LaDonna A. McCullough is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary PhD program with a primary discipline in Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations and a co-discipline in Social Science Consortium. In addition to her doctoral studies, LaDonna is completing her final semester of coursework in the Leadership in Disability Studies Graduate Certificate. LaDonna’s past and current experiences involve advocating on behalf of various diversity issues that impact college/university settings and non-profit healthcare organizations. Her research interests center on 1) the leader-follower relationships experienced by non-supervisory/non-teaching support staff of color at institutions of higher education and 2) bridging the divide in programmatic as well as resource initiatives amongst diversity and disability offices in these environments (and how such voids impact the experiences of faculty, staff and students). LaDonna is beyond excited about the opportunity of being awarded the Diversity and Disability Fellowship with the UMKC Institute for Human Development (IHD) and looks forward to being able to continue building her knowledge and understanding within the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
When she is not researching and/or developing materials for projects, trainings and presentations, or getting homework completed, you can find LaDonna putting her directing and editing skills to use on various small film projects with her media partner. She is also heavily involved in the Kansas City Cultural Competency Initiative, a collective of non-profit health and education agency representatives engaged in creating a sustainable community process to provide culturally appropriate care and reduce disparities in services. While she views herself as a lifelong learner, LaDonna hopes to obtain a law degree as her final advanced degree goal at a college or university out-of-state after completing the IPhD program. Her dream job is to one day utilize all of her educational skills to create dynamic training tools and serve as an influential higher education consultant on issues of diversity and disability.
LaDonna received both a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies with dual emphases in film & media production and journalism, and a master of arts in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.