Ruta Shah-Gordon, Ph.D., is a 2016 graduate of the PhD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University

Ruta Shah-Gordon, Ph.D. [Center] at her Dissertation Defense, 2016, Commitee Member, Dr. Jon Wergin,[Left] and Committee Chair, Dr. Al Guskin [Right]

Dissertation Committee

  • Alan Guskin, Ph.D., Chair
  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Janet Bennett, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Hanna Rodriguez-Farrar, Ph.D., Ed.D., External Reader


intercultural competence, civic engagement, Intercultural Development Inventory, IDI, mentoring, reflection, training, mixed methods

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Today, the field of intercultural communication is becoming even more important.People are increasingly interacting more with others from around the globe, whether for work or recreation.Globalization is creating an increased interdependency between nations; it is critical that institutions of higher education develop leaders who are competent in cross-cultural awareness and practice, have a solid understanding of cultural differences and their effects on leadership performance, and are culturally sensitive to different perspectives (Northouse, 2010).Since many studies of intercultural competence development focus on study abroad experiences, this dissertation focuses on developing intercultural competence in college-aged students through civic engagement experiences.Through a mixed methods approach using the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and action research in collaboration with Wagner College students and faculty, this study examined four learning communities as well as a group of mentors over the course of a semester to determine the salient aspects of an intervention.The findings indicate that with the right amount of challenge and support, sustained and meaningful interaction, reflection, content knowledge, and mentoring, interventions allow for more pronounced development of intercultural competence.This dissertation is available in open access at AURA:Antioch University Repository and Archive, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Ruta Shah-Gordon, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID: 0000-0002-8693-7800

Dr. Ruta Shah-Gordon oversees Residential Education, Co-Curricular Programs, the Center for Health and Wellness Center, Center for Spirituality, leadership development, student conduct, and the Center for Intercultural Advancement at Wagner College.She serves as the co-chair for both the Internationalization Action Council and the Diversity Action Council and is responsible for furthering the strategic blueprints for the College around these areas.As Vice President, she leads the connection of students’ academic and co-curricular experiences, creating the opportunity to learn more about themselves as civically engaged, psycho-socially adapted, and interculturally competent citizens of the world.She also serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Mandela Washington Fellowship which is part of President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative.She earned her doctoral degree in leadership and change from Antioch University, master’s degree in social psychology from Colgate University, and bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University.