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

LauraLynn Jansen at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Harriet Schwartz, Committee Member, Dr. Donna Ladkin, Committee Chair, Dr. Karen Blakeley, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Donna Ladkin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Harriet Schwartz, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Karen Blakeley, Ph.D., Committee Member


humanizing, humanization, Human Library, dehumanizing, rehumanizing, stigma, leadership, critical incident method

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This dissertation delves into the intricate dimensions of humanization by shifting the analytical focus from denial and exclusion to affirmative aspects of inclusion. The central aim of this research is to unravel the mechanisms underlying the process of humanization, or how individuals perceive and internalize their being recognized as human beings. Employing the critical incident technique, this research methodically examined the lived experiences of a highly diverse group of individuals living with varying social stigmas and how they experience humanization. This research displays the intricate interplay of language, actions, and sensory elements engendered before, during, and after a humanizing moment. Several key findings and contributions to theory and practice emerged from this study. A dominant revelation of this study is somatic cueing’s role within the humanizing process and how it underscores the wholistic nature of this phenomenon. Moreover, this research highlights how genuine acknowledgment is significant in shaping a humanizing encounter. This research also unveils that the humanizing process is not unidirectional; the effect of humanization can traverse various directions within an interaction. Lastly is the dynamism of certain humanizing characteristics, such as empathy, and how they can morph in capacity to serve the entire humanizing process. Some of the findings resonated with extant literature emphasizing the importance of personal awareness and self-reflection, along with the vital role of real-time implementation between individuals. Overall, this research advocates for proactive measures that extend beyond theoretical understanding. In conclusion, this dissertation enriches the discourse on humanization by explaining the complex processes that facilitate humanization. Through a meticulous exploration of lived experiences, this study advances the understanding of humanization as a dynamic, multidimensional process. By underscoring the potency of genuine acknowledgment, somatic cues, and reciprocal interactions, this research offers a comprehensive framework for fostering humanizing encounters. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA ( and OhioLINK ETD Center (


LauraLynn Jansen

ORCID: #0009-0002-5883-2144

LauraLynn Jansen, Ph.D., PCC, is an author and innovator in humanizing leadership. LauraLynn’s rich background as a Co-Active coach and leadership facilitator spans nearly twenty-five years. She is a maven who encompasses both introspective and highly interactive delivery styles.

At the core of LauraLynn’s work is a commitment to the value of dignity, a principle that guided her to her doctoral research exploring how humanization occurs. Recognizing her foresight and contribution to the field, she received the prestigious Academy of Management’s 2023 Promising Dissertation Award. She is also a Fetzer scholar and a fellow of the International Humanistic Management Association.

LauraLynn’s impact extends beyond academia, as she has developed comprehensive curriculums designed to nurture our inherent capacity for connection on both individual and collective levels. Her transformative offerings have found application in diverse settings from DC to Hawai’i. Notably, she has curated multi-year, immersive retreat-based experiences and seamlessly blends in-person and online hybrid formats. She has facilitated and provided programming in leadership, well-being, and humanizing engagement within various organizations, from the US military to hospitals to non-profit settings.

An advocate for personal sustainability and community building, LauraLynn integrates authentically embodied leadership models that address intra- and interpersonal dimensions of awareness. Her passion lies in exploring the profound connection between intentional action, self-awareness, and societal well-being. Her Eastern and Western-based approaches bring a refreshing perspective to settings where she is engaged.

LauraLynn is not merely an innovator in theory; she lives what she champions, aspiring towards a future marked by self-consciousness and heightened vibrancy rooted in awareness. Her vision revolves around honoring the individual and collective spirit, ushering in a new era of interconnectedness and human flourishing.


LauraLynn’s doctoral degree in Leadership and Change focused on how individuals experience being humanized. Her master’s degree is in Integrative Health Education, providing a unique perspective in addressing issues of whole-person well-being from Eastern and Western-based approaches. She has acquired a multitude of certifications focused on integrating somatic and mindfulness programming since 1999.