I nurture human and organizational potential through innovation, design, and strategy. This work matters to me because I get to help people, groups, and organizations bring out their best and attain the results they seek in the world. For the last 20 years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work in organizations where I can provide a supportive, results-oriented approach, both as an internal leader and as a consultant.
Through my consulting practice, Githens and Associates, I work with a team of colleagues to help organizations to solve problems and seize opportunities through:
- Innovation and Creativity Processes
- Strategy Development and Strategic Planning
- Small- to Large-Group Facilitation and Action Planning
- Stakeholder-Informed Program and Initiative Development
I get to work with a variety of fascinating clients who are stuck, need a skilled neutral facilitator, or want to accelerate their organizations in achieving results. It’s incredibly rewarding helping organizations address a wide variety of challenges and opportunities they encounter using approaches that help them get results.
University of the Pacific
As the Alexandra Greene Ottesen Endowed Chair in Benerd College, I teach leadership, organization change, innovation, and inquiry methods. Our students at Pacific inspire me in their dedication to their work and communities.
I led the initial development of Benerd School of Education in Sacramento, hired to start a hub of innovation and creativity for learning, leadership, and change in Northern California. We built on that success in reimagining our entire school to better serve the specific needs of our various communities. My role eventually expanded to Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Innovation. I helped facilitate program development throughout the school. I also supported two deans in facilitating a major organizational realignment, development of the Benerd Reimagined strategic plan, and a successful merger of our school with the university’s professional and continuing education unit. I’ve also worked with other units at Pacific in facilitating innovation and strategy development. Within Benerd College, I currently lead the Master’s in Leadership program in Organizational Innovation and Change.
Other Professional Experiences
Before moving to Pacific, I served as Associate Professor in Policy, Organization, and Leadership at Drexel University in Sacramento, CA. Before coming to California, 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. As Program Director, 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. I also oversaw the operation of our Ft. Knox Extended Campus.
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. Before 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.
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 extreme polarization, I try to integrate my social awareness and independent-mindedness into my teaching, consulting, and professional life.