At the annual conference, ALE presented Jenkins with the 2014 ALE Rising Star Award. According to his nominator, his most endearing quality is his passion. “He exudes a contagious spirit, which motivates his colleagues and me.” The award highlights an ALE member who has made a significant contribution in leadership and service within ALE and in the community.
Dr. Jenkins is an active member of ALE since he joined in 2011. He serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors and served as Conference Chair last year.
“What I love about ALE is how inclusive it is, it’s what sets it apart from larger organizations,” said Jenkins. “Some of my closest friends and colleagues I met through ALE.” He also serves as Project Lead for the Leadership Education Academy.
The road to success hasn’t always been apparent. After receiving his B.A. from Florida State in Communications (’02), he pursued a Law degree from Nova Southeastern University. It wasn’t long before Jenkins realized it wasn’t the path for him.
“Can I give a shout out? When I left law school I called Mark Ziegler and he gave me unconditional support and great advice,” laughed Jenkins.
Steered by his mentor, the Tampa native returned to his hometown and received his M.A. in Political Science & Public Policy and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of South Florida.
“I’m very proud of Dan. He was an excellent student, always thought law school was the right path, but when he found it wasn’t, he took a risk. It took great courage to pursue an uncharted path (at least for him). He is now thriving as an educator, an expert on leadership studies,” said Dr. Mark Ziegler.
He recalls his time at Florida State as the most influential time of his life. “I was apart of the first leadership course FSU offered,” he said. “I’m not sure if it was the diversity of the student body or my involvement in student government, but my four years in Tallahassee were instrumental to the career path I chose.”
Currently an Assistant Professor of Leadership & Organizational Studies at University of Southern Maine, he teaches courses similar to the one that stirred his passion for Leadership.