Donna Blaess, PhD

Associate Professor of Leadership

College of Graduate and Innovative Programs

Dr. Blaess teaches organizational change, promoting and leading change, creating and leading a learning organization, research in sports studies and a master’s capstone project in sport management. Among her areas of research interest are organizational leadership, development, change and adult learning.

Previously, Dr. Blaess taught at Northcentral University and Nova Southeastern University, where she served as a dissertation committee chair and member. Among positions she held at Northcentral University are director for academic research advancement, review and revision committee for EdD and PhD online research courses, faculty mentor and interim chair of institutional review board.

She also develops curricula online that can be used for teachers. Dr. Blaess has served as a dissertation chair and member since 1995. She’s been a member of Concordia’s faculty since 2009.


  • PhD, Educational Psychology. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
  • MA, Guidance and Counseling. University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.
  • BA, English and History. University of Tampa, Tampa, Fla.

Academic and Professional Highlights


  • “A Survey of Graduate Student Academic and Psychosocial Support Service Needs” (with C. Grant). Lutheran Educational Journal. December 2010.


  • “The Servant Leader as Facilitator of e-Learning” (with K. Hollywood). 2010 Regional Conference on Servant Leadership. Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Ore., 2010.
  • “Fostering Critical Thinking in Online Graduate Education” (with K. Hollywood). College Teaching and Learning 21st annual conference. Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 2010.
  • “Clarifying the Action Research Process for Online Doctoral Students” (with K. Hollywood). College Teaching and Learning 21st annual conference. Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., 2010.
  • “Many Minds, Many Voices: Facilitating Critical Thinking in Online Education.” SLATE annual meeting. Chicago, 2009.


  • The NCU Dissertation Research Project. Northcentral University. Prescott Valley, Ariz., 2007.


  • Who’s Who of American Women, 2010-2011
  • Who’s Who of American Education, 2007-2008