Leadership in Times of Crisis: Pandemics, Disasters, and Humanitarian Crises (ENES475/675)

Curricular Leadership Experiences

ENES475/675 - Leadership in Times of Crisis: Pandemics, Disasters, and Humanitarian Crises

Available Spring & Summer 2023! Register on Testudo now!

This course brings together the study and practice of leadership with promising practices in disaster preparedness and data informed decision-making. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of engaging in leadership in times of crisis. Now, more than ever, it is clear global communities need those who can lead during times of crisis and understand when and how to use data to inform decisions in times of crisis.

This course will provide an examination of how leadership has been enacted to help local, national, and global communities navigate through pandemics, disasters, and other humanitarian crises. Students will develop capacities for informed leadership in times of crisis and develop an understanding for applying these skills in a variety of settings, industries, and public and non-profit settings. Embedded through this course will be voices of leadership from crisis response roles within and beyond the scientific community.

The course will be designed in three parts:

  1. An overview of leadership theories, models, and practices used in times of crisis and an examination around how culture influences leadership in times of crisis;
  2. Review of technical approaches to employ data, data analysis, predictive models, and data visualization as applied to emergency and crisis leadership decision-making;
  3. Connect theory to practice by applying the theories and technical approaches, demonstrated throughout the course, to applications in leadership in times of pandemics, disasters, and humanitarian crises.
Course Learning Outcomes
  • Students will develop an understanding of theories, models, approaches, and best practices to leadership in times of crisis
  • Students will explore the nuances of problem solving, communication, and project management unique to times of crisis
  • As pandemics and disasters cut across cultures and often require a global response of people leading across cultures, students will gain an understanding of how culture influences leadership and develop skills necessary to lead effectively across cultures
  • Students will effectively communicate findings from data analysis, predictive models, and data visualization
  • Students will apply critical thinking and knowledge of theories relevant to leadership in times of crisis to evaluate and critique examples from historic and/or current responses and communicate findings in writing and/or visual presentations
  • Through a final project, students will apply research and established frameworks for how information used in real-world crisis and emergency response (e.g., under resource and time constraints)

How can I apply this course to my degree program?

  • Computer Engineering: Category F Elective
  • Electrical Engineering: General Technical Elective
  • Fire Protection Engineering: Technical Elective
  • Mechanical Engineering: Out-of-Major Technical Elective
  • Fulfills a minor requirement for students in the following minor programs:
    • International Engineering
    • Engineering Leadership Development
    • Global Engineering Leadership
  • Other majors/minors should reach out to their advisors to determine if this course can be applied to their degree program.

Meet Your Instructor

Headshot of Dr. Kavaliauskas Crain

Léna Crain, Ph.D. is a lecturer in the Office of Global Engineering Leadership. She has instructed undergraduate and graduate courses, including programs in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, the Netherlands, and Australia, and has lived and worked in France. These experiences contributed to her research, which examines the relationship between culture, pedagogy, and cognition (how culture influences the way we teach and learn), and the influence of cultural dimensions on conflict and resolution. In her broader career in higher education, Dr. Crain has been recognized by ACPA as a Diamond Honoree and Annuit Coeptis Scholar. Dr. Crain received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Register now in Testudo or Contact the Office of Global Engineering Leadership to learn more!