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Q&A: Meet Jonathan Glenn, the new face of Leadership Safari


Jonathan Glenn will be the new face of Leadership Safari at Central Michigan University. Courtesy Photo | Jonathan Glenn

Jonathan Glenn, a two-time graduate of Central Michigan University who used to work in the Multicultural Academic Student Services office, has been selected to lead Leadership Safari as the assistant director of the Leadership Institute. 

Glenn's undergraduate education degree allowed him to teach in Saginaw and eventually in Santo Domingo, a city in the Dominican Republic. He received his Master's Degree in History with a focus on Native American History. After graduation, Glenn earned an Advanced Diploma in Theology and a Bachelor’s of Theology from Life Christian University.

Formerly, Glenn was in charge of the Multicultural Advancement and Lloyd Cofer Scholarships.

Central Michigan Life spoke with Glenn to discuss his plans for the program and how he will make the transition to the Leadership Institute. 

What has the transition from the MASS office to the Leadership Institute been like?

Glenn: I’m still in the middle of the transition, so there hasn’t been any major change other than my focus is on Safari now as opposed to Impact. The cool thing about (CMU) is that you deal with a lot of the same groups of students, so during my transition, I’ve been able to work with a lot of the same students I’ve already worked with. But, the door also opens for me to have more opportunities with other (student) groups. 

What about the Leadership Institute position was appealing to you? 

My dream is to be a Dean of Students. If you’re a Dean of Students at a university, you should be able to have something on your resume that shows you can lead different types of students. I have proven that I can assist students of color or multicultural-thinking students. I believe that I can help bring a little bit more diversity to certain programs and hopefully I can also service the majority students as I’ve served the students of color here on campus. 

What will you miss most about running the MAC Scholarship? 

I’m going to miss the students the most. Relationships and consistency is everything to me, so being able to have complete access to my students and them having complete access to me is going to be the most difficult part. 

Why do you feel that now is the right time to make this change? 

When the job opportunity came up I just felt the push to do it. After finishing this year, it would’ve been close to four years as a professional. It’s time for a new challenge. I preach to my students all the time that they need to reach for the stars and reach their highest potential. If I don’t do that, then I’m a hypocrite.  

What changes do you plan on making to Leadership Safari? 

The change is my personality and my presence. I’m going to bring a new flavor and a new set of eyes. Just because I’m African-American doesn’t mean that it’s going to be more diverse there. It’s the way I live, it’s the way I operate, it’s the way I love my students and being a diverse person just happens to be a part of that. 

What are you looking forward to most about Leadership Safari?

The thing I’m looking forward to the most is access to more students. When I officially move into my new job, I’m not going to stop the relationships I already have. I get to meet new students that otherwise probably wouldn’t have come to my office to see me and I look forward to that. 

What’s something unique or different that you bring to this position? 

I know that I’m already unique and that I will bring my understanding of leadership into my new office, but I don’t know what makes me unique until I’m put in the position where I’m working on it full time.