Angela K. Edwards
Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Development and Leadership, 2013
“I have had the opportunity to build my developmental network and learn from some amazing people.”
Dr. Angela K. Edwards is an executive coach at the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs, CO. She holds a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Baker College and a Bachelor of Arts in Management Systems and Personnel with a minor in Psychology from Buena Vista University. When we spoke with her, she was working toward her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Organizational Development and Leadership at University of the Rockies, where she was named the Organizational Development and Leadership program’s Outstanding Student for 2012. In 2013, she became the first PhD student to graduate from University of the Rockies.
Angela has more than 20 years of hands-on experience as a practitioner of strategic planning, leadership training and development, organizational and cultural change, and performance/development coaching. She has built upon this expertise in senior leadership roles in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and retail industries.
Angela always dreamt of getting a PhD at some point in her life. In early 2010, she lost her job and was visiting family in the Midwest when she happened upon a billboard with a Warren Buffet quote. It read, “The best investment you can make is in yourself.” Angela made up her mind then and there: she was going back to school.
She began her doctoral program at University of the Rockies in 2011. While still enrolled, she said, “My practicum and dissertation work has focused around the experiences of cross-cultural environments. Whether addressing multinational organizations, diverse teams, expatriates, or intercultural executive coaching – I would like this focus to be part of my future. Globalization and the diversification of our own domestic companies have created a need for a better appreciation, sensitivity, and integration of a mixture of cultures and diverse backgrounds.”
Angela started as an intern at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) in 2011. One of the many projects she has worked on with them (as part of her PhD practicum) includes a project involving the Center’s Singapore campus to help them select and train adjunct coaches for their Leadership at the Peak (LAP) program. Angela’s role involved researching cultural factors that would influence communication, relationships, and the interview and training process. She also partnered with CCL Singapore researcher, Xiuxi Zhao, to write a research proposal for a competitive grant on Cultural Intelligence (CQ).
As an executive coach at the CCL, Angela continued working on her dissertation research. She sought to better explore, understand, and explain the influence that culture has on the executive coaching process. She presented her proposal and current findings at the 12th annual conference of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research (SIETAR-USA) and said, “I would love to continue the research involving intercultural executive coaching and also expand into training and improving effectiveness with intercultural teams. I believe that my long-term career plans will involve a variety of opportunities: consulting, executive coaching, and teaching. I would also like to get involved with some non-profit organizations that focus on the development of leaders, specifically women and young adults.”
Angela said she believes that the dissertation process is much more than a final project at the end of coursework for a degree, calling it, “a journey that is equal to and often even more challenging than the coursework.” Because of University of the Rockies’ doctoral program, she added, “I have had the opportunity to build my developmental network and learn from some amazing people.”