Growing strong leaders and team champions in work, life and technology

Leadership Speaker Series

Series direct links:

2012 Leadership Legacy Lecture Series 2012:

2011 Leadership Legacy Lecture Series 2011:

2010 Leadership Legacy Lecture Series 2010:

Stephanie T. Sullivan, Ph.D. founded the Leadership Legacy Lecture Series in 2010 which has continued in 2011 and into 2012 while teaching a East Carolina University Department of Engineering course in Engineering Project Management.  This series welcomes several guest leadership faculty to speak to its students about topics pertinent to leadership in the workplace and in life.  This opportunity brings students the ability to learn from many experienced leaders, but each with unique perspectives.  Read more about the leadership faculty on their individual pages.


Kirk Bagnal, Director, Operational Excellence, Attends Healthcare Products, Greenville, NC responsibilities include continuous improvement and leadership development for the facility and has six years active duty experience in the U.S. Army.

Steve Ballard, PhD, is Chancellor of East Carolina University and leads ECU as The Leadership University.  In his State of the University Address, Chancellor Ballard identified both Leadership (#1) and Engineering (#3) as two of the five opportunities in defining ECU’s future.  He is an author many times over on the innovation process, energy and natural resources, and managing growth and change.

LTC (Ret) Eric Buller is currently the Executive Officer of the East Carolina University Army ROTC Battalion, Professor of Military Science, and is the head of ECU Club Boxing Program.  He led the Leadership Program at the U.S. Military Academy during his tenure there.

Colonel (ret) J. Worth Carter retired from the Air Force in 2003.  He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business from East Carolina University.  He is currently Program Manager for CSC Inc.

Rosina Chia, PhD, is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Global Academic Initiatives & Professor, Department of Psychology, East Carolina University and brings a global experience right to campus for ECU students.  With project management and industry now encompassing international avenues, communicating with diverse populations is key to a successful career.

Colonel (Ret) Robert A. “Bob” Chin holds a BA from the University of Northern Colorado;  MAE, Ball State University; and PhD, University of Maryland. He is a faculty member in the Department of Technology Systems and has been affiliated with ECU since 1986. His military service includes over 30 years experience on active duty and with the Air National Guard as a traditional guardsman.

William T. Cooper, Jr., current Manager of the BioNetwork Bioprocessing Center and former General Manager of the world’s largest phosphate mine and chemical processing site owned by PCS Phosphate located in Aurora, NC.  He holds both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering.

Scott Dorney is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) and served in the U.S. Army for over 22 years, retiring as LTC (promotable).

Steve Duncan, PhD is Professor, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Operations, Plans & Programs and Director of Military Programs at East Carolina University.  He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Arizona and 30 years experience in Training for the U. S. Department of Defense.

Cathy Hall, PhD is Professor, Department of Psychology, East Carolina University.  She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia.  Her research interests include metacognition and how this impacts student success in college.  She is currently working on a longitudinal study with faculty in the engineering program on attracting and retaining talented students.  She has also just completed an NSF grant (2007-2009) as a Co-PI with faculty in the engineering program aimed at high school students and the STEM fields, Biomechanics and Robotics Explorations for Information Technology Literacy and Skills in Rural Schools.

Paul Kauffmann, PhD, PE is Founding Chair of the Department of Engineering.  He holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Penn State University and has over 21 years of industry experience in addition to his 18 years in academia.

Lieutenant Colonel Peter Kilner, Ph.D. is a Professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and serves as Director of the Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning. Lieutenant Colonel Kilner’s interests and expertise are interdisciplinary, including military ethics, the design and facilitation of online learning communities, and peer-to-peer (P2P) leader development. The model of P2P leader development created by his team was recognized as a “Top 20 Business Idea” in 2006 by Harvard Business Review, and the model informs their continued design and leadership of online and face-to-face leader development systems.

Bedie Kohake is chemical engineer by training and currently employed by DSM Dyneema.  This event will be organized in conjunction with the Society of Women Engineers ECU chapter.

Leonard Kulik is Senior Vice President of North Carolina’s Eastern Region Economic Development Commission.  He is second in command and charged with managing key NCER relationships and partnerships, and overseeing strategic initiatives.

Major General (ret) John Maluda holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering, Math and Physics and a Masters degree in Systems Management.  His last position before 2009 retirement from the U.S. Air Force was Director, Cyberspace Transformation and Strategy, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.  He was responsible for establishing cyberspace as a domain in and through which Air Force flies and fights, to deliver sovereign options for defense of the United States and its global interests. Additionally, he shaped doctrine, strategy, and policy for communications and information activities and serves as the functional advocate for 30,000 personnel.

Tom Morehouse, MBA is Chief Financial Officer of WHRO in Norfolk, Virginia.   He’s a longtime WHRO volunteer and supporter who came to the station in August 2010 after a career that included serving as Executive Director of Virginia College Access Network in Hampton; Senior Vice President of Nelnet, Associate Vice President for Financial Services for Thomas Nelson Community College and a Finance Corps officer in the U.S Army, including service in the first Gulf War. Tom holds a BA in Economics from Virginia Military Institute and a Masters in Business Administration from Syracuse University. He is a 2000 graduate of the Leadership Institute of the Virginia Peninsula.

George W. Pearsall, ScD, PE is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and before he retired in 2001 he also was Professor of Public Policy Studies, at Duke University.  He earned a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering (B.Met.E.) degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.)­ and then joined the Dow Chemical Company as a research engineer. He later received a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree from the Massachu­setts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and was on the   M.I.T. faculty for four years before coming to Duke in 1964.  He served twice as Dean of Duke’s School of Engineering.

Brent Reed, P.E. is a professionally licensed engineer with expertise and experience in a variety of areas, particularly electrical engineering and electrophysics.  He continues to serve as consultant in the industry, including considerable medical related consulting experience.  He holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Drexel University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton.

David M. Stepp, PhD is Chief of the Materials Science Division of the U.S. Army Research Office and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University.  He has worked on many Army materials science applications including the DEKA arm.

William Swart, PhD is professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at East Carolina University. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research and a M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with Honors from Clemson University. Dr. Swart’s experience is diversified between industry and academia. In academia, he served as Provost at East Carolina University, Dean of Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology and Old Dominion University, Associate Dean of Business and Economics at California State University, Chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at the University of Central Florida. In industry, he held a number of positions at Burger King Corporation Including Corporate Vice President of Operations Systems and Corporate Vice President of Management Information Systems. Professor Swart has been professionally active in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and is fluent in four languages. He has over 100 publications and has been Principal Investigator for grants and contracts in excess of $10 million.

Brigadier General James H. Trogdon III holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the United States Army War College.   He currently serves as the Assistant Adjutant General for the U. S. Army, North Carolina National Guard, as well as the Chief Operating Officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation.  General Trogdon’s most recent assignments include mobilization in support of both Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Iraqi Freedom as Commander, 105th Engineer Group and Deputy Adjutant General, North Carolina National Guard. He is also is a registered professional engineer with more than 23 years experience in the field of transportation.

Leadership Legacy Lecture Series Founder:

Stephanie Sullivan, Ph.D.  taught in the East Carolina Department of Engineering beginning in 2006.  She has over 14 years of industry experience including as project engineer and other roles.  She holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from North Carolina State University in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.