Sara Leigh, Student Relations Coordinator

Address: 9700 France Ave S. Bloomington, MN 55431
Phone: 952-412-1755

Hello, my name is Dr. Sara Leigh, and most of you know me in my role as the advisor for Applied Leadership. Although I work for Minnesota State Mankato I live in the Minneapolis/St—Paul metro area. I originally worked out of Normandale Community College and now work from the Minnesota State Mankato campus in Edina, North Hennepin Community College, or from home.

I’ve spent decades on a career track that started with a student worker job. For colleges large and small, private and public, two-year and four-year, I have worked with students as an advisor. During my time in higher education life sometimes happened and I ended up on unplanned journeys and in unanticipated jobs. Even though unanticipated, every job added to my skills. I was a professional actress in a children’s theatre company that traveled around the middle of the U.S.; I developed a cookie and sold it at farmers’ markets; I worked as a contract technical writer for an engineering firm and was later hired as an administrative assistant for the firm. And amid all this career stuff, I got married and had three sons.

When I was the Director of Advising at Minnesota State University Moorhead a student in the leadership program came to interview me as part of a class assignment. As we were settling in for the interview I asked, “Why did you choose me? I’m not a leader.” The student just smiled and replied, “Dr. Gorsline told us you would say that!” Most certainly I had thought about leadership before that point in my career, but it was the first time I consciously reflected on my leadership style. Working with Applied Leadership keeps me thinking about leadership and where we can find it in unexpected places.

You may have noticed the quotation at the bottom of my e-mail address - "It is never too late to be what you might have been" - George Eliot. After thirty years in higher education, in May 2023, I graduated with my doctorate in educational leadership. If I can return to school after decades away and complete my degree, so can you, and I am here to help.

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