Commencement Livestream

Watch the 140th Commencement ceremony live. Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m.


Watch Live

About Us

About Us

The Serenbetz Institute for Women’s Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Global Awareness works to advance an understanding of leadership characterized by trust, empathy, and integrity. Recognizing leadership as a skill that can be learned and practiced, the Institute provides opportunities within and beyond the classroom, allowing individuals to develop their leadership skills through hands-on practice. The Institute serves as a catalyst for emerging leaders by empowering them to confidently impact their communities and careers.

The Serenbetz Institute issues grant awards to Cottey College students and faculty to enhance learning through summer leadership internships, undergraduate research grants, leadership immersions, and other leadership programming.

To see a timeline detailing the history of Cottey’s leadership program, tap here.

Read more about the work of the Serenbetz grant recipients below.

Faculty and Staff

Black and white photo of smiling woman with curly hair, Cottey College

Denise Carrick Hedges, Director of Leadership Development

417-667-8181, ext. 2116

Denise serves as the director of leadership development at the Serenbetz Institute for Women’s Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Global Awareness. In this role, Denise coordinates leadership initiatives through the Serenbetz Institute. Her bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication is from Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana. Denise earned her Master in Strategic Leadership in Business at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.


Smiling organizational leadership professor in business suite, Cottey College

Carol Clyde Gallagher, Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership

(417) 667-8181, ext. 2117

Dr. Clyde Gallagher is passionate about passion for leadership studies and community engagement. She has Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Clyde Gallagher is a lead facilitator for Kiwanis International’s Key Leader High School Leadership Weekend program. She is also active in the community as a member of the Nevada City Council, Nevada Police Volunteers in Police Service, Vernon County Community Emergency Response Team, and a board member for Families in Crisis of Vernon County, supporting local domestic violence and sexual assault programs.


Smiling woman with red hair and glasses, Cottey College

Jill Compton, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
147 RBAC
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2244

Dr. Compton provides administrative direction for the Serenbetz Institute, including overseeing the undergraduate research, leadership immersion, and summer leadership internship grant programs She earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and liberal studies from Maryville University of St. Louis and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She joined Cottey in August of 2017 after serving as Associate Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of College Assessment at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri, and as Senior Fellow for Undergraduate Education, Transfer, and Student Success at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.