Dr. Kevin Leonard has over 23 years of experience in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations, most specifically Native American youth. As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, Dr. Leonard has strived to developed networks with tribes and tribal leaders both inside and outside the state to increase the representation of Native youth in higher education and the skilled trades. Through this work, he has gained valuable knowledge and expertise in how to engage and work with tribes, tribal communities, and tribally owned businesses.
Over his tenure, Dr. Leonard has served as Admissions Officer for Michigan State University, the Director of Admissions for Olivet College, and currently serves as Senior Program Coordinator for the Multicultural Business Programs in the Eli Broad College of Business on the campus of Michigan State University. He also presently serves as the Director of the Native American Business Institute, which is a week-long summer business boot camp for 14-17-year-old Native youth from across Michigan and the US designed to expose participants to college, careers in business, and the importance of continuing their education beyond high school.
Dr. Leonard holds three degrees from Michigan State University, including a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Business and a master’s and PhD in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education. His research interests include the impact of cross-racial interaction and exposure on people’s perceptions and biases, recruitment, and retention of underserved populations, and promoting economic development and sustainability within tribal communities.