Whitehead Leadership Society


The Whitehead Leadership Society is an organization established to encourage leadership and academic excellence within the University of Redlands School of Business & Society. As facilitators of professional education and lifelong learning, individual members of the Society have the responsibility to:

  • Provide active service and support to the University community
  • Foster an academic climate for enhancing School of Business & Society student achievement
  • Focus on increasing productive student and faculty dialogue
  • Honor the traditions of the liberal arts

Benefits of Whitehead Leadership Society Membership

  • Formal induction ceremony and presentation of a Whitehead Leadership Society (WLS) medallion and certificate of membership
  • Special recognition at commencement for contributions to the University and community
  • Lifetime membership to the WLS alumni network
  • Invitations to professional and social events
  • Participating with your WLS peers, alumni, and the community in leadership and service-oriented events

Becoming a Member

To be considered for WLS membership, nominees must be a current student with current degree program not signed off at time of nomination and induction.

Students may become eligible for WLS nomination by demonstrating leadership skills and knowledge through service in the community, workplace, classroom, and through academic excellence. These students may be nominated by faculty, school administrators, or by self-nomination.

To learn more, view our 2023 WLS Membership Guidelines and Nomination.doc.

Student Nomination and Submission Requirements

The call for student nominations will be announced to students, staff, and faculty by late fall each year.

  • Part 1: WLS Membership Student Nomination Form
  • Part 2: A current résumé
  • Part 3: A letter of interest and intent
  • Part 4: Two professional letters of recommendation

Student Selection Process: The Pathway to Membership

Students who are eligible for membership into the WLS may be approved for WLS induction by providing documentation supporting their leadership, active service, and involvement within the University and/or community.

Nomination Deadline and Induction Ceremony

Student nominations for the 2022-2023 academic year are due to Charlotte Roth, the Assistant Director of Student Engagement, at WLS@redlands.edu no later than 11:59 p.m. PDT on Friday, February 10, 2023. All four nomination requirements listed above must be completed and submitted as one packet by the deadline for consideration.

All nominations will be reviewed for approval by the WLS Board of Directors. Those approved for induction will receive an email invitation at least two weeks prior to the induction date.

The next WLS Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. PDT at the Redlands Campus. Attendance is by invitation only.

Whitehead Leadership Society Board of Directors

The election of WLS Board of Directors is held annually in the spring. The WLS Board of Directors will maintain a maximum of two continuing board members each election. The continuing board members are to not exceed two consecutive terms.

The WLS Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • Promoting awareness of the Whitehead Leadership Society
  • Providing communication around University, leadership, and volunteer opportunities to the WLS community
  • Partnering with other University groups and entities
  • Reviewing and making decisions on all membership application submissions
  • Participating in a minimum of one activity per year outside of the Annual Induction Ceremony

WLS members interested in becoming a Board member must submit an application, resume, and three letters of recommendation to be reviewed by the current WLS Board of Directors. To learn more, view our 2023 WLS Board of Directors Guidelines & Application

2023-2024 WLS Board of Directors

Kirstin Backes

Kirstin Backes WLS.jpgKirstin Backes '16

Kirstin was inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society in 2016 and joined the Board of Directors in 2023.  She received her MBA from the University of Redlands in 2016, and her BA from the University of California, Davis in 2011.  She's currently working in Sales and Marketing for COBB Tuning, based in Austin, Texas.  Kirstin has been advising collegiate organizations since 2016, and works as an elected volunteer with the Specialty Equipment Market Association to advance the truck and off-road segment within the automotive aftermarket industry.

Christopher Contreras

Christopher Contreras.jpgChristopher Contreras '10

Christopher was inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society in 2010 and joined its Board of Directors in 2022. He holds an MBA from the University of La Verne and B.S. in Business from the University of Redlands. Christopher currently serves as the Director of Strategy and Business Development for Community Hospital of San Bernardino, and as the Executive Advisor for his self-managed consulting firm. Since 2007, he has given back to alumni and non-profits benefiting LGBTQIA, women empowerment, animal welfare, and social justice for all.

Stacy Grim

stacy grim 440.jpgStacy Grim '13 & '19

Stacy Grim is a double alum from the University of Redlands receiving her BS in Business in 2013 and her Master’s in Organizational Leadership in 2019. She is also an employee for the University in the School of Business & Society. In her current role, as Transcript Specialist, she works with students who want to return to finish their degree. Her position also consists of other responsibilities which include, payroll manager for adjunct faculty, textbook coordinator for all School of Business courses and Canvas administrator for all faculty in the department. Stacy joined the WLS board to become more involved in events and give back to the community and to inspire others to do the same! 

Novella Reed-Miles

Novella Reed Miles WLS.jpgNovella Reed-Miles '00 & '11

Inducted into the Whitehead Leadership Society in 2000, Novella Reed-Miles is a 2-time University of Redlands graduate most recently receiving her Master’s in Business Administration in 2011.  She has spent her professional career in the managed care field working for Independent Physician Groups, Managed Care Organizations, and Health Plans spending the last 17 years at CVS Health | Aetna in the Network Management Department.  Novella was recently awarded a Lead Director role responsible for hospitals in the State of Arizona including Dignity Health and the Tenet Healthcare Systems.  Fulfilling her passion for teaching and service, Novella has been teaching at local community colleges since 2009 and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college-educated women, holding leadership positions in her local chapter since her initiation in 2012. 

Jason Rollo

Jason Rollo Headshot 95x123.jpgJason Rollo '16

Jason Rollo graduated from Redlands in 2016 with a BS in Business and went on to complete his MPA with a Public Sector Management and Leadership concentration at CSUN.  He is currently a Program Manager, Community Relations in the External Affairs group for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  In this role, he is deals with stakeholder engagement issues involving Metropolitan about water infrastructure, current key water issues, and legislation to Metropolitan directors, member agencies, elected officials, business leaders, NGO’s, community leaders, and the general public.  Jason joined the WLS board to reconnect with the University and WLS on future events, as well as volunteering with many other non-profit organizations.  There is no shortage of enthusiasm when you meet Jason!  

Christine Taitano

Christine Taitano 95x123.jpgChristine Taitano, University Liaison

Contact the Board of Directors by emailing WLS@redlands.edu

Whitehead Leadership Society Scholarship for Purposeful Leadership

The Whitehead Leadership Society Scholarship for Purposeful Leadership was inaugurated by the WLS Board of Directors to encourage purposeful leadership within the University of Redlands School of Business & Society. The scholarship is in keeping with the WLS traditions of socially responsible service and sustainable practices in the communities in which our students work and live. At least one $500 scholarship award will be granted each fiscal year by the WLS. The call for student applications will be announced by January each year.

If you are interested in applying, view our 2023 WLS Scholarship Guidelines and Application.doc

WLS Newsletters

To learn more about Whitehead Leadership Society, check out our Newsletter.

Questions? Send us an email.

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