Faculty member learning leadership in the office and in the classroom

Faculty member learning leadership in the office and in the classroom

Riverside, Calif. (July 5, 2023) – Dr. Afarah Board (’22) retired from Southern California Edison in 2015 after 32 years. However, she still wanted to grow. She was not planning on just “sitting around and watching ‘Judge Judy.’”

Faculty member learning leadership in the office and in the classroomPrior to retiring, she began as an adjunct professor at California Baptist University. Then she created a nonprofit, YES, Youth Essential Skills, which teaches social and life skills to youth in vulnerable populations.

She decided to earn her Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies at CBU, joining the inaugural cohort in 2019.

“I jumped at it because leadership was something that I had been doing for years at Edison,” Board said. “A lot of us do leadership, but we don't often know what the theory is behind it.”

She applies the knowledge she gained in the leadership program at CBU to her nonprofit and at her church, where she also teaches leadership.

“A good leader, in my opinion, is responsible for strategic outcomes, accountable for their actions and the actions of their team, well regarded by others, trustworthy and a personal example to others,” Board said.

For her doctoral dissertation, Board looked at Blacks who came from adversity and poverty and worked their way into prominent leadership positions. She wanted to learn about their experiences. She discovered most of the prominent leaders, who are now leading multi-million-dollar organizations, had natural leadership abilities at a young age.

Faculty member learning leadership in the office and in the classroom“What can be taught to the younger generation is to be resilient. Get involved in the community and extracurricular activities, clubs and sports; that is where their leadership abilities will shine,” Board said.

She recommends the degree to anyone in a leadership position.

“We think we know what leadership is, but we really don't. There are so many different pieces of the leadership puzzle,” Board said.

Along with gaining knowledge for herself, she wanted to pursue the degree to be a role model for others, including her children and grandchildren. Board and her husband, Cleophus Board Sr., have a blended family of five children and seven grandchildren, one who attends CBU.

“I wanted to show them that you can always continue to climb the mountain and get to where you want go,” Board said. “I didn't want to get to an age and say, ‘I would have, could have, should have.’ This is something that I’ve done, and I am a better leader as a result.”

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