Faculty

Megan Allison

Megan A. Allison is the Director of the Leadership and Innovation Institute and an Assistant Professor of Leadership. She also serves as the Director of Air University’s Quality Enhancement Plan. She graduated with a BS from the University of Virginia in Civil Engineering, an MBA from the University of Nebraska in Leadership, and an MS from the College of Naval Command & Staff in National Security & Strategic Studies. She teaches courses at ACSC, SNCOA, AFJAGS, OTS and more. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, emotional intelligence, generational diversity, ethical leadership, design thinking and wellness. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership & The Profession of Arms, Leadership in Command, Wellness: The Art & Science of Self-Care 


Jayson A. Altieri

Jayson A. Altieri is an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Director of Outreach at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. He graduated with BA from the Norwich University in Criminal Justice, an MA from Army War College in National Security Policy, an MA from the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies in Air and Space Studies, and an MA from Air Command and Staff in Military Arts and Sciences. He previously served as the Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG), Civil Air Patrol (CAP) from 2012 to 2018 and was responsible for advising the Secretary of the Air Force and providing strategic oversight of CAP’s 56,000 members, 560 aircraft, and $42-million budget. 

Research Interests/Expertise: Aerospace History, Aerospace Management, American Civil War History, Federal Emergency Management, National Security Strategy. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command, Strategic Leaders Foundation, National Security Strategy: War, Statecraft, and Military Instruments of Power. 


Mary Bartlett

Mary L. Bartlett, PhD, LPC-CS, NCC, CFLE is an Associate Professor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. She graduated with a BA from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in Communication, an MA from the University of Maryland in Counseling, and a PhD from Auburn University in Counselor Education. She serves as a Subject Matter Expert on resilience and suicide prevention advising DAF, MAJCOM, and NAF staffs and lectures across all Professional Military Education programs and organizational levels of the Air and Space Forces. Her teaching and research have been recognized for excellence at multiple institutions, including Civilian of the Year, Distinguished Professional Service, Outstanding Research, and Outstanding Individual Publication. 

Research Interests/Expertise: suicide pre/postvention, resiliency, emotional intelligence, personality. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command, Psychology and Leadership, Resiliency. 


Andrew Clayton

Andrew S. Clayton, EdD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute and serves as the Director of Immersive Learning and Simulations Research Task Force for Air University. He graduated with a BS from Purdue University in Aviation Administration, an MA from the University of Phoenix in Adult Education and Training, an MS from Air University in Military Operational Art and Science, and an EdD from Grand Canyon University in Organizational Leadership. He teaches courses at AWC, ACSC, AU Global Campus, and the Ira C. Eaker Center. He is also a Lt Col and Reservist in the United States Air Force. His research and teaching have been recognized for excellence, including best education paper at I/ITSEC and the General Muir S. Fairchild Educational Achievement Award for most significant contribution to Air Force education. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, emotional intelligence, resilience, immersive technology (VR, AR, MR, XR), and immersive technology learning theories. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course, Leadership and the Profession of Arms 1 & 2, International Security, Joint Campaigning, Immersive Learning/Simulations. 


Christy Cruz-Peeler

Lt Col Christy S. Cruz-Peeler, DSW is the Deputy Director of the Leadership and Innovation Institute. She is also an Instructor for the Leader Development Course. Lt Col Cruz-Peeler graduated with both a BS in Applied Psychology and an MA in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. She earned a Doctorate of Social Work in Clinical Practice & Leadership from the University of Tennessee. She teaches courses focused on the human domain that develop rising leaders in the Air and Space Forces. Her research focuses on suicide in the United States Air Force. Lt Col Cruz-Peeler has received accolades for individual and team awards at multiple levels. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, ethics, suicide, women’s Issues, military mental health, clinical oversight & supervision, domestic violence, child abuse, infertility counseling. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command. 


Steve Davis

Steven B. Davis, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute and Director of Faculty Development for the Leader Development Course. He completed his BA at Texas A&M University in Sociology, an MA from the Universität Bremen, Germany in Global History, and returned to Texas A&M to complete his PhD in History. He teaches a variety of courses on leadership and 20th century war and society at the Ira C. Eaker Center, AWC, and ACSC, and gives invited guest lectures and seminars around Air University and the Air Force. His recent research offers multiple frameworks for leadership teaching and learning methodologies, course design, and faculty development. His teaching, research, and service has earned over a dozen awards at Air University, including the Eaker Center’s Educator and Researcher of the Year.

Research Interests/Expertise: leader development, leadership coaching, self and organizational change, faculty development, collective memory and identity, war and society development, history. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leader Development Course for Squadron Command, Leadership Horizons: Accelerating Change for Self and Others, Dark Side of Leadership, Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany. 


James Dryjanski

James D. Dryjanski is an Assistant Professor of Leadership and the Director of Project Mercury, an Air University innovation education certificate program. He graduated with a BS in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, earned an MPA from Webster University, an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and completed a postgraduate Fellowship with the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He teaches at AWC, ACSC, and lectures at the Barnes Center for Enlisted Education and the Ira C. Eaker Center. A former center commander, staff college commandant, and wing commander, Jim and his spouse were recognized by AETC with the Gen and Mrs. O’Malley Award for Outstanding Wing Command Team. 

Research Interests/Expertise: strategy, global organizational leadership, command, diversity and inclusion, effective teams, innovation. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Foundations of Strategy, Leadership in Command, Design Thinking and Innovation, Global Context of International Security, Chief Master Sergeant’s Leadership Course. 


John Hinck

John M. Hinck, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Deputy Director-Education at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. He also serves as the Director of Leadership Coaching and the Director of Curriculum for LDC. He has a BA in Aviation Management from California State University, Fresno, an MS in Administration from Central Michigan University, an MMAS from the US Army Command & General Staff College, and a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of San Diego. He teaches electives and core courses at AWC and ACSC, and his publications include books and articles on leadership, coaching, communication, and teaching/learning. His teaching, research, and leadership have been recognized by receiving the SECAF Leadership Award, AU Civilian of the Year, and the Ira C. Eaker Center’s Research Excellence Award. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership, leader development, organizational leadership, leading groups/teams, organizational commitment, and leadership coaching. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leader Development Course for Squadron Command, Leadership Development, Leadership in Command, Accelerating Change for Self and Others, Dark Side of Leadership. 


Robert Hinck

Robert S. Hinck, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership and Director of Research at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. He also serves as Deputy Director of Air University’s Quality Enhancement Plan. He graduated with a BA in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, an MA in Communication Studies from Central Michigan University, and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Communication. He teaches courses at AWC, ACSC, and the Ira C. Eaker Center. He is lead author of two books, the most recent entitled “The Future of Global Competition: Ontological Security Narratives Chinese, Iranian, Russian, and Venezuelan Media.” His teaching and research have been recognized for excellence at multiple institutions; including the Eaker Center’s Educator of the Year. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, ethics, international communication, argumentation, strategic narratives, organizational rhetoric. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command, International Security 1, International Security 2, Propaganda, Strategic Narratives; Ethical Decision-Making Workshops. 


Brandi Jeffries

Brandie D. Jeffries is an Instructor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. She graduated with a BA from the University of Georgia in Sociology, an MA from Air Command and Staff College in Military Operational Art and Science, an MA from Chapman University in Human Resources Management and Services, and an MA from Grand Canyon University in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She is currently working towards her EDd in Organizational Leadership from Samford University. She teaches at the Ira C. Eaker Center and lectures at the Barnes Center for Enlisted Education. She has won multiple awards throughout her career, including Civilian of the Quarter from the Eaker Center.

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, innovation, design thinking. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command. 


Sara R. Kitsch

Sara R. Kitsch, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute and Co-Director of Faculty Development for the Leader Development Course for Squadron Command. She graduated with a BS from Central Michigan University in Psychology, an MA from Central Michigan University in Communication Studies, and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Communication. She teaches courses at AWC, ACSC, and the Ira C. Eaker Center. She is author of multiple academic articles with her research having won top paper awards at National Conventions. 

Research Interests/Expertise: empathy, women’s studies, rhetoric, public memory, and leader development. 

Selected Courses Taught: Leader Development Course for Squadron Command, Landscape of US Public Memory, Empathy,  Leadership & The Profession of Arms. 


Jason Womack

Jason W. Womack, EdD is an Assistant Professor of Leadership at the Leadership and Innovation Institute. He also serves as Director of LDC Alumni program. He graduated with a BA in US History and Spanish Literature and an MA in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an EdD from the University of Southern California in Organizational Change and Leadership. He teaches courses at AWC, ACSC, and the Ira C Eaker Center. He is the author of several books, the most recent entitled “Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck,” coauthored with his wife, Jodi. His teaching and research have been recognized for excellence; most recently being awarded the annual Ira. C. Eaker Center’s Teaching Excellence. 

Research Interests/Expertise: leadership development, reflective practice, innovation, storytelling, organizational change. 

Selected Courses Taught:  Leadership Development Course for Squadron Command