The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said that courage is an inner resolution to go forward in spite of obstacles.
At their core, nonprofit organizations are built to change, adapt, and evolve, but what pushes that change forward and what helps the evolutions to happen? As part of my research, I explore major factors associated with nonprofit organizations’ capacities for innovation and employee creativity, primarily through national and cross-cultural studies as well as studies of the boards of directors and foundations’ roles in encouraging or inhibiting new paradigms.
During my time here at UGA, I have been fortunate enough to receive several research grants to explore these major factors, including a grant from the National Science Foundation where I am one of only a handful of social work faculty to be awarded a grant of this nature. Most recently, I received a research grant from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation in their inaugural grant award to explore the role of board of directors in facilitating innovation in associations.
In nonprofit organizations, the decision-making process is often left up to that organization’s respective board of directors. This process can prove to be challenging, but can also prove to be an opportunity to improve upon, but how? My job as a researcher and a teacher is to challenge the system and explore ways that we can kickstart innovation in these organizations. Bringing new, fresh ideas and a spark of creativity into associations, that’s what drives me each day.
- Ph.D., University of Alabama
- MSW, Vytautas Magnus University
- B.S., Vytautas Magnus University