Institute for Independent School Leadership

Summer 2017
Certificates will be awarded based on successful completion of the 4-day in-person training and 6 webinar/video conference follow-on sessions.
Enrollment is limited to the first 28 registrants.
* A 20 percent discount will be given to companies that enroll two or more employees.
* A 10 percent discount will be given to TCU staff/faculty/alumni, U.S. veterans

Leading in independent schools today requires innovative, adaptive, critical thinkers. In this certificate program, you’ll learn from world-class faculty how to chart a compelling direction, lead adaptively and think creatively to achieve your individual and organizational goals.

Who Should Attend?

Experienced administrators and department leaders and members of the senior leadership team who want to better understand the different aspects of leading in today’s dynamic independent school environment. High potential leaders such as program directors and teachers responsible for leading special projects or those who have an interest in moving into school administration. Small administrative or academic leadership teams looking for an opportunity to align leadership strategies.


  • Your Role as a Strategic Leader
  • Self-Leadership, Resilience & Learning Agility
  • Leading & Motivating Others
  • Building Teams
  • Giving Constructive Feedback
  • Communicating for Success
  • Design Thinking
  • Leading Others through Change & Ambiguity
  • Adaptive Leadership
Session Date Topic Instructor
1 7/25/16 Purpose Vision, & Strategic Thinking Suzanne Carter
    The Role of a Leader Suzanne Carter
    Self-Leadership, Resilience, & Emotional Intelligence Hettie Richardson
2 7/26/16 Giving Constructive Feedback Greg Stephens
    Having Difficult Conversations Greg Stephens
    Coaching Others Greg Stephens
    Introduction to Design Thinking Stacy Grau
3 7/27/16 Leading & Motivating Others Danyelle Ackall
    The Great Group Process Tracey Rockett
4 7/28/16 Leading others Through Change & Ambiguity Abbie Shipp
    Adaptive Leadership Abbie Shipp


Danyelle Williams Ackall

Instructor, Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Ms. Ackall has more than 18 years of professional human resource experience in employee relations, management coaching, change management, training and facilitation, and policy creation for MedStar, Catholic Charities, DeVry University and Trammell Crow Company. She was honored as the HR Educator of the Year in 2011 by the HR Southwest Conference. She is holds certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Society of Human Resource Manager Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and as a Certified Payroll Professional (CPP). She is past president of the Fort Worth Human Resource Management Association and a regular contributing columnist for Fort Worth CEO magazine. She holds a BS from Texas A&M University and a MS in Human Resource Management from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Suzanne Carter, PhD

Professor of Strategy Practice
Executive Director, TCU EMBA

Dr. Carter is a highly respected expert in strategy, strategic leadership and corporate reputation and is executive director of the TCU Executive MBA program, ranked 12th in the world by The Economist. She is a contributing columnist to the Dallas Business Journal and her research on organizational performance and leadership has been published in key academic journals. She received the Citation of Excellence Award for her research on the relationship of top management, organizational and environmental factors on corporate reputation management. She has consulted for leading companies such as GameStop, Lea+ Elliott and SaladMaster on strategic vision and strategy development. She has worked with nonprofit organizations including Catholic Charities, YWCA of Fort Worth and Safe Haven on strategic planning and social enterprise strategies. Dr. Carter received her BS in accounting from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, and MBA and PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carter teaches strategy courses at the EMBA, MBA and undergraduate levels at TCU, and has been honored with the EMBA Faculty Award for Outstanding Leadership Development twice. She was recently awarded TCU’s university-wide Dean’s Teaching Award.

Stacy Landreth Grau, PhD

Professor of Marketing Practice

An expert in design thinking, Dr. Grau leads the TCU Neeley School’s design thinking initiative after studying it at Stanford. Utilizing several years of professional experience in advertising, branding and consulting, Dr. Grau teaches marketing communication, digital marketing, customer insights, design thinking and creative problem solving at TCU. Her research areas include gender and source effects in communication and advertising, cause-related marketing and initiatives, and social media strategies. She consults with several organizations with an emphasis on strategic brand planning and implementation for social enterprises and nonprofit organizations. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and MS in marketing and PhD from Louisiana State University. She has been honored with several teaching awards at TCU. 

Hettie Richardson, PhD

Professor and Chair of the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and Leadership

Dr. Richardson is an expert on employee involvement, empowerment and voice. He award-winning research focuses on employee relations, human resources, employee involvement and organizational effectiveness, and has been published in prestigious academic journals including Human Resource Management, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Management, Group and Organizational Management and Journal of Organizational Behavior. She has consulted for Home Depot, Lamar Advertising, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Athens Regional Medical Center and other companies and organizations. Dr. Richardson holds a BA from the University of Houston and MA and PhD from the University of Georgia.

Tracey Rockett-Hanft, PhD

Associate Professor of Management Practice

Dr. Rockett is an expert in organizational behavior, group dynamics, intragroup relationships and organizational culture. Her research focuses on group dynamics in organizational settings, developing an understanding of familiarity and its consequences for groups, relational demography and conflict resolution. She has served as the Koehler Center Fellow for Distance Education at TCU and the associate academic director for the Neeley Fellows honors program She holds a BS in psychology from Texas A&M University and a PhD in International Management from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Abbie Shipp, PhD
Associate Professor of Management

Dr. Shipp is the co-director of the critical thinking initiative at the TCU Neeley School of Business. She teaches classes on employee engagement and leadership at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She has published two books on how time impacts work environments, and her research on time in the workplace earned her an exclusive invitation to Google headquarters to brainstorm with other invited researchers, thinkers and practitioners on the cutting edge of human resources. Prior to joining TCU, Dr. Shipp taught at Texas A&M University, the University of North Carolina and Oklahoma State University. She also worked for The Boeing Company and TV Guide. Dr. Shipp has consulted for Ernst & Young, Marriott International, Halliburton, Texas Transportation Institute and AT&T on employee engagement and retention, person-environment fit, employee relations, organizational change and survey design. She holds a BSBA and MBA from Oklahoma State University and PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Greg Stephens, PhD
Associate Professor of Management and Leadership

Dr. Stephens is a Texas court qualified mediator, an ombudsman for the Academy of Management and a sought-after management coach. He conducts training and facilitation for numerous organizations as an expert in dialogue/communication, negotiation, conflict management, team-building and other key management skills. His research on leadership development, work-life balance, cross-cultural management and other topics has been published in prominent professional journals. He holds a BS in psychology and MBA from Brigham Young University and a PhD in management from the University of California-Irvine. Dr. Stephens teaches both undergraduate and graduates classes at TCU and has been honored with several TCU teaching awards. He is the academic director of the BNSF Neeley Leadership Program.


Please contact:

Kalyn McKittrick

Director of Marketing and Engagement