Working for well over a decade as an adjunct faculty member under Jim’s leadership, I saw him respond to multiple organizational disruptions and challenges. In every case, he responded with integrity and a focus on providing value to students. Jim managed to keep a team of mostly adjunct faculty members connected and engaged. He is a an example of a committed and innovated servant leader. At one point, I approached Jim about collaborating to help adult students with their challenges in writing academically and professionally. Jim not only enthusiastically collaborated with me, he had the department absorb the cost on behalf the students.
Bonnie Budzowski, Principal, Gravitas Press
Dr. Jim Dittmar’s recent leadership presentation to our Western Pennsylvania Community College Leadership Institute (WPCCLI) participants was outstanding. Drawing from the principles of the L.E.A.D.E.R.S model in his exceptional book, The Leadership Carol, Dr. Dittmar presented a dynamic and highly thought-provoking seminar to the faculty, staff and administrators participating in our year-long program for Western Pennsylvania Community College Leaders.
The Institute’s curriculum is designed around the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) leadership principles and Dr. Dittmar’s presentation to our aspiring future college presidents and other senior leaders helped illustrate and integrate key concepts of these principles. Dr. Dittmar’s skillful facilitation of engaging discussion among our Institute participants added to the effectiveness of his presentation. I highly recommend Dr. Dittmar, who brings a wealth of knowledge, research and scholarship to professional development presentations around all topics pertaining to leadership and management.
Dr. Chris Reber, President, Hudson County Community College
Participation in Geneva College’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) Program was a real lifetime highlight for me. As the program’s founder, Dr. Dittmar’s passion for servant leadership created a comprehensive learning experience with “real-world” application. In short, participants were inspired to become more follower-focused. Plus, his book, “A Leadership Carol: A Classic Tale for Modern Leaders,” presents practical leadership lessons through a really lighthearted, fictional tale. You will be entertained and personally challenged!
Phil Isett, MSOL graduate
Dr. Dittmar provided a wealth of experience and personal mentoring and served as both a knowledgeable teacher and encouraging friend throughout the process.
Steve Mitchel, MSOL graduate
Dr. Dittmar was a mentor, a coach, a teacher and head cheerleader. He pushed us all to dig deeper and not settle for the easiest or obvious answers. We had no doubt that he cared about us as people as much as he was committed to our learning.
This is an age where learning is more and more fragmented, online and separated by time and distance. This MSOL cohort provided an intellectually and professionally challenging opportunity within a caring and supportive community.
Kimberly Roberson, MSOL graduate
Dr. Dittmar was always engaged, no matter the topic, and he enjoyed challenging our assumptions and giving us “food for thought” to ponder. Dr. Dittmar not only wanted to develop our leadership capacity, but also to unlock our creativity and hidden potential, which helped to enrich our experience. This engagement and the interactions with those in my cohort helped open my mind to understand other perspectives and often led to very dynamic conversations.
As a Production Supervisor, I am more confident, and a more effective communicator. The knowledge gained in the MSOL program and the mentoring Dr. Dittmar provided has been invaluable.
Keith Thompson, MSOL graduate
The recently published book, A Leadership Carol by Dr. James Dittmar and Dr. John Stanko (a professor in the MSOL Program) captures much of the MSOL curriculum. In their book, they describe the L.E.A.D.E.R.S Development Model. The letters in the acronym L.E.A.D.E.R.S. stand for Leadership, Ethics, Alignment, Decision Making, Engagement, Resilience, and Stewardship. This model serves as my guide to center me around what Leadership should be in a transactional leadership world where Leaders are seen as almighty bosses who dictate without question for fear of reprisal.
I now actively listen more than I talk as understanding other views helps me frame and communicate my message more effectively. The Meyers-Briggs personality assessment was a watershed moment for me as I had no idea people did not receive and process information like I do. Leadership is about doing and doing it in an ethical manner. When I engage with employees as followers and leaders through the eyes of emotional intelligence, they are intrinsically motivated to respond and open up their talents in way that I never imagined. For me personally, this is the way I want to lead.
Dr. James Dittmar was the heart and soul of the program giving is perspective, application, and genuine honesty about what it takes to Lead effectively in today’s competitive global market. Under Dr. Dittmar’s leadership, we experienced the cohort style of learning which in my view is the most effective. Having a classroom experience with the same group of students, with significant experience allowed us to share experiences as Dr. Dittmar lectured on new concepts. The interaction about what concepts meant and how they are to be applied professionally and personally really helped me dig deeper into what real Leadership is. Thank you Dr. Dittmar for that experience. As a bonus, I now have a new circle of friends who are resources in this Leadership journey.
Bill Holtz, MSOL graduate
The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program that Jim Dittmar founded and directed was absolutely transformative. It was not only eye-opening and life-changing for me personally, but the program also had a significant impact for me professionally as well, helping to expand the breadth of career opportunities and shape the organizations I subsequently participated in. I’m confident the original vision and mission could not have anticipated the reach of the program’s influence, as we’ve leveraged much of Dr. Dittmar’s work for our own organization’s professional development efforts.
Dave Fowler, MSOL graduate