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Faculty & Community Partners

The Taylor Leadership Institute is fortunate to partner with a multitude of diversely experienced and gifted faculty and community members who share a common passion for leadership and an appreciation for the role leadership plays in the lives of our students. Our faculty and community partners are the guiding force behind the delivery of our programs and are instrumental in supporting our vision. We are pleased to share their stories below.     


Karine Stukes 2

Karine Stukes

With over 13 years of experience working in higher education, Karine is fulfilling her passion in supporting students’ success through their collegiate journeys and beyond. Karine is currently completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership, and she also teaches and manages leadership courses and programs. As an advocate for student leadership development, she believes that every student should have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership capacity and set themselves apart in personal, academic, and career success. Karine enjoys spending most of her time coaching and advising students on how to use their leadership experiences to complete their academic endeavors and transition into careers that fulfill their authentic passion and purpose.

Matt Ohlson 2

Dr. Matthew Ohlson

Dr. Ohlson is the Director of the Taylor Leadership Institute at the University of North Florida and tenured, Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management. Dr. Ohlson’s leadership development research has been published in numerous journals and books and has been presented at over 50 conferences. In addition, the CAMP Osprey leadership mentoring program he created has received over 15 grants and awards. Matthew has also conducted leadership development training/coaching for 7 Olympians, 5 professional athletes and numerous organizations including the American Compliance Association, Northrop Grumman, the City of Miami, Franklin Covey, NEFEC, Sawgrass Country Club, Under Armour, UNF Athletics and Clay, Putnam, Flagler & Duval County Schools.  For his efforts, Dr. Ohlson has been awarded the Florida College Access Network (FCAN) 2019 Innovator Award, 2017 WJCT/NPR American Graduate Champion, National Jefferson Award for Public Service, Ed-Tech Digest Innovator Award, and the Work of Heart Award from United Way of Gainesville. 

Dr. Dianne Taylor

Dr. Diane Taylor

Dr. Dianne Taylor, professor with the University of North Florida Taylor Leadership Institute, is a campus resource for leadership development resources. Since 2007, she has been a UNF professor of leadership studies and art history; she chaired the Dream Team at Taylor Leadership Institute that created the custom UNF textbook Leadership Dynamics (2nd edition). In 2018-19, she was honored to be named Outstanding Adjunct Professor at UNF. 


Prior to earning her Doctorate in leadership from the University of North Florida, Dr. Taylor was an entrepreneur/owner of her own court reporting business. She launched her arts-based second career by serving as executive director of Theatreworks, a Jacksonville nonprofit that presented national touring educational theatre in local venues for schoolchildren and families. A highlight of her career has been serving as a coach for TED Talks. She has a B.A. in art history and an M.P.A. in public administration from UNF and a M.A. in art history from the University of Florida (Go Gators!). Currently, Dr. Taylor is coauthoring a biography with Jacksonville historian, Dr. Wayne Wood, on Charles Adrian Pillars, the Beaux Arts sculptor of the Life World War I winged victory monument in Memorial Park. She and her (Terry Parker High School sweetheart) architect husband Bob live in Palatka, Florida, where they hold leadership roles in Rotary Club and in 2018 she was named Rotarian of the Year. In Palatka she is a member of the boards of the William Bartram Frolic, Girls Can, Women’s Giving Alliance GIFT (Girls in Focus Together) and Putnam First Cancer Fund. 

Dave Reed

Dave Reed

From 2012 through 2019, Dave Reed served as the Leadership Committee Chair for the UNF Student Affairs Community Council. The committee provided counsel and support to the leadership institute's director. Throughout these years, Dave championed a vision of leadership becoming a tenet of UNF identity, and of the institute collaborating across the university and community in this pursuit.

Dave also participated in numerous institute events as an emcee, speaker, and moderator. He worked on the institute’s custom textbook for the Introduction to Leadership course (LDR3003), including editing and writing, cover design, and online curricular deployment. Upon invitation to teach the course, Dave became a Taylor Leadership Institute Instructor and Faculty Partner. He teaches, as well, in the Coggin College of Business.

Dave’s leadership experience spans top corporations to his own businesses in the music, television, and promotions industries. Regarding his scholarly interests in leadership, Dave says, “Theory brings systematic examination and explanation—even measurability—to skills and experiences we otherwise consider in subjective, incomplete terms. Still, where theory is ink drying on paper, reality is leadership playing out in everyday practice—two very different things.”

Dave’s leadership teaching philosophy echoes the sentiment, as he speaks of the personal development of UNF students.

We must wholly prepare students to become the future leaders of our workplaces, communities, and homes. To neglect such purposeful training is to abandon the university’s first duty to society. Little in life can substitute for exemplary character and extraordinary capableness. My work at Taylor Leadership Institute centers on the realization of these ideals through combined scholarship and personal development”. 

Tara Rowe

Dr. Tara Rowe

Dr. Tara Rowe received her doctorate of educational leadership here at UNF and has served as an adjunct faculty member since 2015. Dr. Rowe's passion for disability services and empowering individuals with disabilities has led to national and international conference presentations as well as in-publication manuscripts. Dr. Rowe's research areas include leadership, students with disabilities, and self-determination. Prior to moving to Florida, Dr. Rowe spent several years living and traveling overseas teaching and working with various underdeveloped countries. During her time in Kenya training teachers at an orphanage for deaf children, Dr. Rowe discovered the power of leading with authenticity. Dr. Rowe's passion and vision of leadership stems from authentic leadership and self-determination. One of Dr. Rowe's favorite quotes is "If you want to learn something, teach it to someone else" from Steven Covey and her philosophy for leadership can be summed up with the following statement: "Those who feel appreciated and valued will always do more than what is expected" 

Alex Schonning

Dr. Alexandra Schonning

Dr. Schönning joined the Taylor Leadership Institute in 2018 as the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction (CCEC) liaison. She strives to ensure that the needs of the CCEC students are well understood so that they can best benefit from the leadership experiences provided by TLI. She eagerly looks for opportunities in which TLI’s efforts and efforts by CCEC can be combined; one such example is the Women Leaders in STEM Conference. Dr. Schönning also serves as the founding director for the Center for the Advancement of Women in Engineering, and has previously served as the coordinator for the Mechanical Engineering program. She teaches a leadership course called Professional Issues in Engineering. 

Christine Holland

Dr. Christine Holland

Dr. Christine Holland has taught public speaking courses related to leadership for over thirty years. Her doctorate in Educational Leadership featured a concentration on intercultural communication. She teaches communication studies courses including Organizational Communication COM 3120, Communicating Across Cultures, MMC 2701, and Public Speaking for Professionals SPC 4064 for the School of Communication at UNF. Dr. Holland is particularly interested in collaborative leadership such as Kouzes and Posner (1987) presented in the Leadership Challenge.

Melinda Santos Quant

Melinda Santos, M.Ed.

Ms. Santos is passionate about creating engaging and innovative educational programs, and has over 16 years of experience in higher education, with a focus on developing mentorship and professional development training programs. During her career, she has served students as a college advisor, Director of Admissions and Assistant Director of the Coggin Career Management Center.  In this role she helped create and execute the center’s exemplary professional development programs including: Career Readiness Certificate, Peer to Career Mentors and the Executive Mentor Program.  Furthermore, Ms. Santos has worked with students from a broad range of demographics, backgrounds and skill sets.   


An alumna of the University of North Florida, she has earned a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, with an emphasis in Adult and Post-Secondary studies. Currently, she serves as an adjunct instructor for the Intro to Leadership Course provided through the Taylor Leadership Institute (TLI). In this role, she has partnered with TLI staff to redesign the Intro to Leadership online course, expand the Career Apprenticeship Model, and increase opportunities for students to earn the Leadership Minor through participation in Coggin's mentorship programs.


Ms. Santos self-identifies as a servant leader, who's purpose and talent is to maximize the potential in others.

Andrea Buenano 2

Dr. Andrea Buenano

Dr. Andrea Buenaño is an Assistant Professor of Sport Administration at the University of Cincinnati and an adjunct with the Taylor Leadership Institute over the past four years. She currently directs the program’s experiential learning courses and curriculum development at UC. Andrea has been involved in mentoring students, developing inclusive and integrated leadership development, community service learning and experiential learning for over 15 years.

Her professional career outside of academia includes more than 10 years of professional experiences in all facets of the sport industry and collaboration with the NCAA Leadership Development program. Andrea has applied this combination of practical and academic experience to a variety of consultancies for sport organizations and her passion in providing a student-centered learning experience.

She has a strong belief that a big part of her role as an educator is to empower students to develop their personal growth through leadership development. She values the educational richness offered by teaching students from all over the world. Andrea also enjoys the ability to be an example for students with her active community involvement in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including, the YMCA and Donate Life.

Don Hutton 2

Don Hutton

Don has shaped much of his professional and academic career around leadership and has proven to be a strong addition to the Taylor Leadership Institute. His leadership experience includes serving as the Baptist Hospital President & CEO for 20 years. Don was also the founder of MEDI, the largest leadership development and executive coaching firm in the provider healthcare industry, he’s been the author of numerous executive coaching and leadership development articles, is a frequent speaker on leadership development, and has worked with over 100 organizations and their executives to enhance their leadership effectiveness. Don currently teaches both graduate and undergraduate leadership classes and has done so for the past 15 years. As part of the Taylor Leadership team he has also taught LDR 3003 for three semesters for the Honors College, currently serves on the LDR 3003 text development committee, serves on the TLI advisory committee, and is a Brooks College of Health TLI faculty advisor.