Faculty and Staff

The Leadership Studies Program faculty, staff and partners extend beyond the traditional boundaries of the classroom and academic departments. The faculty who teach reflect this mix of scholarship in the field and real world experience as leaders.


Dr. Lisa DeFrank-Cole

Director and Professor, Leadership Studies

Office Address: 148 Arnold Hall
  • B.S., Landscape Architecture, West Virginia University (1994)
  • M.A., Higher Education Administration, West Virginia University (1996)
  • Ed.D., Higher Education Administration, Dissertation: An Exploration of the Differences in Female and Male Self-Perceptions of Presidential Leadership Styles at Colleges and Universities in West Virginia, University of Pittsburgh (2003)

Director of WVU’s Leadership Studies Program, Dr. DeFrank-Cole began teaching Principles of Leadership in 2007 while working in the Honors College as the Director of the ASPIRE Office. She previously worked as the Executive Director for the West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship program; served as an Assistant for Policy and Research under WV Governor Bob Wise; worked at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She founded and directed the WVU Honors Leadership Academy and the International Leadership Academy in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In Summer 2012 Dr. DeFrank-Cole was awarded a Fulbright Grant to teach Principles of Leadership to female students at the Royal University for Women in Bahrain. Her research interests include the topics of women and leadership. She teaches Leadership 201: Principles of Leadership, LDR 335: Women and Leadership, and LDR 401: Leadership in Action at WVU.

Dr. Amena O. Anderson

Visiting Assistant Professor, Leadership Studies
Office Address: 147 Arnold Hall
Email: Amena.Anderson@mail.wvu.edu
Office Phone: 304.293.3760

Dr. Anderson joined the Leadership Studies Program fall of 2017. She is a seasoned educational leader with extensive experience in both public and private higher education and state-level educational programming. She has taught and developed curriculum for courses in the First Year College Experience, Communication, Professional and Cross-Cultural Studies. She has taught graduate courses in Leadership and Organizations and Diversity in Higher Education. Recently, she developed a professional development course for faculty interested in serving as social justice allies within their academic departments and across the institution. Her research interests center on the development and effectiveness of academic change agents for social-justice. Dr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Fairmont State University, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership Studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from West Virginia University. Her dissertation research explored Men Faculty Engagement in Gender Equity Work in STEM via the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) ADVANCE initiative. She continues to work closely with WVUADVANCE to support the professional success of historically marginalized faculty through programming and research. Outside of the academy, Dr. Anderson stays engaged in the community as chair of the Social Action Committee for the Greater Morgantown Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. And, in her spare time, she loves reading, traveling, and spending time with family.

Dr. Cheyenne Luzynski

Teaching Assistant Professor
Office Address: 149 Arnold Hall

Cheyenne Luzynski received her PhD in the Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. Her dissertation was a historical analysis of women’s emergence into intercollegiate athletic leadership at a Normal institution. While at EMU, she was the catalyst in creating and directing the Interdisciplinary LEADership minor and taught in the Higher Education Student Affairs Master’s program. Prior to EMU, she was a head volleyball coach and assistant athletic director at Alma College. She has a rich playing, coaching, and mentoring background with NCAA Division I and III intercollegiate athletic programs. Cheyenne graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Master’s of Science in Sport Administration. In her graduate pursuits, Cheyenne was a 2014 NCAA Research Grant recipient, a 2013 ASHE policy seminar graduate fellow, and honored as “Lecturer of the Year” by the Eastern Michigan University Honors College. With passions in athletics, leadership, and student development, her research agenda includes issues related to equity and culture within the organizational context of higher education.

Faculty Affiliates

Dr. L. Christopher Plein

Instructor, Readings in Leadership; Principles of Leadership
Professor of Public Administration
  • Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service
  • B.A. Emory and Henry College
  • M.A. East Tennessee State University
  • Ph.D University of Missouri, Columbia

Dr. Plein’s area of specialty is public policy formation and implementation. His studies of public administration and policy in West Virginia have led him to co-author Welfare Reform in West Virginia (West Virginia University Press, 2004) and West Virginia Politics and Government (University of Nebraska Press, 2008). His past administrative positions include serving as an Associate Dean in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and serving as chair of the Department of Public Administration and interim director of the School of Social Work. He is a founding member of the West Virginia Community Design Team which has organized teams of volunteers that visit and assist rural communities in identifying community development needs and opportunities. In 2006, Dr. Plein’s outreach contributions were recognized by West Virginia University when he was named an Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service.