Leadership and Innovation

Contact Information

phone: 716-839-8342

address: 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226

Program Director

Name: Christina Coyle-Lenz

Phone: 716-839-8342

Email: ccoyle@daemen.edu

Degrees Offered


Leadership and Innovation Department Mission

The Leadership and Innovation program prepares students to be effective leaders of innovation and change by developing awareness, skills, and competencies that enable them to navigate ambiguity and complexity and to lead rapid change that is inherent in organizational settings.

Leadership and Innovation Program Philosophy

Effective leaders have an accurate sense of themselves. They model, teach, and advocate the values of authenticity and empowerment; they practice creative and critical thinking.  Leaders promote collaboration and trust and are skilled at building teams.  Leaders understand that diversity is a multi-dimensional construct that includes many aspects of interpersonal differences including culture, experience, cognitive style, and more. They integrate stakeholder diversity, foster inclusivity, and understand their role in shaping a productive organizational culture.

Skilled leaders understand and facilitate change to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex, fast-paced, global society.  Leadership and Innovation graduates possess the skills to lead groups with a positive view of the future; they have the capacity to lead others in co-creation of a shared vision that aligns with the values of their organization and the larger community.  The innovation leader’s role is to inspire and facilitate transformation to the desired future.

In keeping with Daemen University’s belief that leadership is fundamentally service, the leader’s role is defined to include a sense of civic responsibility and ethical decision-making. The interdisciplinary curriculum provides participatory interactive experiences and opportunities for practice and reflection as the primary methods for exploring leadership, innovation, and change.

The Leadership and Innovation program characterizes leadership development as an ongoing learning process for leaders, their teams, and organizations.  The program develops leaders who are life-long learners that build leadership capacity in others.  Program graduates are prepared to conceive and lead positive change in an increasingly complex global society.

Program Objectives

Upon completing the Master of Science in Leadership and Innovation, the candidate will:

  • Understand and apply contemporary leadership models and theories as they analyze and develop their leadership skills and philosophy.
  • Exhibit leadership skills in working with staff, colleagues, and stakeholders (both internal and external) to navigate challenges within work units, across disciplines, and at the broader organizational level.
  • Foster a leadership environment within the organizational setting that acknowledges and embraces individuals’ strengths and respective contributions to the achievement of the organization’s objectives.
  • Develop creative and critical thinking skills needed to facilitate individual and organizational change.
  • Synthesize information across disciplinary boundaries to establish a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s mission, vision, values, and goals as a foundation to effectively lead innovation and change initiatives.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues to develop innovation and change strategies that are responsive to evolving organizational needs.
  • Understand the role of research in decision-making and innovation by engaging in research methodologies to address a specific challenge or question.
  • Demonstrate leadership behavior through self-awareness, cultural sensitivity, team relationships, and systems thinking.

Admission Requirements

  1. Complete online application.
  2. Submit a letter of intent which describes the applicant’s interest in the Leadership and Innovation degree as well as what the applicant hopes to gain from a graduate degree in this program.
  3. Provide a resume of professional experience.
  4. Provide two letters of recommendation from an employer, professional colleague, or major professor which evaluate the applicant’s leadership potential and capacity to complete a graduate degree.
  5. Submit official transcript(s) from all accredited colleges or universities attended that indicate the award of an undergraduate degree. (International applicants must submit foreign transcripts in the original language and an English copy.)
  6. Complete Health form.
  7. International applicants who are graduates of foreign colleges or universities and for whom English is a non-native language must submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score.
  8. Complete personal interview with program director.