Dominican's ILS director Dr. Denise Lucy to be inducted into Marin Women's Hall of Fame

Dr. Denise Lucy, founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership Studies at Dominican University of California, will be inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame

Denise Lucy Profile PictureDr. Lucy—along with Julie Abrams, Linda Davis, Barbara Lee, Dolly Nave and Youth Leadership Institute CEO  Maureen Sedonaen, who holds an MBA in Strategic Leadership from Dominican—will be inducted at Marin Women’s Hall of Fame ceremonies on Saturday, March 19, in San Rafael.

“We are extremely proud and elated that Dr. Lucy is being inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.  She is very deserving of this honor,” said Dominican President Joseph R. Fink. “In her 30 years as a University educator at Dominican and elsewhere, Dr. Lucy has demonstrated exceptional commitment to enhancing women’s leadership, diversity and community engagement programs. Dr. Lucy’s tireless efforts have significantly raised the profile of Dominican in the community.”

Dr. Lucy, who resides in San Rafael, joins three other Dominican educators—Sister M. Samuel Conlan (1995), Dr. Francoise Lepage (2007) and Sister Marion Irvine (2009)—who have been inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.

In 1993, Dr. Lucy was appointed by President Fink to be Associate Dean and Director of Dominican’s Pathway’s program. At that time, the fledgling degree completion program had been in place for two years and had an enrollment of only 92 students. Dr. Lucy’s expertise in designing innovative degree programs for adult learners led to the tremendous success of the Pathway’s program. By 1995, enrollment had nearly quadrupled and the program culture thrived as vibrant learning community.

President  Fink promoted Dr. Lucy to the position of Dean of the School of Liberal and Professional studies in 1995. Under her guidance, Dominican enjoyed tremendous growth in enrollment and academic programming, and international initiatives.  A new MBA in Strategic Leadership was developed along with master’s degrees in Management, Education, and Pubic Administration for the international executives. Dr. Lucy also secured external grants in support of diversity and learning, including a $750,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation focused on multiculturalism and the curriculum, and launching a science team of newly-minted Ph.D. faculty from diverse backgrounds; a $525,000 grant from the Fletcher Jones Foundation in support of E-Learning Technology; and $100,000 from Bank of the West to support international expansion of Dominican’s MBA program. 

Professor Lucy was promoted to Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1997.  As Chief Academic Officer she focused on improving the academic culture and support to and from faculty. During her tenure in that role she doubled the size of the full time faculty, developed a faculty development center, and a Diversity Initiatives Center to facilitate and support diversity across the curriculum and the campus . In her last year as Chief Academic Officer, Dominican was first ranked in top 30 universities in the West by US News and World Report. In addition Dr. Lucy has served higher education as both an Academic Liaison Officer and a review for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Since 1999, she has served on several WASC governance committees and conducted many WASC reviews at colleges and universities throughout the West. 

In her current positions as Executive Director of the Institute for Leadership Studies and Professor of Business and Organizational Studies, Dr. Lucy has brought widespread attention to the University, and has contributed to strengthening the business curriculum through the expansion of leadership education and training in the management curriculum.

In 2002, Dr. Lucy founded the Institute for Leadership Studies, a leadership development center at Dominican. The Institute was created to serve as a portal to and from the university. The Institute is focused on leadership education, training, research and public forums to support organizations and individuals to help people become better leaders.  The Institute’s partnership with academic department chairs has expanded and highlighted leadership education offered throughout the university, leading to a new undergraduate minor in Leadership Studies available to students of all majors.

The following year she founded the Leadership Lecture Series, which has since hosted more than 70 lectures and workshops focusing on business leadership, and on community engagement to advance engaged citizenship to facilitate positive organizational and social change. In 2004, she partnered with Book Passage to expand the series. Thousands of Marin County and San Francisco Bay Area residents have attended ILS/Book Passage lectures featuring a range of leaders, including Al Gore, Madeleine Albright, Nancy Pelosi, Suze Orman and Bill Bradley.  Caroline Kennedy is scheduled to speak at Dominican’s Angelico Hall on April 13 as part of the ILS Spring Lecture Series.

Dr. Lucy led the effort to offer the LeaderShapeTM summer program at Dominican. LeaderShapeTM is an interactive, energizing, and unique experience that builds leadership skills in undergraduate students from universities from throughout the Bay Area.  At the graduate level, the Institute involves MBA in Strategic Leadership students in the Dominican Leadership Learning Laboratory. In this program, executive MBA students are assigned to Bay Area executives to provide an analysis of their 360-degree assessment of their Leadership Impact. It offers students the opportunity to practice consulting skills while increasing their understanding of the multiple dimensions and leadership strategies to establish constructive organizational cultures.

The Institute now also offers leadership training for professionals. The U.S. Marine Corps selected Dominican’s Leadership Certificate: The Making of Leaders TM as its training choice for civilian managers at their Palm Springs base.  She developed key partnerships with the North Bay Leadership Council and Vistage International to develop the Business Edge Breakfast Briefings and the CEO Entrepreneurship Series, which offer Bay Area leaders with informative seminars on topics important to business leaders.

Dr. Lucy’s service as board member and past chair of 10,000 Degrees, formerly known as Marin Education Fund, has advocated that everyone should have a chance at college, seeking equal educational opportunity and support students-in-need to successfully access, pursue and complete higher education.

“Dr. Lucy has served as an inspirational mentor to students of all ages. She has demonstrated vision and the ability to lead, partner with others, and provide unique educational and community engagement programs for that better the lives of students and members of the community,” President Fink said. “Dr. Lucy has devoted her life to excellence and her skills to helping others demonstrate excellence in a wide range of endeavors.”