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L.J. McElravy

Associate Professor of Leadership, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Chapter Member: Nebraska SSN

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About L.J.

McElravy's research focuses on leadership identity development, leader development through the lifespan, implicit leadership, and leadership within communities. Overarching themes in McElravy's writings include civic engagement, positive psychology within the scope of communities and organizations. McElravy’s four years in the U.S. Army shaped his beliefs that leadership is a lifelong developmental process, and leadership can greatly impact the success of teams, organizations, and communities.

In the News

Quoted by Aaron Bonderson in "Rural Nebraskans Feel the Country Is More Divided, According to the Latest Rural Poll," Nebraska Public Media, October 20, 2023.
Guest on Pure Nebraska, October 19, 2023.
Quoted by Becky Vogt in "Poll: Rural Nebraskans Are Increasingly Pessimistic About Present, Future," Morning Ag Clips, September 20, 2023.
Guest on Markey Day Report, October 25, 2022.


"Community Well-Being and Civil Discourse in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska," (with Rebecca Vogt, Heather Akin, Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Bradley Lubben, Timothy Meyer, and Steve Schulz), (Nebraska Rural Poll Series 23, Issue 2). University of Nebraska – Lincoln, October 2023.

Provides a detailed analysis of rural Nebraskans' perceptions about their community and civil discourse. Findings show that most rural Nebraskans rate their community favorably and have a positive attachment to their community. However, 65% of rural Nebraskans believe civil discourse is a problem in America's political system.

"Community Well-Being and Leadership in Nonmetropolitan Nebraska," (with Rebecca Vogt, Heather Akin, Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel, Bradley Lubben, Timothy Meyer, Steve Schulz, and Amanda Tupper), (Nebraska Rural Poll Series 22, Issue 4). University of Nebraska – Lincoln, January 2023.

Covers topics focused on community well-being and leadership within rural communities. Findings indicate that rural Nebraskans feel positively about many components of their community. However, declines were noted in perceptions about the power ordinary citizens have to help make their community’s leadership more effective.

"Form Follows Function: Research and Assessment Design for Leadership Learning" New Directions for Student Leadership, no. 175 (2022): Research and Assessment Methods for Leadership Development in Practice, 31– 40.

Discusses how the design of research should follow the questions the study seeks to address. Provides practical and diverse examples of broad research questions applicable to researchers or program architects and summarizes how different methods should be employed to respond.

"Further Examination of the Youth Leadership Skills Predictors" (with Lindsay Hastings). Journal of Leadership Education 19, no. 1 (2020): 99-118.

Explores leadership development in youth. Highlights the importance of empathy, hope, self-efficacy, resiliency, and optimism in developing and enhancing leadership skills.