About Me

Professional Identity

cropped-githens-photo-website-reduced-sizeI’ve been associated with the intersection of learning, human resources, and organization development for my entire career and it’s at the core of my professional identity.  Within the field, I have worked, researched, consulted, taught, or advised in almost every sector.  I’m interested in helping leaders and followers of all types nurture human and organizational potential; whether its leadership in a non-profit, organizational learning in a healthcare organization, change in a military setting, fostering innovation in community colleges, or collaborative leadership in a grade school.

As this field and my own perspectives have grown and expanded, I value the work we do more and more each day.  What’s not to love about work that’s centered around building human and organizational potential?

Professional Background

University of the Pacific

I serve as Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Innovation in the Benerd School of Education at University of the Pacific.  We have an incredible vision be a center of true innovation and creativity for learning, leadership, and change in Northern California. I was originally hired at Pacific to lead the development of our school in Sacramento, which was an amazing opportunity to build a set of programs from nearly a “blank slate.”  Now, we’re building on that success in reimagining our entire school in a way that serves specific needs in our various communities.

As an Associate Professor, I teach leadership, change, and research methods.  I also conduct and oversee a research program related to fostering humane, accessible, and diverse workplaces.


Through my consulting practice, Githens and Associates, I work with companies and other organizations in the areas of organization development, learning, process facilitation, needs assessment, and evaluation.  My consulting allows me to stay connected with organizational practice and integrate research and practice.

Other Professional Experiences

Prior to moving to Pacific, I served as Associate Professor in Policy, Organization, and Leadership at Drexel University in Sacramento, CA.  I worked with the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Management and the Master’s programs in Higher Education Leadership and Human Resource Development.

I worked for six years in the Organizational Leadership and Learning Program at the University of Louisville. I left as an Associate Professor (with tenure) and served as Program Director for most of that time.  I taught at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels, primarily in the area of Organization Development.  I oversaw a suite of programs (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.), which included over 550 students, 12 full-time faculty members, and 25 part-time faculty members. Our programs were offered face-to-face at sites throughout the Louisville region, fully online, and in hybrid online/face-to-face formats at the Ft. Knox Extended Campus and in Panama City, Panama.

While at Louisville, I also served as a researcher with the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education, where I directed a national project examining online workforce development in community colleges, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Prior to joining the faculty at Louisville, I worked in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where I oversaw three online programs. In that role, I directed all aspects of three online graduate programs, including course scheduling, budget management, faculty support, and administrative issues. I oversaw the offering of courses and support services, supervised a staff of 13, and coordinated with faculty who taught in the program.

I also worked for several years in the corporate sector doing HR and organizational learning work. In my last corporate position, I worked for three years as the Human Resources Manager in a large division of a Fortune 100 grocery distributor/retailer.  Prior to that, I was a learning specialist in a privately-held mid-sized company.  I’ve also done adult education work, in the area of English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction.

Education and Research

I completed my Ph.D. in Human Resource Development at the University of Illinois. My previous educational experiences include a master’s degree in human resource development and bachelor’s degrees in history and religion.

My research is centered around fostering humane, accessible, and diverse workplaces through workforce and human resource development. Specifically, I focus on:

  • Creating Diverse and Humane Organizations
  • Increasing Access to Self-sustaining Career Pathways through Workforce Development
  • E-Learning and Online Education

Please see the Research section of this website for more information and PDFs of my work.


Outside of official work and school responsibilities, I’ve been involved in non-profit organizations that focus on professional, community, spiritual, and advocacy issues.

I like to think of myself as an independent thinker with eclectic views that cross predictable patterns. In these days of extremely polarization, I try to integrate my social awareness and independent mindedness into my teaching, research, and professional life.