About Us


Associate Dean Reneé Collins, Ed.D.

Picture of Reneé CollinsWestern's Leadership Advantage is a partner with the Karen Morse Institute under the direction of Dr. Joe Garcia, and LEADS which is under the direction of Associate Dean Dr. Reneé Collins within the Division of Enrollment & Student Services.




Joanne DeMark, Ph.D., Leadership Development Specialist

Photo of Joanne DeMarkOn a daily basis, the program is directed by Joanne DeMark, Ph.D., Leadership Development Specialist. Dr. DeMark came to Western Washington University after successful tenures as a co-founder and co-administrator of a 16-year leadership development and prejudice reduction non-profit, a decade as a human resource development executive in a healthcare software and services firm, and 15 years as an assistant management professor, adjunct, in the Health Policy and Management Masters program at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health, the Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Dr. DeMark has consulted to dozens of organizations across the United States focusing on leadership, team and organizational development, communication skills, conflict resolution, and cross-culturally competent leadership. As a non-profit co-administer, Dr. DeMark helped her organization obtain funding from the Kellogg Foundation, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Arthur Blank Foundation, and the United Way among others. During her work in healthcare software and services, Dr. DeMark managed a direct budget of 6 million dollars and managed 23 employees. She helped implement a performance management system and a leadership curriculum in a post-merger environment that resulted in smoothing the transition of three company cultures into one; she received awards for her work. Dr. DeMark obtained her Ph.D. in an APA-approved program in Counseling Psychology from the University of Florida.

Christina Carlson, Secretary Senior

photo of Christina CarlsonChristina Carlson supports the LEADS finances and website.

Student Staff

Each year, Western's Leadership Advantage is a vibrant learning environment where graduate and undergraduate scholar leaders learn through various assistantship, internship and independent study opportunities. Western Leadership Advantage benefits from the contributions of these student leaders, alumni, and volunteers.

Maggie Chappel

photo of Maggie ChappelMaggie Chappel successfully completed the program as a Western Leadership Scholar in her freshman year at Western.  She also participated in the inaugural SAA 340 LeaderCorps class, launched Fall 2011, and is the student coordinating LeaderCorps in the LEADS programoffice. In addition to serving as a student program assistant in the LEADS office, Maggie has been an Orientation Student Advisor, and is a double major studying political science and environmental education.


Elijah Turner

Photo of Elijah TurnerElijah Turner is a freshman here at WWU this year. She has participated in leadership activities throughout high school and has been involved in many sports in which she also took leadership in. Elijah plans to major in psychology and minor in dance.


Ying Ci Huang

Photo of Ying Ci HuangYing Ci Huangwas born in Guangdong, China and moved to Eastern Washington at the age of five with her family. For two years she attended Columbia Basin College in the Running Start program during high school. She is now a student at Western and is planning on majoring in accounting at the College of Business and Economics. A new hire in the LEADS office she is excited to learn as both a student and employee. Her future aspiration is to become a CPA after graduating from Western with her degree. 

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Page Updated 12.16.2013