Student Research Feature: Katie Jewitt

MA Leadership graduand Katie Jewitt

The School of Leadership Studies would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Katie Jewitt on the completion of a Master’s Thesis titled, Enhancing partnership and strengthening leadership within the early learning and child care sector in rural British Columbia.

This thesis is available through RRU’s library here.

We asked Katie a few questions about this research and this is what they said:

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

Key takeaways from my thesis include: the importance of fostering safety in a group, the psychological pressure that comes with writing a thesis--which was amplified by tight timelines--is intense, and finally (and maybe most importantly) how important developing relationships with my cohort was essential to my learning and completion.

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

At this time, there still is uncertainty as it relates to inter ministerial changes. Yet, I have confirmed with my partnering organization that we will present at a provincial conference in 2023. It will be at the Early Childhood Education British Columbia Conference, and this is a huge commitment for my partner: School District #6. 

What surprised you about your experience of the thesis process?

I was surprised most that ‘love and devotion’ were key findings from the data analysis. Having to describe ‘love’ as it relates to Leadership was a challenge! As I suggested in the thesis, “This concept of ‘Love’ suggests a deep devotion and openness that strengthens one’s ‘sense of belonging’ by shared experiences that are hard to articulate, but rather seen and felt as motivation, where love becomes a principled energizing invitation for change” (p. 44).

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

There are number of lessons that I resonate with (almost daily): be clear and kind in my communication while honouring the diverse voices of the group, step back and examine the feedback loops that are reinforcing or limiting progress, be authentic, and have fun!!