Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Robert J. Nash


Have you ever encountered difficult moments that trigger you? Do you find it difficult to monitor your internal dialogue after a setback? Do you struggle to find meaning and purpose amidst all the hardship? As leaders in higher education, we must prioritize others, often giving ourselves away in the process only to find there is nothing left within. We might feel empty, beaten down, and exhausted as others need us to repeatedly and reliably show up as competent leaders. I believe the art of cultivating resilience is the antidote for us as leaders to be meaning-filled and effective at work and in life.

Life is full of inevitable major adversities, setbacks, hurdles, and challenges that we cannot avoid. These obstacles often feel unbearable and like our world is caving in around us. We all face them. No one is exempt. Everyone can relate in some way or another, but rarely are we shown a strategic system to explicitly cultivate the art of overcoming these hurdles, recovering from setbacks, and transcending adversity. How do we continue to lead effectively while replenishing our own cups with meaning and purpose?

Through the use of the Scholarly Personal Narrative methodology, this dissertation examines how I am able to transcend adversities encountered in life through practical tips and systems for cultivating resilience. This organic self-disclosure narrative draws upon personal challenges to explore the lessons learned, light bulb moments captured, and epiphanies acquired through a multitude of growing pains and adversities. Written specifically with higher education educators and leaders in mind, but also those who they want to influence, the gleaned value is organized into three sections: What is resilience? Why may resilience be important? How can we cultivate resilience?

While sharing what has worked for me in my journey, I hope to engage, inspire, and empower educators and leaders in the process of becoming more resilient themselves. My goal is to better equip individuals with the tools, skills, and mindset needed to propel us through these inevitable and unavoidable challenges in life. The better we can become as individuals, the better we are as a collective. Resilience should be woven throughout the fabric of our foundation as people. It is an internal boost that enhances our abilities as educators, enriches our capacities as parents, and deepens our impact as leaders.



Number of Pages

143 p.