Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Kelly Yordy

Second Advisor

Kimberly Case

Third Advisor

Skip Trudeau


Women have increasingly occupied a greater percentage of the college student population in recent history. Given the importance of involvement and leadership development during the undergraduate years, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect that participating within a leadership role can have on a woman’s view of self-as-leader as well as her overarching leadership development. This study implemented a qualitative, phenomenological design through the use of individual interviews. The interview protocol was designed to be semi-structured which allowed the participants freedom in their ability to communicate about their leadership experiences. The data collected from these interviews revealed five major themes: the importance of voice, acknowledgement of unequal expectations, fear of judgements, confusion toward the validity of their perceptions, and hesitancy in regard to the role of female leadership and faith. The findings of this research serve as a foundation for designing programming that supports the specific needs and development of undergraduate women in leadership positions.