Dan Gaken was named Central Michigan University’s Coordinator of Leadership Development in 2004 and assumed responsibility for the university’s student leadership development programs. Gaken became the head of the Leadership Institute in December 2009. An active member of the Mt. Pleasant Community, Dan is the President of the Mt. PleasantChapter of the CMU Alumni Association, a member of the Isabella County United Way’s Board of Trustees, and a member of the Games Committee for the Special Olympics Michigan state summer and winter games.A nationally recognized leadership speaker, Gaken is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators as well as the International Leadership Association. Dan is the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principal’s Level III leadership curriculum director. Dan also facilitates sessions of the LeaderShape Institute around the nation for college students. Dan's first book, Leadership & Service: An Introduction, which he co-authored with Senator George McGovern and Dr. Donald Simmons, was published by Kendall/Hunt in 2008. Dan has authored portions of Reflections on Civic Engagement (McFadden, 2009), and the University of Central Florida’s LEAD (2010) text.
Jesi Ekonen serves as the Associate Director of the Central Michigan University Leadership Institute. Jesi joined the Leadership Institute team in 2012 after completing her master’s degree in Student Affairs Leadership at Grand Valley State University. Jesi oversees the university’s unique Leader Advancement Scholarship program and has been instrumental in creating a unique electronic portfolio that allows students to showcase their learning. Within the division of Enrollment and Student Services Jesi leads a professional development initiative for graduate students to prepare the next generation of student affairs professionals. Jesi has been a supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for many years and in 2012 she was selected as a LIVESTRONG Leader. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, painting, volunteering, and caring for her cat, James Earl Jones and English Bulldog, Betty White.
SAVE THE DATE
- Friday, October 20 & 21, 2016 - Eagle Village
- Friday, November 18, 2016 - Leadership
- Friday, December 9, 2016 - Economic Day
- Friday, January 20, 2017 - Quality of Life (Culture/ Health)
- Friday, February 17, 2017 - Education
- Friday, March 17, 2017 - Government Day
- Friday, April 21, 2017 -Isabella County Resources
- Friday, May 19, 2017 - Leadership/Graduation Day