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Pioneer Leadership Program

Pioneer Leadership Program


Faculty & Staff

Linda Olson

Linda Olson, Ph.D.
PLP Executive Director

Dr. Linda Olson began teaching at the University of Denver in 2000 and has spent the past 10 years as Sr. Lecturer and Director of the Pioneer Leadership Program. Her area of communication research has included collaborative leadership, group and team communication, leadership development, leadership and sustainability, and leadership ethics. Linda's current research is focused on assessment of leadership learning and the leadership development process of undergraduate students. She brings a vibrant interest in international and intercultural issues to the classroom. Linda has taught and led groups involved in international learning and service throughout the world. In addition, Linda is active in local elected leadership as the Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Englewood, Colorado (See the DU Magazine story here).


Paul Kosempel, Ph.D.
PLP Associate Director & Teaching Associate Professor

Paul's professional experience includes over twenty years in institutions of higher education in various capacities including career development, leadership development, operations, and event management. He received his doctorate from the University of Denver in 2008 and his dissertation has explored the communication dynamics in mentoring relationships. Paul has presented at multiple conferences including the International Leadership Association and the Association of Leadership Educators. His research interests lie in the areas of leadership for sustainability and leadership education. One of his most significant achievements at DU is creating the Leadership and Sustainability in Belize course with Dr. Olson. Outside of DU, Paul stays active with his family and enjoys golf, volleyball, and the Denver Broncos.

Effley Brooks III

Effley N. Brooks III, MBA
Teaching Assistant Professor

Effley Brooks is President and owner of Tiger Bee Consulting, LLC a company that he established in order to expand his opportunities in working toward positive social change. Effley specializes in leadership development workshops and seminars. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Effley is a Buckeye- born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. However, he decided to move to Colorado after just one visit to this beautiful state. Effley is an avid snowboarder, skier, and fisherman. He has a daughter in middle school and two dogs from Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue. Effley serves on the Board of Directors for REACH Charter School and is a member of Denver African American Philanthropists (DAAP).

Trisha Teig

Trisha Teig, Ph.D.
Visiting Teaching Assistant Professor

Trisha is a leadership educator passionate about leadership learning and college student development. She began her career in higher education as a student affairs professional working in housing, student activities, student government, orientation, and of course, leadership programs! She completed her master's of education at Texas State University in Counselling and Guidance - Student Affairs and her Ph.D. in Higher Education at Florida State University. Her teaching and research interests include women and leadership, gender and leadership, training student affairs professionals as leadership educators, and integrating social justice in leadership programs. She loves traveling, running, reading, and hanging out with her two kitties, Sophie and Sampson!

Mimi Bailey

Mimina (Mimi) Bailey, MBA
PLP Program & Community Relations Manager

Mimi is a DU graduate and an alumnus of the Pioneer Leadership Program. She received her BS in Mathematics and MBA in Global Market Finance from Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. She has worked for the University since 2006, from Marketing & Communications to our Program & Community Relations Manager. She manages our corporate/nonprofit partnerships, community engagement, volunteer program, alumni development, and strategic growth of our program. She is very active in the community and serves on various boards and committees around Denver.  She loves working with college students and inspiring them to fulfill their dreams. Growing up in Colorado Springs, she loves running, hiking, and being outdoors!

emily allen

Emily Allen, MS
PLP Program Coordinator

Emily received her BA from Syracuse University in English and Textual Studies, accompanied by minors in Policy Studies, and Sociology. She also received her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Prior to moving to Denver, she lived in Colorado Springs and served as an eighth grade Language Arts teacher as part of the Teach For America program. Before joining the PLP team, she worked as the Assistant Director of Student Life at Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. Working with students who share her passions for leadership development, civic engagement, and community service is an incredible experience each and every day. Outside of the day-to-day at PLP, Emily spends her time playing ice hockey, cooking, hiking, and biking.