Twenty-First Century Leadership Academy

Apply for the 2025-2026 Cohort of the 21st Century Leadership Academy
Applications are due by Friday, December 1st, 2024. 
Program Description

The 21st Century Leadership Academy (21CLA) was established in 2006 as an initiative to facilitate leadership development within ITEEA and the technology and engineering education profession. The goal is to create tomorrow's most successful and respected technology and engineering leaders, consultants, and strategic thinkers.

The 21CLA empowers dedicated educators to develop new knowledge and skills and become more effective leaders in the technology and engineering profession. Past Academy participants have included graduate students; early career university faculty members; elementary, middle, and high school teachers; and supervisors and administrators. Since its formation, the 21CLA has provided over 90 educators the opportunity to network with colleagues and peers, connect with and learn from established leaders, and participate in online and face-to-face leadership development activities.

21CLA candidates must be ITEEA members in good standing and submit all required materials including an application form, a current resume or curriculum vitae, and two letters of recommendation. Applications are subject to review by ITEEA’s 21CLA Committee, and preference may be given to individuals who are active in ITEEA and its Councils. Selected applicants are expected to make their best effort to actively participate in all planned activities.

The yearlong program kicks off at the ITEEA Annual Conference in March/April; facilitates regular engagement through monthly virtual discussions to encourage scholarly activity and professional growth; and concludes with a leadership workshop at the following year’s ITEEA Annual Conference. This first year is only the beginning of participants’ journey to jump-start and practice their skills by leading others. Expand the Annual Activities tab below for more detailed information on program activities.


  • To upload support materials after application submission, use the upload link below and include nominee's last name and supporter's last name as part of file names (e.g., "Jones 21CLA - recommendation letter Smith")


Questions? Contact Us.

Special Thanks to our 21st Century Leadership Academy Sponsor:

Overview of the Program Year

By December 1 – Application due.

December/January – Selected cohort members are notified and must confirm commitment.

March/April – Attend dinner meeting on Friday at the ITEEA Annual Conference to meet cohort members and introduce activities that will take place during the year.

April through February – Participate in virtual meetings (approximately monthly) on topics based on needs and preferences of cohort. Typical topics include:

  • keys to success as a technology and engineering educator
  • promotion and tenure
  • publishing
  • research funding
  • elementary STEM
  • collaboration with Science, Mathematics, and Engineering educators
  • service to the profession
  • international opportunities
  • other opportunities for advancement and leadership development

Meetings may also be scheduled with representatives from leading educational organizations and/or associations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Education (DoE), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and/or the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) to discuss education priorities.

March/April – Attend culminating activities at the ITEEA Annual Conference including:

  • participate in a leadership workshop on the Tuesday (afternoon only) and Wednesday (all day) before the ITEEA Conference,
  • present a professional learning session and the STEM Showcase at the ITEEA Conference,
  • attend and be recognized at the ITEEA Foundation/Maley "Spirit of Excellence" breakfast, and
  • participate in ITEEA Council sessions and/or Committee work sessions, if appropriate.

Note: By the end of the program, all participants will prepare a 5-year plan for implementing their new knowledge, skills, and leadership experience within their professional lives and ITEEA.

  • Natalie Crosby
  • Brent Curran
  • Barbara Dunham
  • Deidre E. Paris
  • Carol Unterreiner
  • Tracy Young
  • M. Kathleen Ferguson | Old Dominion University
  • Dr. Joseph S. Furse | Utah State University
  • Chih-Jung Ku | National Taiwan Normal University
  • Erik Schettig | NC State University
  • Scott Thorne | Purdue University
  • Blaire Thrasher, DTE | Coweta County Board of Education


  • Dr. Jana Bonds | University of Pittsburgh
  • Karin Dykeman | SUNY-Oswego
  • Justin Egresitz
  • Tonya Isabell | Purdue University
  • Abbi Richcreek | Warsaw Community Schools
  • Debra Shapiro, DTE | Forest Glen Middle School


  • Dr. Jana Bonds | University of Pittsburgh
  • Teena Coats | North Carolina State University
  • Tonya Isabell | Purdue University
  • Liesl Krause | Purdue University
  • Abbi Richcreek | Warsaw Community Schools
  • Debra Shapiro, DTE | Forest Glen Middle School


  • Dr. Andrew Hughes | California State University, San Bernardino
  • Deidre Kelly | Indiana University
  • Dr. Byron McKay | Pittsburg State University
  • Dr. Molly Miller, DTE | Penn Manor High School
  • Dr. Joanna Papadopoulos
  • Dr. Euisuk Sung | New York City College of Technology


  • Dr. Doug Lecorchick III | North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Julie Maynard | Ohio University
  • Megan Morin | North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Bryanne Peterson | Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Emily Yoshikawa Ruesch | Utah State University


  • Dr. Nolan Fahrer | North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Andrew Jackson | University of Georgia 
  • Dr. Megan McManus
  • Dr. Trevor Robinson | Utah State University
  • Dr. Susheela Shanta | New College Institute