Fellow Dr. Sophia Town earned her Ph.D. in organizational communication from Arizona State University. Her research, which spans the fields of organizational communication and management, is humanistic, use-inspired and guided by one key question: “How can scholars and practitioners promote human flourishing in organizations?” Within the organizational sciences, Dr. Town takes a decidedly discursive approach by emphasizing the ways leadership and organizing are constructed in and through language.
As a scholar, Dr. Town’s research centers around humanistic leadership, mindfulness, and organizational paradox. Her current work explores how mindfulness practice (e.g., meditation) informs the way leaders approach paradoxes that arise in their organizations. This research identifies counterintuitive strategies leaders can utilize to mindfully navigate organizational paradoxes while maintaining personal and organizational wellbeing. This work is supported, in part, by the Jeanne Lind Herberger Fellowship for transformative research and praxis.
As an educator, Dr. Town aims to inspire her students beyond a theoretical understanding of course concepts (e.g., learning about leadership) toward an embodiment of those concepts (e.g., becoming leadership). To do this, she grounds her classes in experiential learning, critical reflexivity, compassion, and mindfulness-based approaches. In 2018, Dr. Town won Arizona State University’s Teaching Excellence Award.
As a citizen, Dr. Town regularly delivers mindful leadership workshops within her community. She also serves as a research consultant for ASU’s Center for Mindfulness, Compassion, & Resilience.