Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Thesis Director

Dianne Timm

Thesis Committee Member

Tanya M. Willard

Thesis Committee Member

Ceci Brinker


Using qualitative methodology. the researcher examined motivations, social support networks, and challenges college women face in student leadership positions. Four semi-structured interviews were conducted at a midsized university in the Midwest with college women in various positions of organizational leadership. The researcher identified motivational factors for women to apply for leadership positions as well as described the social support network that exists for college women in positions of leadership. Challenges college women face in achieving higher leadership positions were also identified. Lastly, recommendations were made for student affairs professionals and women in leadership based on the research findings.