The award honors a graduating senior from the College of Business Administration for
outstanding leadership/mentorship in school, at work, and in the community. The winner
must exemplify the Center’s mission: To foster the development of effective leaders
at all levels – individual, team, organization, and community. The award is in memory
of an outstanding professor, James R. Meindl at the State University of New York at
Buffalo who inspired Raj Pillai, Executive Director and Jeff Kohles, Director of CLIMB.
This year’s recipient, Debra Doerfler, is a first generation college graduate from the College of Business Administration who has excelled academically in her classes. She was President of Sigma Iota Epsilon, a business management fraternity, in the Fall of 2006 and was responsible for getting the organization involved in the 14th Annual Last Chance for Animals, a fundraiser for animals. She also volunteered her vacation time in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worked towards reuniting people with their beloved pets. She works for the City of Carlsbad where she trains and mentors fellow employees, conducts audits and is a deputized City Clerk. Her volunteer activities earned her a nomination for Volunteer of the Year in 2005. To her, leadership has “sometimes been a tango-forceful and passionate, at other times, a waltz-calm, smooth, and directed, and still others a Texas two-step-staying in line and not interfering.” Above all, she believes that a leader is truly effective when they help other people achieve their goals and the goals of the organization. Someday, she hopes to start a non-profit of her own.
The Center for Leadership Innovation and Mentorship Building (CLIMB) was established within the College of Business Administration to foster the development of effective leaders at all levels – individual, team, organization and community.
The Center conducts research on leadership and related areas and presents the findings at professional conferences. It recognizes leadership achievement in students and the regional communities. It promotes student and faculty interactions with business leaders, organizes and supports leadership seminars and offers leadership development programs.