Organizational Change Leadership Students

group of 6 students in gap and gowns in sangren lobby

Our students comprise a diverse group of individuals working in a variety of functional areas (e.g., human resources, information systems, marketing, production, distribution, organization development and administration), organization types (e.g., for-profit, not-for-profit, military and government), and industry sectors (e.g., computer, consulting, education, health care, construction, manufacturing, information and financial services).
Our student body comprises:

    • directors and managers responsible for internal change initiatives
    • consultants and coaches seeking to sharpen existing skills or develop new abilities
    • human resource professionals, performance management professionals, facilitators and trainers involved in helping human systems undergo organizational change
    • individuals who are transitioning to new roles and are interested in consulting either within their organization or to outside organizations.


Hear from our students

Our Students

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Trice Baston
Training specialist, Kalamazoo Valley College
Trice graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.B.A. in Marketing and Sales and a minor in Asian studies. Currently, he works as a training specialist at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. With his applied capstone project, Trice plans to investigate performance management processes in the world of education and build a prototype system for implementation at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

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Camille Brown
Financial aid counselor, Western Michigan University
Camille graduated from Spring Arbor University with a bachelor’s degree in family life education and has over ten years of experience in early childhood education. She became interested in WMU’s organizational change leadership program because she saw a connection between her knowledge of human growth in family contexts and its application to change and development in organizations. With her applied capstone project, she plans to focus on empowerment and how individuals, groups and organizations reach their full potential.

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Brian Campbell
Food and beverage technical specialist, Ecolab
Brian received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University, and today holds a technical specialist position at Ecolab, an American global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets. With his applied capstone project, Brian is investigating resistance to organizational change among members of the front line employees within the food and beverage customer programs he oversees.


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Poppy Hernandez
Assistant to the superintendent and coordinator of special projects, Muskegon Public Schools
Poppy graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in English. She has worked as a community organizer in west Michigan in non-profit, governmental and public school sectors. The focus of her work has been in education and advocacy with families and youth supporting them toward healthier behaviors. With her applied capstone project, she plans to explore ways that youth-serving organizations can more effectively integrate youth voice into their policies and practices in efforts to transition youth from passive receivers of services to change agents in their communities.  

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Charlie Kautz
Business transformation manager, adidas
Charlie received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Iowa. Today he works at adidas as a transformation manager. Recently, he rolled out a program called the adidas Group Innovation Academy (aGIA), an internal-facing massive open online course (MOOC) designed to upskill more than 3,000 employees on the principles of innovation to build organizational resilience and unlock collective capability across the organization. Charlie plans to investigate how “bureaucratic drag” stifles innovation and productivity, and how organizations can counter it. 

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Trey Mitchell

Organization development and learning specialist, Center for Learning Bronson Healthcare
Trey received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communication from WMU, in which he was recognized as a School of Communication scholar. Trey now works with the Bronson Healthcare Group where he specializes in leadership development, learning technologies, evaluation and analytics. With his applied capstone project, Trey is exploring the question: how do organizational level learning practices affect self-directed learning behaviors?

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Laurel Olsen
Sales and engineering administrator, AbsolutAire
Laurel received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Michigan State University and now works at AbsolutAire, an industrial heating and ventilation equipment manufacturer. She manages the sales and engineering administrative functions of the organization and has played key management roles in marketing, event planning and software development change initiatives. She is interested in the relationship between leadership and employee engagement and project success and plans to investigate these connections with her applied capstone project.

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Ayumi Shinoda
Full-time master’s student in organizational change leadership, Western Michigan University
Ayumi graduated from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo, Japan with a Bachelor of Commerce & Management degree with a concentration in international business. She has held positions in sales planning and promotions and internal sales at General Electric Corporation Japan. With her applied capstone project, she plans to investigate mergers and acquisitions and investigate the effects of cultural dispersion on employee behavior.