Lauren Buchanan Leadership Studies ePortfolio

Welcome to my Leadership Studies ePortfolio

All about my journey through the Leadership Studies Minor at the University of Colorado Boulder

Sko Buffs!

Table of Contents

As you scroll, you will be taken in sequential order through my journey in the Leadership Studies Minor:

  • Bio
  • Current Resume
  • Leadership 1000 Course
  • Leadership Foundation Course Elective: Social Psychology
  • Leadership Application Course Elective: Persuasion in Society
  • Leadership in Context Course Elective: History of Psychology
  • Leadership 4000 Capstone Course
  • Co-curricular Leadership Experiences


My name is Lauren Buchanan and I am a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder). I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Leadership Studies. I was awarded Summa Cum Laude latin honors for my honors thesis, titled Mindfulness as a Buffer of the Associations between Stress, Neuroticism, and Relationship Satisfaction in Partnered College Students under the advisement of Mark Whisman, PhD . Throughout my career as a student, I have had various opportunities to learn about new ways to develop my leadership skills. My leadership journey began in high school when I became a part of the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) program. Since I joining HOBY, I have continued my leadership studies in college through the Leadership Studies Minor at CU Boulder. Through this program, I have taken a variety of courses that have helped me to explore, understand, and practice transformative and critical leadership perspectives, as well as how to be an adaptable, holistic leader. My leadership philosophy is aligned with those of the critical and eco-leadership discourses that exist in the literature, which place value on inclusivity in leadership practice, maintaining close relationships, collaboration and networking, and promoting diversity of thought. I also strongly believe in using the best available evidence to support my leadership practice in order to be the most effective, ethical, and impactful leader I can be.

My Current Resume

Please email me if you would like access to any more contact information or if you have any questions regarding my resume

Becoming a Leader (LEAD 1000)

Class Learning Objectives:

  • Raise self-awareness and recognize your individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand multiple theories and apply them to enhance leadership effectiveness.
  • Appreciate the importance of moral courage and ethical leadership.
  • Sharpen your ability to think strategically about leadership challenges.
  • Build analytic and critical thinking skills to support decision making.
  • Adapt your leadership practices to differences among individuals, cultures, and situations.
  • Enhance your ability to speak and write clearly and concisely.

Leadership 1000: Becoming a Leader is the first required class for the Leadership Studies Minor. This course helps to:

  • Raise self-awareness about your individual strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
  • Demonstrate where you gained greater self-awareness about your strengths, weaknesses, and style.
  • Understand multiple leadership theories and apply them to enhance leadership effectiveness.
  • Recognize the value of diversity and inclusiveness in leadership.
  • Explore different expressions of leadership in a variety of contexts.
  • Appreciate the importance of moral courage and ethical leadership.
  • Sharpen your ability to think strategically about leadership challenges.
  • Connect course readings, lectures and/or discussions with real-life situations and examples.
  • Build analytic and critical thinking skills to support decision making.
  • Provide reflection and document knowledge gained, especially "a-ha" moments.
  • Adapt your leadership practices to different individuals, cultures, and situations.
  • Enhance your ability to speak and write clearly, concisely and convincingly.
  • Prepare you for the next steps in developing as a leader.

Artifact & Reflection

Included below are original pieces of coursework that I produced during my time in LEAD 1000

Leadership Autobiography

Artifact from LEAD 1000

Post-Course Reflection

Lead 1000 has taught me a lot about my own philosophy surrounding leadership. After completing the course, my current definition of leadership stems much further than just the management of other people. Leadership is about being aware of your own actions and of the needs of your followers. It is important to think not only about the end goal, but also how your actions and decisions effect your followers and the rest of the world. It is important as a leader to have the courage to do what is right, and lead others down the same ethical path. Leadership is not about control; it is about working with others to enhance their own leadership skills and living a generative lifestyle. This semester, I looked at various readings that broadened my perspective of what it takes to be a great leader. It was within these readings that I saw how I could improve my own set of leadership skills in being less of a micro-manager and more of a guidance counselor for my followers. I also learned the importance of the balanced relationship between followers and leaders. You cannot be a leader at all without followers, which makes them just as important to the concept of leadership as being a good leader or having power. In the future, I see myself using the skills I have learned in this class to be a more ethical, others-focused leader. The material from this class has showed me that I can put these leadership skills into place in any situation, not just one where I have power. Being an effective leader is also being an effective follower, and I see myself holding both roles in my future endeavors.

Leadership Foundations Elective: Social Psychology (PSYC 2606)

Learning Objectives:

"Leadership foundations recognizes that effective leadership, and followership, requires positive self-awareness, positive self-discipline, positive self-esteem, and a deep sense of integrity and moral reasoning."

  • Evaluate multiple ethical and moral reasoning theoretical perspectives.
  • Construct an intrapersonal dialogue evaluating one's intellectual, social, and emotional strengths and weaknesses.
  • Hypothesize one's likely response to challenging moral and ethical dilemma.
  • Evaluate and choose appropriate self-regulatory behaviors that enhance and improve one's life

Social Psychology

The social psychology course encouraged the understanding of key psychological concepts and how these concepts are used to analyze the social significance of groups and their behavior. Throughout this course, I explored a broad spectrum of social thinking and behavior which helped me gain a better understanding of myself and other people. I selected this course with the intention of using this new understanding to strengthen my leadership and group-work skills, and also to assist me in my future career in the field of psychology.

Artifact & Reflection

Included below are original pieces of coursework that I produced during my time in PSYC 2606

Post-Course Reflection

The Social Psychology course was not only a beneficial one to take for my psychology major, but also for my leadership studies minor. This course helped my leadership development in ethical and moral reasoning through learning about the origins of social interactions and the effects they have on individuals. Social Psychology teaches a lot about how groups of people will potentially react to situations, including challenging moral and ethical dilemmas. This course helped me understand that many people fall victim to concepts like 'Groupthink,' and that the hard decisions that require good leaders to stand out may not be intuitive to most people. Leadership involves making the hard decisions and speaking out when you see something wrong, rather than contributing to social psychological group phenomenon like 'the Bystander Effect.' I have found that my leadership strength lies in resisting Groupthink and anchoring my leadership practice to my equitable ethical and moral values. As a leader having taken this course, I now see different ways that I could lead and influence people to make the most ethical decisions in high-pressure situations. This course also helped me to better understand people's behaviors overall, and this understanding has helped me immensely in my ability to work in teams and with others.

Course Agenda

Artifact from PSYC 2606

Leadership Application Elective: Persuasion in Society (COMM 3320)

Learning Objectives:

"Leadership application is the knowledge of how to persuade, guide, build, and develop teams of diverse individuals and to direct those individuals as a team in the accomplishment of shared goals:"

  • Critically examine one's strengths and weaknesses in motivating others to accomplish a defined goal.
  • Contrast differing leadership approaches and theoretical perspectives in directing others.
  • Design diverse teams to maximize team performance.
  • Construct mechanisms to evaluate the performance of others in a work group and to use that assessment in order to positively influence others' behavior.

Persuasion in Society

Persuasion is a symbolic act designed to influence others’ perspectives, opinions, and actions. This class was structured to explore the degree to which persuasion dominates our lives and its role in every day decision making. I chose to take this course with the intention of examining the relationship between persuasion and critical thought in tandem with leadership. Upon taking this course, I realized that understanding persuasive strategies can help me to examine complex leadership issues in the future.

Artifact & Reflection

Included below are original pieces of coursework that I produced during my time in COMM 3320

Post-Course Reflection

Persuasion in Society was unlike any course I have taken. It exposed me to various shocking truths about advertising and business in the U.S., and it showed me many examples of how leadership today still tends to tell the story most often told in leadership, which often mirrors the "Great Man" theory of leadership. Many big businesses that influence the advertisement industry in the United States use this outdated and hierarchical leadership theory today. Through the critical examination of how persuasion influences our society, I have been able to more specifically refine the leadership qualities and theories that I identify with and better morph them into the kind of leader I want to be. Unlike the Great Man theory, I would like to encompass qualities of an eco-leader, which promotes open systems thinking rather than hierarchy, and holism in the leadership practice. This class also helped me to practice critically examining my strengths and weaknesses in business and my ability to motivate others to accomplish a defined goal compared to persuasive powerhouses like advertisement companies.

Brand Strategy & Brand Analysis Projects

Artifact from COMM 3320
Artifact from COMM 3320

Leadership in Context Elective: History of Psychology (PSYC 3511)

Learning Objectives:

"Leadership in context is the study of historical and contemporary leaders across a wide swath of organizational contexts to better understand the individual characteristics and embedded contexts that enabled - and hindered - leadership success."

  • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of historical and contemporary figures in a leadership role.
  • Formulate alternative perspectives as to how historical events and circumstances would change had a given leader acted differently.
  • Hypothesize how various contextual factors influence and are influenced by leadership actions.
  • Evaluate organizational performance through the lens of multiple leadership perspectives.

History of Psychology

The History of Psychology course helped to introduce me to the various historical events and founders of psychology. This course aimed to emphasize how developments in other scientific and philosophical systems have influenced the growth of psychology over time, and encourage understanding of the major intellectual trends in both the traditional and more recent systems of psychology. I selected this course with the intention to critically evaluate historical figures through the lens of multiple leadership perspectives and evaluate the contextual factors that influenced the leadership of the time.

Artifact & Reflection

Included below are original pieces of coursework that I produced during my time in PSYC 3511

Post-Course Reflection

The History of Psychology course really helped me to understand the history and timeline behind psychological discovery and to learn about many historical leaders in the areas of philosophy, medicine, and psychology that existed throughout time. It was interesting to critically evaluate historical leaders in the scientific field and see how the dominant leadership styes they used back then have changed or evolved over time. Many of the leaders in the field of psychology I think there is a lot to be learned from history, so it was a great class to take to see the progression of leadership in a field that I am particularly interested in. Overall, this course helped me to expand my understanding of leadership and academic development across various science and health-related settings.

Discussion Post

Artifact from PSYC 3511

Leadership Capstone (LEAD 4000)

Learning Objectives:

  • Integrate leadership topics and experiences with academic theory.
  • Use advanced critical thinking skills to evidence knowledge, competencies and skills related to leadership theory and practice by examining contemporary leadership challenges.
  • Apply ethical principles, especially under circumstances of multiple acceptable but potentially competing values.
  • Justify decision-making processes that demonstrate the ability to synthesize prior knowledge to effect desirable, ethical outcomes.

Leadership Capstone Course

The final class in the leadership studies minor sequence is the LEAD 4000 Capstone Course. This course acts as a culminating educational experience for the entire minor and required us to integrate the leadership topics we learned with the experiences that we had during our time pursuing the leadership studies minor. This class also aimed to advance and expand our critical thinking skills by having us examine contemporary leadership challenges and "wicked problems." We were also taught skills to help us justify our decision-making processes and synthesize our prior knowledge to create the most desirable, ethical, and moral outcomes. This class also required us to shadow and work closely with a well-established leadership partner so that we can see leadership in action and further draw connections from our experiences to the available literature.

Reflection & Artifact

Included below are original pieces of coursework that I produced during my time in PSYC 3511

Post-Course Reflection

Taking the leadership capstone course was an amazing experience that gave me various new opportunities to experience and practice leadership while simultaneously pushing my boundaries and broadening my world view. Whether it was in class discussing the readings for the week debating wicked problems, or out shadowing the Human Resources department at CU, I was constantly being shown new and effective leadership skills that I could add to my personal repertoire. From my experience in the leadership minor, I have also made my own realizations about the leadership values I hold. My leadership values are anchored to humanity and rooted in the moral common good. I believe in the equal value of all people and the value of diversity; especially in regard to collaborative leadership. I have noticed that these values influence much of my leadership practice and my goals of how I want to use leadership in the future and in my career. The leadership capstone course has also helped me notice where my strengths lie. In a leadership role, I tend to excel in working in teams and facilitating group conversation. I also found that I was very effective in mediating conflicts and was able to keep the group on track towards the specific goal we were working towards. I am thankful that I had the opportunity to take this course because it helped me to identify and solidify my leadership skills and helped me identify the various parts of society (i.e., wicked problems that exist) that need a critical leadership perspective to help solve them.

Shadowing Observation Memo

Artifact from LEAD 4000

Shadowing Reflection

Artifact from LEAD 4000

Co-Curricular Leadership Experiences

Learning Assistant Experience

Learning Assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students who facilitate discussions and assist groups of students in various classroom settings that encourage active engagement. Learning Assistants also participate in weekly preparation sessions with professors and complete a pedagogy course.

This past semester, I was an LA for PSYC 4263: Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. Being an LA was a wonderful opportunity to get to help teach my peers about a subject that I am passionate about. Being an LA was a great opportunity for me to every day get outside of my comfort zone and meet new people while simultaneously practicing my pedagogy and group work skills. Having the position of Learning Assistant in the classroom was beneficial to my own leadership development because it has helped me draw connections between my real-life experiences and the leadership material I have studied throughout my time in the Leadership Studies Minor. Through this experience, I learned a lot about myself as a leader and educator, and got to identify where some of my strengths lie as a leader in the classroom. As an LA, I excelled in practicing adaptive leadership (since the tutoring role can be a bit unpredictable at times), and collaborative leadership from working with such a varied group of students. Every day I had a new opportunity to cross over my newfound pedagogy skills (acquired in EDUC 4610; ex: bridging knowledge, promoting a growth mindset, questioning, etc.) with the leadership concepts I was learning in LEAD 4000 at the time (ex: dynamic, adaptive, and collaborative leadership) to create an enriching experience for myself and the other students. Although always fun and interesting, this job was not always easy and it constantly pushed me out of my comfort zone. Before this job, I was nervous to be in a leadership position in the classroom due to the pressure that comes with the title, and I had fears that I would not be able to effectively translate the leadership literature into the classroom. However, I found throughout the course of this job that integrating the leadership literature with the pedagogy literature was easier and more effective than I could have imagined. I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity to try out my leadership skills in the classroom setting and learn how to integrate my leadership knowledge with evidence-based pedagogy.

Student Survey Results

Below is a slide exhibiting the results of a survey I administered to the students in the class

LA experience artifact

Honors Thesis Experience

The Arts and Sciences Honors Program gives undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences the opportunity to write and defend an honors thesis with a goal to graduate with Latin honors: cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

I completed my honors thesis exploring Mindfulness, relationships, neuroticism, and stressful life events under the advisement of Mark Whisman, PhD in the department of Psychology and Neuroscience. My thesis, titled Mindfulness as a Buffer of the Associations between Stress, Neuroticism, and Relationship Satisfaction in Partnered College Students, took me eight months to complete. After defending my thesis, I was awarded the Latin honors designation of Summa Cum Laude, which is the highest level of honors one can receive. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to design and conduct my own experiment under such excellent advisement. Completing my thesis was one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever done. In terms of leadership, this experience taught me a lot about stepping from a safe to a brave space and remaining confident while attempting the biggest project I had ever undertaken. Throughout the thesis writing process, I was able to practice many of the concepts that I have learned about in the leadership literature. I was mainly able to practice dynamic leadership and followership in the interactions I had with my honors committee members and advisor. At some points during the process I would take on more of the leadership role, while during other times, my advisor would take the lead and I would become more of a follower. I also gained valuable collaborative leadership experience from this process. When writing such a long paper, it is important to reach out to people you trust and ask them to collaborate with you on your work. Whether it be proofreading or editing, every new set of eyes comes with new varying ideas on how to improve the piece. Through this collaborative experience, I learned that being a collaboration is one of my strengths as a leader. I found it very easy and enjoyable to work with others on my piece, and did not find it difficult to be dynamic in my role as a leader and follower in receiving their feedback.

Honors Thesis

Thesis experience artifact

The End

Thanks for reading!

Email me at lauren.buchanan@colorado.edu

This ePortfolio was made possible thanks to: Dr. Alphonse Keasley, Serene Singh, my dad Brad Buchanan, and photographer Connor Demott

All photos captured by Connor Demott

Created By
Lauren Buchanan


Connor Demott