Meet the Team

Headshot of Donna Chrobot-Mason, PhD

Donna Chrobot-Mason, PhD

Thornburgh Academic Director, Warren Bennis Leadership Institute Co-Founder, Associate Professor of Psychology

Donna Chrobot-Mason is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences. Her research and consulting work has spanned two decades and centers on leadership for creating organizations that support diversity, equity, inclusion and intergroup collaboration. Chrobot-Mason has published over 40 articles and scholarly works in journals such as the Journal of Management, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, and Group and Organization Management. She has served on the editorial review board for the Journal of Management, Personnel Psychology and the Journal of Business and Psychology. Additionally, Donna co-wrote the book "Boundary Spanning Leadership: Six Practices for Solving Problems, Driving Innovation, and Transforming Organizations."

Chrobot-Mason’s dedication to service has remained steadfast throughout her career. She’s addressed numerous audiences with the Brookings Institute, FBI, EPA, IRS, Catholic Health Partners and the International Leadership Association. Chrobot-Mason has consulted with various organizations, including Fifth Third Bank, Briggs and Stratton, Dayton Public Schools, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Emory University, Milacron and Forest City Enterprises.

She serves as a member of the Inclusion & Reconciliation board for the Cincinnati Art Museum, as a founding board member of non-profit Lead Beyond and is the director for UC Women Lead, an executive leadership program for high-potential women at UC.

Chrobot-Mason holds a PhD and a master’s degree in Applied Psychology from the University of Georgia.

Headshot of Marianne W. Lewis, PhD

Marianne W. Lewis, PhD

Warren Bennis Leadership Institute Co-Founder, Lindner Dean and Professor of Management

Marianne Lewis has earned numerous teaching and research awards throughout her academic career. An international expert on organizational paradoxes, her research explores tensions and competing demands surrounding leadership and innovation. She applies her renowned paradox lens across such diverse contexts as strategy, product development, organizational change, governance and technology implementation. Lewis' work appears in such top journals as the Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science.

Lewis earned her PhD from the University of Kentucky.

Student Fellows

Student Fellows are undergraduate and graduate students employed part-time by the institute. Fellows are engaged in the development and delivery of student programs, contribute to the research agenda, and support the institute's executive education offerings.  

Headshot of Lizzy Geraghty, DAAP '23, '24

Lizzy Geraghty, DAAP '23, '24

Student Fellow

Headshot of Andrew Martin, Bus '24

Andrew Martin, Bus '24

Student Fellow

Headshot of Alex Mason, A&S '23, Bus '24

Alex Mason, A&S '23, Bus '24

Student Fellow

Headshot of Lara Taylor, Bus '24

Lara Taylor, Bus '24

Student Fellow

Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows fuel innovation in leadership development through their scholarship, student programming and community engagement. Supported by their home college, Fellows guide the institute through collaboration with institute leaders and staff, Academic Liaisons and Student Ambassadors.

Headshot of Eugene Rutz

Eugene Rutz

Assistant Dean, eLearning and Emerging Programs, College of Engineering and Applied Science

Eugene Rutz, MS, PE, serves as associate dean for graduate studies in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) where he works with all graduate programs to provide opportunities for students to achieve academic and career success. Rutz provides leadership for the college’s eLearning initiatives and for academic partnerships with international university partners. During his time at UC, Rutz has managed research projects, developed several new academic programs and created opportunities for students to travel abroad. Rutz continues to teach courses that provide professional skills to complement the technical training students receive from CEAS. His most recent course “Depolarizing Politics, Depolarizing Communities,” equips students to have productive dialog across the political divide.

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Headshot of Jane Sojka, PhD

Jane Sojka, PhD

Professor-Educator, Marketing Undergraduate Program Director, and Academic Director, Grau Center for Professional Selling

Jane Z. Sojka, PhD, earned her doctorate in marketing from Washington State University studying gender differences in salespeople. Named a Distinguished Teaching Professor of Marketing and Professional Selling to the Lindner College of Business, she was awarded a higher education innovation grant from Procter & Gamble, resulting in her ground-breaking Women in Sales class, which has educated over 1,200 women students. Winner of international teaching awards, Sojka’s innovative approach to closing the gender gap in confidence earned her the 2016 American Marketing Association Innovation in Teaching Award.

Founder of was is now the Grau Center for Professional Selling, which has been cited as a “Top Sales Center” by the Sales Education Foundation, Sojka developed the professional sales minor, which attracts students from all majors. Her research has been presented at international academic conferences and published in top marketing journals. Building upon her TEDx talk “Empowering Women Benefits Everyone,” Sojka is a frequent speaker and consultant to major corporations on women’s empowerment issues.

Bennis Advisors

Headshot of Kate Bennis

Kate Bennis

Warren Bennis Leadership Advisory Council Chair

The daughter of Warren Bennis, Kate Bennis is a professional actor and clinical social worker who draws from the skills and techniques of the theater, therapeutic training, and years of experience to give her clients everything they need to communicate as their fullest, most perfectly imperfect selves. Kate’s presentation and communication practice is grounded in mastering the skills that give the speaker freedom, agility, creativity, humor, ease, presence and the ability to connect with their audience. This work helps clients to bring their most authentic selves to everything from wedding toasts to TED Talks, from political debates to flirting!

A professional actor with over 30 years of experience in TV, film and stage, Kate has coached senior and mid-level leaders at American Express, AOL, Deloitte and Touche, Apex Clean Energy, the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Bank and the CIA; Harvard Business School Executive Education, Columbia University Executive Education, Darden Business School Executive Education, UVa’s McIntire School of Commerce, and University College London. As the Lead Coach for the Charlottesville TEDx, Kate has coached dozens of speakers and overseen the coaching for over 80 TED Talks. While with The Ariel Group, Kate delivered trainings around the world, developed training curricula, and served as Director of Outreach. A licensed clinical social worker, Kate has worked with children and adults in a private practice, as well as schools and prisons.

Headshot of Betsy Myers

Betsy Myers

Senior Advisor

Betsy Myers is on a mission to improve leadership by developing leaders and teams who infuse passion and purpose into their organizations by leading from both the head and the heart.

With over three decades as a thought leader, author, speaker and consultant, Betsy is a renowned expert on emerging leadership trends and women’s leadership. Her extensive experience includes working with corporate, government, nonprofit and higher education leaders. She is the author of “Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You.”

Betsy also serves on the Council on Advancing Women in Business for the Export-Import Bank of the United States. 

A senior adviser to two U.S. presidents, Betsy served as President Clinton’s Advisor on Women’s Issues, was the first Director of the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach. She was Chief Operating Officer of President Obama’s 2008 National Presidential Campaign. 

Academic Liaisons Group

Warren Bennis Academic Liaisons group is comprised of over 30 faculty and staff from across UC who are dedicated to leadership development.

  • Donna Chrobot-Mason, College of Arts & Sciences, Psychology
  • Marjorie Aaron, College of Law
  • Chad Allen, UC Athletics
  • Brittany Arthur, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Jessica Ashcraft, Division of Student Affairs
  • Flavia Bastos, College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning
  • Ann Black, College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning
  • Aaron Bradley, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Joanna Campbell, Lindner College of Business, Management
  • Megan Church-Nally, College of Arts & Sciences, Psychology
  • Andrew Cullison, Division of Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact, Cincinnati Ethics Center
  • Scott Dust, Lindner College of Business, Management
  • Kelli Fickle, UC Clermont
  • Kristin Ford, Division of Student Affairs
  • Paul Harper, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Stephanie Kollmann Baker, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Andrew Lewis, College of Arts & Sciences, Portman Center for Policy Solutions
  • Krista Maddox, College of Nursing
  • Miles McDowell, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Paola Ondina, ROTC-Aerospace Studies
  • Rachel Otte, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • April Poteet, Academic Affairs Curricular Operations
  • Nancy Rogers, College of Arts & Sciences, Psychology
  • Lorna Rose, UC Athletics
  • Michael Sharp, College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies
  • Jenelle Sobotka, College of Pharmacy
  • Jane Sojka, Lindner College of Business, Marketing
  • Christine Szydlowski, College of Law
  • Alecia Trammer, Division of Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact
  • Jon Weller, Enrollment Management, International Admissions

Friends, Family and Founders

The Warren Bennis Friends, Family and Founders group consists of a dedicated group of former students, faculty, friends, colleagues and family members of Warren Bennis who have played a key role in creating the institute and continue to offer unwavering support. 

  • Friends: Richard (Dick) Thornburgh, Sue Simmons, Gary Simmons, Betsy Myers, Jay Chatterjee, Gail Fairhurst, Bruce Hopple, Tom Humes, Bill Mulvihill, Charles Matthews, Neal Novak, Joan Lindhardt, Myron E. Ullman III, David S. Williams
  • Family: Kate Bennis, Will Bennis, John Bennis 
  • Founders: Jack Fitzgerald, Donna Chrobot-Mason, Marianne Lewis, Alex Mason, Matthew Toigo, Lou Langen, Nick Albers, Andrew Martin, Lara Taylor, Lizzy Geraghty

Leadership Council

The Warren Bennis Leadership Council strives to raise the vision, visibility and impact of the institute. These esteemed colleagues, scholars and alumni are dedicated to enhancing future leaders and leveraging the legacy of Warren Bennis.

  • Kate Bennis, Chair 
  • Betsy Myers 
  • Doug Conant
  • Raj Sisodia
  • Cynthia Cherrey
  • Pat Zigarmi
  • Bob Castellini
  • Joan Goldsmith 
  • Ken Cloke 
  • Tom Peters 
  • Dick Thornburgh 
  • Bill George 
  • Joline Godfrey
  • Ken Blanchard

Advisory Board

The Warren Bennis Leadership Institute Advisory Board is comprised of esteemed UC colleagues who seek to advise the institute leadership team by providing input on strategy, annual goals and overall performance in ways that showcase and align with Next Lives Here, the strategic vision of the University of Cincinnati.

Lindner College of Business 

  • Jane Sojka (Marketing)
  • Joanna Campbell (Management)

College of Arts & Sciences 

  • Stacie Furst-Holloway (Psychology)
  • Andy Lewis (School of Public and International Affairs)

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

  • Eugene Rutz

College of Law

  • Christine Szydlowski

College of Cooperative Education and Professional Studies

  • Michael Sharp

Student Affairs

  • Kristin Ford

Rotating positions with one representative from two additional colleges 

  • Lorna Rose (UC Athletics)
  • Krista Maddox (College of Nursing)

Contact Us

Warren Bennis Leadership Institute 
1819 Innovation Hub
Suite 350D
2900 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206