Sylvia E.M. Asante, Ph.D. is a 2015 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Asante [center] with Dissertation Committee Chair, Dr. Jon Wergin [left] and Committee Member Dr. Laurien Alexandre [right] at her Dissertation Defense, Santa Barbara, May, 2015

Dissertation Committee:

  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Chair
  • Laurien Alexandre, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Janet Powers, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Gaynell Simpson, Ph.D., External Reader


granddaughters, grandmothers, leadership, phenomenology, narrative, role models, mentors, mentoring, families, positive, women, gender, human females, feminism, diversity, multicultural, multigenerational, life cycle

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The purpose of this study is to document and recognize the role of grandmothers as leaders, role models, and mentors who can positively influence the lives of their granddaughters. Grandmothers’ roles are not typically associated with leadership, and this phenomenon of presenting grandmothers as effective leaders will fill a void and add to the canon of leadership literature. The use of phenomenological study, which describes the lived experience (Husserl, 1970), as well as transformative leadership and feminist theory perspectives will be pivotal to this study. Due to the dearth of data on grandmothers’ leadership roles, this phenomenological study will "give voice" to grandmothers whose lives have positively impacted their granddaughters, but it will avoid revisionist ideals; will provide granddaughters with the opportunity to acknowledge "gifts" of leadership provided by their grandmothers as their role models and their mentors; will aid in understanding the importance of grandmothers in the transmission of culture and of family values; and, as an international study, will explore and provide further understanding within the global community. This dissertation is available in open-access at OhioLink ETD Center, and AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive,


Sylvia E. M. Asante, Ph.D.

Dr. Asante is the Associate Director for Career Development at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA