Gina Matkin

Gina Matkin


Dr. Matkin is the ALEC Undergraduate Leadership Program Coordinator. Additionally, she coordinates the Leadership & Communication Minor and is the course coordinator and lead undergraduate advisor for the undergraduate leadership program.

Dr. Matkin’s teaching goals are to:

  • Create open and inclusive learning environments that provide safe space for true learning and dialogue, ultimately resulting in a rich and engaged Learning Community.
  • Prepare students with a firm foundation of leadership concepts and skills to complement and enhance their personal and professional readiness in their specific areas of expertise.
  • Help students gain personal leadership skills, increased cultural competence, and developmental readiness for leadership roles in their organizations and communities.
  • Develop students’ critical thinking skills and provide environments and experiences that result in developmental progress and foster a curiosity about and engagement in learning.

Current and Past Courses Taught:

  • ALEC 102 – Interpersonal Skills for Leadership
  • ALEC 410 – Environmental Leadership
  • ALEC 466 – Leadership and Diversity
  • ALEC 801 – Theoretical Foundations of Leadership
  • ALEC 802 – Developing Leadership Capacity in Communities & Organizations
  • ALEC 814 – Classic Figures in Leadership (Social Movement and Social Justice Leaders)
  • ALEC 866 – Leadership & Diversity
  • ALEC 904 – Advanced Qualitative Methods in Leadership – Topical Seminar
  • ALEC 904 – Inclusive Leadership (with Dr. L.J. McElravy)


The overall purpose of Dr. Matkin's research is to develop culturally competent and inclusive leaders. Her focus, whether in teaching, research, or service, is to help create socially just and inclusive environments where we work and live.

Dr. Matkin has authored or co-authored 36 peer-reviewed publications (with three in progress/submitted) focused primarily on leadership and gender, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and critical thinking. Her work consists primarily of collaborations with outstanding graduate students and colleagues and is primarily conducted through a qualitative lens. Additionally, Dr. Matkin is the lead editor of an upcoming online educational resource (OER) textbook, Developing Human Potential: A Personal Approach to Leadership (2022, Pressbooks).


Gina S. Matkin is a Professor of Leadership Studies and the Undergraduate Leadership Program Coordinator. She teaches leadership and diversity-related courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Additionally, she advises and conducts research with students in the Master of Leadership Education and the Doctoral program in Human Sciences with a specialization in Leadership Studies. Her main focus is diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of her work.

Dr. Matkin is a proud first-generation college student from very rural southeast Missouri, where she grew up exploring the trees, hills, and rivers. She attended two different community colleges in Missouri because the "big university" was too scary, and then received a scholarship to Southeast Missouri State University, where she received a B.S. in Education with Biology and General Science endorsements. After teaching science for a few years, she made her way to the "big city" of Ames, Iowa, where she received a Masters Degree in combined areas of Women's Studies, Sociology, and Adult Education. It was there that she learned to love all things leadership and social justice, so she accepted a position as the first full-time Coordinator of the Women's Center in 1989. Subsequently, she accepted a position as the first Assistant Director for Training and Development for the UNL Nebraska Union and took advantage of UNLs tuition remission employee scholarship to earn a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with a Specialization in Leadership Studies. She was hired in 2005 in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication as a faculty member – a lifelong dream come true. She strives to support and nurture others to fulfill their own lifelong dreams.