best outcome.”

About the contributor:

Jane Dunbar is a writer based in Burlington, Vt., who specializes in university, technology, healthcare, and nonprofit publications. In addition to her frequent contributions to the Norwich Record, she writes extensively for New York-based Salesian Missions (including their quarterly, World Bulletin), the Restorative Medicine Digest, and many other periodicals.



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