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Meet the Faculty: Marianne Cabrera, Ph.D.


Meet the Faculty at Adler University

Marianne Cabrera, Ph.D. – Program Director for Adler University’s M.A. in Organizational Leadership and Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership programs

Education: Ph.D., Organizational Leadership, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Research Interests: Leadership theory, women in leadership, women of color in leadership, generational approaches to organizational behavior and leadership, decision-making strategies in a virtual world, diversity and inclusion initiatives (what works and why).

Question: What are some of the courses you teach at Adler University, and what can students expect to learn?

Dr. Cabrera: I have taught in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, specifically the Organizational Development and Change, and Performance Management courses, where students can learn about theories and models that translate to their work outside of the classroom. I am currently embarking on a new journey, helming the Organizational Leadership degree programs, where we teach a blend of content-based and skill-focused courses, including Organizational Culture and Design, Entrepreneurship, Diversity and Inclusion, and Leading Innovation.

Q: What social justice issues are you passionate about?

Dr. Cabrera: I am incredibly excited to champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a woman of color who has spent much of my career in corporate America, I realize and have experienced the struggles of slow career progression and having my voice heard. The frustration that colleagues and students feel when we discuss topics like not having a safe space at work or not being represented by the makeup of executive leadership resonates with me, and I think speaks to why it is so important to find ways of working toward finding some semblance of equity and equality in the workplace. Diversity & Inclusion work is not something that yields change immediately—it is slow progress, but while slow, any progress that we can make is a win in my book. It’s imperative that we continue to work on shifting our non-inclusive realities, no matter how disheartening it may be at times.

Q: What do you do outside the classroom?

Dr. Cabrera: I love to cook, eat, travel to eat—anything food related! Pre-pandemic, I traveled a lot, either with my husband or my friends. I also now have a very talkative baby boy who loves his mom snuggles, so I’ve been soaking up all the baby time I can get. I’ve been told that they grow up so fast, and I’m finding that out to be 100% accurate! Aside from my home life, I try to give back to the community as a volunteer mentor with Upwardly Global, a nonprofit that helps immigrants find gainful employment here in the U.S.

Q: What about Adler University resonated with you?

Dr. Cabrera: The value the university puts on social justice and community is what really drew me to Adler, and what keeps me here. While I love engaging with students and can do that at any institution, Adler truly does prioritize creating a community, not just for its students, but for its staff and faculty too.

To learn more about our M.A. in Organizational Leadership or Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership programs, contact our Admissions team or fill out the “Request Information” form today!