Session C: 1:45PM – 3:15PM

Social Work. Session C – Poster Presentations, Ballroom, Union

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Location: Ballroom, A. Ray Olpin University Union


New Leadership Academy’s Effect on Leadership
Andrew Koenig, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Paton Roden, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The New Leadership Academy (NLA) Fellows Program changes the expectations that surround leaders, leadership and leadership development across higher education. The learning strategies in forming the program’s curriculum are premised on a recognition that the demographic, democratic, and discursive foundations on which modern higher education has been built are changing. As colleges and universities respond to these environments, leaders will require specialized knowledge and tools, as well as the personal and professional courage to be effective in what are clearly complex and highly contested environments. NLA began at University of Michigan and has since transferred to University of Utah, where it continues to advance the EDI work in higher education today. There are over 150 current NLA Alumni, who work at higher education and non profit organizations around the globe. This study hopes to help NLA understand its Alumni’s experience and growth during and since they went through the leadership program, in the categories of leadership, application and self image, as well as equity, diversity and inclusion. This study will be mixed methods. We will engage in interviews, focus groups, and survey data collection in order to paint a picture of what the NLA experience looks like as a fellow. Results of this study will illustrate how NLA is helping training in equity-based leadership, as well as a categorical overview of the program. With these results we will be able to better understand the NLA experience, tailor our program to meet participants needs, and share the NLA story.


Factors that Enhance the Nonprofit Board-Executive Relationship
Jaxon Didericksen, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor: Jayme Walters, Utah State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Background: Literature on nonprofit leadership shows that the executive director (ED) and board relationship is crucial to the organization’s success (1,8,10,14). The literature seeks to develop nonprofit governance models and define roles (2,3,4-5,7,11-13). The ED-board relationship has scant empirical evidence, including how to maintain it.  Purpose: The present study targets youth-serving nonprofits in Utah and seeks to describe factors that enhance the ED-board relationship by answering the question, “What factors positively enhance the relationship between the executive director and the board?” Methods: The study applied a mixed-methods design, employing surveys and semi-structured interviews from March 2022-July 2022. Participants were EDs and board chairs from 6 organizations. Descriptive statistics were generated. First, descriptive coding and then pattern coding were used by two investigators to analyze transcripts (9). Findings: Six executive director-board chair pairs participated in the study. The average age of EDs was 42.5 years (range: 28 to 61). Board chairs were, on average, 54.8 years old (range: 43 to 66). Board chairs (x̄ = 1.97 years, range: 4 months to 4 years) had been in their positions less on average than EDs (x̄ = 6.7 years, range: 5.5 months to 25 years). The qualitative analysis revealed three patterns to understand factors that enhanced the executive-board relationship: Background, Roles, and Management. Background is who a person is, including character traits; training and education; past professional experiences; and leadership skills. Roles regard what they do, including legal expectations; goals; board capacity needs; and level of engagement. Management refers to a board or executive director’s decision-making processes, interactions with each other, task initiation, and ED autonomy.  Conclusion: The data suggest that the ED’s ability to engage and involve the board is critical to developing and maintaining a positive executive-board relationship. These findings can help EDs engage their boards and drive organizational success.
1.Bharath, D. M., & Carter Kahl, S. (2021). Founder or flounder: When board and founder relationship impact nonprofit performance. Journal of Public Affairs Education, 27(2), 238-253.
2. Block, S. R. (1998). Perfect nonprofit boards: Myths, paradoxes and paradigms. Simon & Schuster.
3. Carver, J. (2006). Boards that make a difference: A new design for leadership in nonprofit and public organizations. Jossey-Bass.
4. Drucker, P. F. (1990). Lessons for successful nonprofit governance. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 1(1), 7-14.
5. Duta, A. (2011). Nested at the heart: A new approach to nonprofit leadership. Nonprofit World, 29(6), 11-13.
6. Garry, J. (2019). Thriving as an executive director. In Rodriguez, H. D. & Brenner, L. (Eds.), Nonprofit management 101: A complete and practical guide for leaders and professionals (2nd ed., pp. 59 – 73). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
7. Herman, R. D. (2016). Chapter six: Executive leadership. In Renz, D. O. & Herman, R. D. (Eds.), The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management (4th ed., pp. 167 – 187). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
8. Jäger, U. P., & Rehli, F. (2012). Cooperative power relations between nonprofit board chairs and executive directors. Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 23(2), 219-236.
9. Miles, M. Huberman, A.M., & Saldana, J. (2019). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (4th ed.). Sage Publications, Inc.
10. Olinske, J. L., & Hellman, C. M. (2016). Leadership in the human service nonprofit organization: The influence of the board of directors on executive director well-being and burnout. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, 41(2), 95-105.
11. Ostrower, F. & Stone, M. M. (2006). Governance: Research trends, gaps, and future prospects. In Powell, W. W. & Steinberg, R. (Eds.), The nonprofit sector: A research handbook (2nd ed., pp. 612 – 628). Yale University Press.
12. Renz, D. O. (2016). Chapter five: Leadership, governance, and the work of the board. In Renz, D. O. & Herman, R. D. (Eds.), The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management (4th ed., pp. 127 – 166). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
13. Tsui, M., Cheung, F. C. H., & Gellis, Z. D. (2004). In search of an optimal model for board-executive relationships in voluntary human service organizations. International Social Work, 47(2), 169-186.
14. Walker, V. & Heard, E. (2019). Board governance. In Rodriguez, H. D. & Brenner, L. (Eds.), Nonprofit management 101: A complete and practical guide for leaders and professionals (2nd ed., pp. 503 – 523) John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Rural Community Sex Education: What does the Literature Tell Us About Evidence- Based Programming and Practices?
Brittany Hansen, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor: Cris Meier, Utah State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Background: Adolescence is an important time in life where youth establish health behaviors that persist as they age (Wiium, Breivik, & Wold, 2015). Some adolescents engage in risky health behaviors, such as participating in unprotected sexual activity (e.g., Amma & Martinez, 2017), which is associated with an increased (CDC), 2020). School (e.g., Daley et al., 2019) and community-based prevention programming (e.g., Cornelius et al., 2013) are ways to address risk-taking behaviors. As of 2018, the Utah State Board of Education requires “instruction in: community and personal health, physiology, personal hygiene, prevention of communicable disease, refusal skills, and the harmful effects of pornography” in a health classroom setting (Utah State Board of Education, 24 Jan 2018). However, Utah statute only requires that local education agencies adopt a curriculum of these skills or less. This is especially problematic as results from a recent study found that youth would like more sex education (Meier et al., 2022). Community sex education provides an opportunity to meet the needs of youth, however anecdotal information from the Utah Department of Health suggests that there are large gaps in community sex education-especially among rural areas. USU Extension is uniquely situated to provide community sex education as they operate in all 29 counties. However, there is no sex education programming being provided by USU Extension at this time. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to conduct a comprehensive review of the community sex education literature to identify: (a) programs being used in rural communities; (b) brief intervention strategies that are supported by evidence; and (c) topics or preferred types of information to include in rural community sex education. Method: To examine the areas above, a systematic and comprehensive review of the literature was conducted utilizing the following search terms: (a) community sex education programs/practices; (b) effective community-based sex education; (c) sex education in rural school/communities; (d) sex education brief interventions; and (d) best practices for brief interventions in sex education. Results: The results of the comprehensive literature review fell within three areas. The first was sex education practices and included cultural competency, community trust building and partnerships, role playing, use of social learning theory, parent education and inclusion, counseling, and the use of peer educators. The second area was sex education content which included decision making, contraceptives, communication, peer pressure, and sense of self/self-confidence. Finally, the third area was brief interventions and included impacts of using a brief intervention strategy and examples of programming.  Implications: This project has potential to impact the future of community sex education programming. These findings can be used to create more comprehensive courses for youth in rural communities.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program Copyright © 2023 by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book