The Leadership Evolution

Marianne Lorensen, Visiting Leadership Program Coordinator
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This interactive session will allow participants to understand the ways that our ideas about leadership have changed over time. Interest in leaders and leadership has been around for a long time. Academic research into what leadership actually is has been ongoing for more than a century. While many aspects and perspectives on the topic have been uncovered, it has also become clear that leadership is still somewhat of an enigma that we must continue to learn about and strive to understand. Leadership occurs in many different ways across many different contexts. It is valuable in a variety of ways to a variety of people. The leadership challenges we face today are similar to and different from leadership challenges of the past—and we have yet to uncover how they will relate to leadership challenges of the future. Discussion and self-assessment in this session will focus on how the way we think about and practice leadership has evolved in the last century, ways in which it might continue to evolve in the future, and our personal contributions to the leadership process.

About the Presenter . . . .

Marianne Lorensen has been the Visiting Leadership Program Coordinator in the University’s College of ACES since June, 2005. Among her responsibilities at the University of Illinois, she teaches the course, Introduction to Leadership Studies. She also serves as a coach for the Leadership Certificate program sponsored by the Illinois Leadership Center and has helped to facilitate some of the center’s programs.

She joined the U of I after working in student affairs at the Pennsylvania State University where she also earned her M.Ed. in Youth and Family Education. Prior to working at Penn State, Marianne worked in student affairs at the University of Kentucky, where she earned her B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences Education. Her career has focused on working with college students in various areas of leadership education and development. Marianne created a training curriculum (currently being used by PA 4-H) to assist adults who work with youth in leadership development. She is a member of professional associations such as the Association of Leadership Educators, the American College Personnel Association, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and the leadership honorary Omicron Delta Kappa.


Laboratory for Community and Economic Development | College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois Extension | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign