Trisha Swed, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Trisha Swed at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Max Klau, Committee Member, Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Max Klau, Ph.D., Committee Member


youth leadership, leadership, leadership development, Black leadership, youth participatory action leadership, experiential learning, critical youth participatory action research, community programs, community development, community engagement, youth development

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This study is aimed at understanding how youth leadership development programs can be more inclusive and promote a broader range of leadership values, qualities, and behaviors by focusing on young people who have been disaffected by leadership development programs. The study design was intended to provide a creative space for youth to engage in meaningful conversations about their evolving concepts and expectations of leadership. Using critical youth participatory action research to engage a group of youth, cohort members co-created a new youth leadership development program while addressing their identified challenges and needs. Findings from this study highlight the importance of adults in youth programs and provide insights toward an ecosystem approach to youth leadership development. Practitioners, funders, and community leaders can create more inclusive and meaningful youth development opportunities and programs by understanding the youth program’s ecosystem. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


trisha swed headshot

Trisha Swed

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0009-9902-8033

Trisha Swed is a leadership development practitioner and consultant with experience teaching and researching communication and education. Working with many different groups of people, Trisha has a soft spot for youth development. Her recent work explores ways youth leaders can implement community change through tools like dialogue, conflict process, philanthropy, and informal education. In one of her joint projects, Resolution Partners Program, Trisha supports building programs and community experiences which foster intergenerational learning and repairing relationships between Philadelphia Police and systems-involved youth. Trisha has been in communal education for eleven years and has a record for helping communities start new programs and reimagine existing ones. She has experience working with communities throughout the United States and Israel.

In addition to her consulting work, Trisha teaches at Temple University in the Klein College of Media and Communication and West Chester University in the Department of Communication. Trisha has been teaching for seven years and, in 2022, was acknowledged as an Instructor Extraordinaire at Temple University. In her time at these institutions, Trish has the pleasure of teaching core communication classes, public speaking, and conflict classes and supporting creative, independent student projects for students. She has also helped consult on university rubric practices and certifying course materials.

Trisha lives in Philadelphia with her husband, two cats, and a Corgi named Al. When she is not working with youth, you can find her hiking, reading a book, working on a new art project, or watering her plants.