Dan Gaken’s Résumé


Dan Gaken is a student affairs administrator, author, and leadership trainer with more than 10 years of professional experience in leadership development. Dan works to build an environment that enables others to create something that excites them.


Leadership Institute Director     |     Central Michigan University     |    December 2009 – Present

•Provide leadership, direction, and supervision for a comprehensive student affairs staff of 12 professionals and graduate assistants serving 5,000 undergraduate students annually
•Coordinate the recruitment and selection for the Leader Advancement Scholarship cohort
•Represent the interests of the Leadership Institute to the Academic Senate
•Manage an annual operating budget of $1,000,000

Lead Facilitator     |     LeaderShape, Inc.     |     May 2011 – Present

• Facilitate campus-based sessions of the LeaderShape Institute
• Manage a six-day leadership curriculum focusing on teaching students to lead with integrity
• Provide comprehensive facilitator training to a faculty team

Adjunct Faculty    |     Central Michigan University     |     August 2006 – Present

In addition to my administrative role, I serve as the instructor of record for academic courses at Central Michigan University, including:
• LDR 100: Introduction to Leadership Development, 1 credit introductory course
• LDR 200: Introduction to Leadership, 3 credit hour course in leadership theory
• FYE 101: First Year Experience, 1 credit course to acclimate students to the university environment

Curriculum Director     |     Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals     |     June 2011 – Present

•Developed a six-day curriculum for senior level high school student leaders
•Provide facilitator training to high school educators and administrators
•Conduct an intense six-day leadership program based on the Kouzes and Posner text “The Leadership Challenge”

Leadership Institute Coordinator    |     Central Michigan University     |    August 2004 – December 2009

•Coordinate student leadership-development opportunities on the CMU campus, including the Alpha Leadership Experience, Leadership Luncheon Series, Connections Leadership Conference, the LeaderShape Institute, Leadership Mentoring Experience, and a variety of other programs.
•Creation of promotional materials for the department programs for both internal and external audiences
•Create and deliver customized leadership trainings for campus departments, government agencies, and educational institutions
•Selection and supervision of a staff of 25 student employees
•Designed and implemented an online selection process for the Leader Advancement Scholarship


  • Master of Arts in History    |    Central Michigan University    |     Awarded May 2016
  • Bachelor of Science, History     |     Central Michigan University     |     Awarded August 2004


  • Directorate Board | Mid-Level Community of Practice | ACPA | March 2017-March 2019
  • Convention Strategic Marketing Co-Chair | ACPA17 Convention Steering Team | 2016-2017
  • Board of Trustees    |     United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties   |     August 2013 – Present
  • Governance Committee Chair   |  United Way of Gratiot and Isabella Counties  |     July 2014 – Present
  • State Winter Games Committee   |    Special Olympics Michigan  |     February 2013 – Present
  • State Summer Games Committee   |    Special Olympics Michigan  |    July 2013 – Present
  • President     |     Central Michigan University Alumni Association, Mt. Pleasant Chapter     |     2008 – Present
  • Member     |     Leadership Council – CMU Academic Senate     |     2008 – Present
  • Advisor     |     Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity    |     Fall 2008 – Present
  • Advisor     |     Chapter Advisory Council – Sigma Alpha Epsilon     |     2006 – Present
  • Advisor     |     Habitat for Humanity Central Michigan Chapter     |    2006 – Present
  • Member     |     Degrees, Admissions, Standards, and Honors Committee – CMU Academic Senate     |     2002 – 2004
  • Member     |    Lions Club International    |     2006 – 2008
  • Member     |     Central Michigan University President’s Commission on Energy     |     2000 – 2002


  • Central Michigan University Ten for Ten: 10 Inspirational Alumni from the Past Ten Years
  • 2014 Central Michigan University Ten Year Service Award
  • 2011 Central Michigan University First Year Advocate Nominee
  • 2007 Promising Practices in Student Leadership Development, awarded by the National Association of Student Personnel Administers Leadership Knowledge Community
  • 2003 Central Michigan University Homecoming Gold Ambassador
  • 1999 Leader Advancement Scholarship


  • Leadership & Service: An Introduction, George McGovern, Donald Simmons, and Daniel Gaken Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, IA, 2008.
  • “The Greater Good: Ethics and Leadership,” in Reflections on Civic Engagement, by Claudette McFadden and Hiram C. Powell, Kendall/Hunt, Dubuque, IA, 2009.
  • Residence Hall Council Manual, Central Michigan University Office of Residence Life, 2001.


  • Rollie Denison Leadership Institute Capstone Course (2011 – Present).  I am very excited to partner with the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce to facilitate the Rollie Denison Leadership Institute Capstone Course.  The Capstone is based on the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI). The Leadership Practices Inventory is a 360-degree assessment instrument based on the five practices of exemplary leadership identified by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in their best-selling text The Leadership Challnge. Dr. Kouzes and Dr. Posner are recognized as leading experts in the field of leadership studies and management. Their research has sought to capture a quantifiable set of behaviors that predict when one will be at their “leadership best.”  Highlights of the course include participating in a leader reaction course (LRX) at the Adventure Learning Center at Eagle Village, an asset-based approach to addressing community needs, a community roundtable, and a vision showcase
  • GEAR UP College Day (2011 – Present).  Assisted to deliver college preparedness and student leadership development programs to K-12 students in at-risk areas of Michigan.
  • ACPA 17 Convention Planning Team (March 2016-March 2017). The ACPA17 Convention Planning team handles logistics, programming, marketing, volunteer organization, and other functions of the annual convention.  I will be serving as Convention Strategic Marketing Co-Chair. The 2017 convention will be held in Columbus, OH.
  • 2016 Central Michigan University Annual University Campaign Chair (August 2016-December 2016). Served as co-chair for the Annual University Campaign.  In this capacity I developed strategies and marketing pieces that encouraged faculty, staff and retirees to give back to Central Michigan University.  The campaign surpassed the stated goal of $1.1 Million by more than $300,000.  A record $1.4 Million was raised.


  • Developing a Campus-Wide Model for Leadership Education with an External Consultant, Featured Program ACPA Annual Convention, Columbus, OH March 2017
  • Lead facilitator, City of Mount Pleasant, MI Strategic Planning Retreat, Mount Pleasant, MI, January 2017
  • Leading in the Workplace, Keynote Address, Quicken Loans Collegiate Internship Training Week, Detroit, MI December 2016
  • The Essence of Leading: Emotional Intelligence, Keynote Address, Michigan State University Extension Health and Nutrition Institute, Bellaire, MI August 2016
  • Building a Dynamic Team, Keynote Address, Oakland University Professional Advising Staff In-service, Rochester, MI June 2016.
  • Access Through Inclusion, Keynote Address, Michigan College Access Network, East Lansing, MI July 2016
  • Leadership and Social Justice: Indispensable Partners, ACPA-Michigan Equity and Inclusion Summit, Adrian, MI May 2016
  • Bring Your Best: Building Inclusive Communities, Keynote Address, Inaugural Central Michigan University Symposium on Inclusion and Diversity, Mt. Pleasant, MI March 2016.
  • Incorporating the LeaderShape Institute into a Comprehensive Leadership Programming Sequence, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) National Convention, Tampa, FL, March 2015.
  • Employing the NASPA & ACPA Professional Competencies for Student Leadership Programs, Michigan College Personnel Association (MCPA) Professional Development Institute, Mt. Pleasant, MI February 2015.
  • Inspiring Leadership: Improving the Art of Conversation, Michigan Chamber of Commerce Statewide Young Professionals Conference, Mt. Pleasant, MI June 2014.
  • Electronic Portfolios: Maximizing Technology, Archiving Student Achievement, American College Personnel Association (ACPA) National Convention, Las Vegas, NV, March 2013
  • Following the Dream, DREAM Conference Keynote, MACURH, Mt. Pleasant, MI, February, 2011
  • Leadership and Ethics: Your Responsibility, Grand Valley State University Leadership Summit, Allendale, MI, February 2011.
  • Building and Assessing Curricular Leadership Programs, NASPA Leadership Educators Institute, Tampa, FL, December 2010.
  • The Truth About Leadership, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, April 2010
  • Addressing the Needs of the Greek Community, Midwest Greek Council Association Annual Conference, Saint Louis, MO, February 2009.
  • Leadership and Character, Greek 101, Mount Pleasant, MI, February 2009.
  • The Leadership Challenge, Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers Committee Chair Retreat, East Lansing, MI, January 2009.
  • A Partnership for Leadership Development: Universities and Indigenous Tribes Collaboratively Offering Leadership Education, International Leadership Association Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA, October 2008.
  • History of a Discipline: Leadership Theory and Practice, International Leadership Association Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, CA, October 2008.
  • The Leadership Challenge, Bay Area Target Stores, Mount Pleasant, MI, October 2008.
  • Your Next Challenge, Northwood University New Student Orientation, Mount Pleasant, MI, August 2008.
  • Providing Leadership Development to Student Organizations: Using Peer Facilitators as Training Consultants, International Leadership Association Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, October 2007.
  • Designing and Teaching a Leadership Course: A Collaborative Approach, International Leadership Association Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, October 2007.
  • Crafting and Sharing Your Vision, Central Michigan University Network for Women, Mount Pleasant, MI, October 2007.
  • Bringing Customer Service to Campus: the Fish! Philosophy, Michigan Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers Training, Mount Pleasant, MI, August 2007


  • $ 5,000 Target Community Relations Grant to support the 2010 Connections Leadership Conference
  • $ 5,000: Target Community Relations Grant to support the 2009 Connections Leadership Conference
  • $ 2,500 Target Community Relations Grant to support the 2008 Leadership Recognition Dinner
  • $10,000 C. Charles Jackson Foundation Grant to support K-12 leadership programming at Central Michigan University


Need to know more about my education, service, and professional experience?  Download my professional résumé. (PDF File)

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