Girl Scout Brownie and Junior
Research Corporation for Science Advancement
Leadership is a superb pathway toward making a difference in the world, toward expanding your own horizons and growing personally, and toward helping others grow and expand. Great leaders are great because they are honest, kind, and supportive.
Dr. Martha Gilliland has been a trailblazer all her life. At age 23, she obtained her Master’s degree in geophysics. At age 28, she held a Ph.D. in systems ecology and environmental engineering while also raising two children. By age 32, she had won a major research award and at 40 was named a Fellow of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and was awarded a three year fellowship for leadership development. In 1993, she was a Vice President of the University of Arizona, in 1997 Provost of Tulane University and in 2000 Chancellor of the University of Missouri Kansas City. In 2008, at age 63 Dr. Gilliland climbed Mt.Kilimanjaro in Africa and is headed to base camp of Mt. Everest this April. Currently, in addition to being Vice President of Research Corporation, she is on the Board of Directors of Black & Veatch Corporation (bv.com)
Before any of her formal titles, however, one title resonated strongly with Dr. Gilliland: Girl Scout. Growing up Gilliland participated in Girl Scouts as a Brownie and a Junior Girl Scout. The Girl Scout program provided many opportunities for growth and improvement, particularly in leadership roles. While Gilliland’s resume is quite noteworthy, she has only one secret to successful leadership: hard work. Says Gilliland, “I worked hard to become a better and better leader and loved every opportunity to learn more about myself and the world. The leadership journey provided opportunities to travel the world, to understand how to make a difference, to develop inner peace, to help others, to develop financial flexibility, and to have lot and lots of fun.” In addition, to working hard Gilliland also recommends taking pointers from Anna Quindlen who emphasizes blazing your own trail in life, “You are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Nor just the life of your mind, bur the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.”