Student research feature: Ann Mitchell

Portrait of Ann Mitchell

The School of Leadership Studies would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ann Mitchell on the completion of a Master’s Thesis titled: Local government - enhancing the relationships between CAO and council.

We asked Ann a few questions about this research, and this is what she said:

What are some key takeaways from your thesis that would be helpful for other leaders?

Taking on a master’s in leadership later in my career there were many types of leadership that I was practicing however, I did not understand the theory. It was clear that not all leadership concepts fit my personal leadership style. Several instructors in the course stated, “take what you need and let go of the rest”. This was the most helpful piece of advice. Also, qualifying and quantifying my leadership style seemed to give more depth and purpose to my objective in life, which is enhancing those I am fortunate enough to lead and mentor. As an empowered leader I can contribute more to my sector.    

How is the organization moving change forward based on your work?

Upon completing my thesis in local government, I have reached out to the various associations across the country. I have shared my findings, recommendations, and possible future research projects. This has led to dialogue and excellent feedback. My partner Municipal World has featured two articles on my results and findings. Additionally, I continue to reach out to those 400 people who want to further the conversation. I plan on continuing my research and am currently deciding which area to focus on. It is my hope that someone will pick up the mantle and further study local government.  

What surprised you about your experience of the thesis process?

The thesis process and program at Royal Roads was well mapped out. The final course before we started our thesis gave complete preparation. I was astonished at how much I enjoyed the process, from the research to the writing and defense. I feel that Royal Roads was careful to match up the student with a complementary thesis advisor, thus ensuring a successful journey.

The diverse background of students and staff was refreshing and enhanced the overall process. As someone who has concentrated her professional development on local government mainly and leadership in a more general manner, sharing this journey with such a varied group was enriching.

How are you applying lessons learned from your whole MA-Leadership journey?

I feel reinvigorated and ready to tackle not only my remaining career, but also my next steps of research or wherever life takes me. The academic journey as well as the friendships forged throughout this process has transformed me for the better. Royal Roads has opened many doors including my lifelong goal of becoming a published author that occurred through this process. At this stage in life most would be contemplating retirement, studying at Royal Roads has prepared me for new adventures. I cannot wait to see what comes next. Indeed, Royal Roads has been a “life changing” experience.

Congrats again, Ann! We are proud of your good work and wish you all the best from here.

For access to this and other student research, visit the RRU Library theses and dissertations database. Please check back regularly for newly published work.