Advance Your Career with a Master's Degree

The Masters of Science in Transformational Educational Leadership (MSTEL) is designed to meet the need for leaders in diverse educational settings, who will not only be effective administrators but also visionary leaders capable of creating highly-effective school cultures. The program promotes a collaborative approach to leadership that empowers stakeholders to attain individual and institutional goals. Upon completion, students are eligible for administrator certification in Michigan.

The MSTEL Catholic School Leadership Concentration recognizes the need for Catholic school administrators that are prepared not only as transformational educational leaders, but also as spiritual leaders. Madonna University has joined with the Archdiocese of Detroit and Sacred Heart Major Seminary to offer the Catholic School Leadership Concentration. The Catholic School Leadership Concentrationfollows the guidelines for administrator certification, and is designed for part-time students with full-time work commitments. 


Student Success

Lisa Diebel

Lisa Diebel, '08

Why did you choose Madonna University? 
I chose Madonna University because it was close to home and it had an excellent reputation.

What do you think makes the experience and education at Madonna Special?
All of my professors were extremely dedicated and passionate professors. They truly cared about students, which included me the student and the students I would be entrusted with. The small class size was also a plus for personalized attention.

What have you been doing since graduation, career wise?

When I first graduated 11 years ago, I started working at Plymouth High School in their FCS department. I was there for seven years and then I moved over to East Middle School. I have been here for five years. Just recently I accepted a position at Ohio University as an associate lecturer and program coordinator. 

How has your Madonna degree played a role in your current position?
My Madonna degree has led me to a new challenge in my career. I will be lecturing and also responsible for growing a department.

What has been your most rewarding professional or personal experience since graduating?
My most rewarding experience is that I now will have the opportunity to be like the professors that so greatly inspired me. It is my turn to inspire the next generations of educators.

CSL Student Success


Fr. Jefferson M Thompson, CSB (MSCS graduate) 

Why did you choose Madonna University?
It was a local and reputable Catholic university precisely offering the degree in Catholic school leadership that I was looking for and needed at the time.

What do you think makes the experience and education at Madonna special?
The University’s Catholic identity and ethos, class sizes, interpersonal dynamics and interactions between professors and students, knowledgeable and helpful guidance by program directors, and the Graduation Mass with the Bishop are highlights for me.

What have you been doing since graduation, career wise? 2012-14: President of Detroit Catholic Central High School, Novi, and MI 2014-present: President of St. Michael’s College School, Toronto, Canada.

How has your Madonna degree played a role in your current position?
Elements from all my Madonna courses continue to inform and influence my ongoing analysis, judgment, planning, and direction of diverse school programs and initiatives. In the leadership of my schools, I have always been guided by our discussions in leadership classes about the important differences between the life world and the systems world in daily school life.

What has been your most rewarding professional or personal experience since graduating?
My most rewarding professional experience has been being appointed the President of my alma mater. St. Mike's gave me the foundation for life and it is where I discerned my priestly vocation with the Basilian Fathers.  Also, having been blessed with the culture and benefits of Catholic education all my life, I continue to receive confirmation time after time from current students, parents, faculty, and staff, as well as alumni students and parents, about the value and importance of the many dimensions of the life world in our school life, which is always supported by the spiritual foundations of faith and service; because it is this pervasive culture that makes the most lasting impression and effects the greatest lasting impact on all generations within our school community.

Faculty Bios

Les SharonProgram Director, Transformational School Leadership
Assistant Professor

B.S. Northern Michigan University 

M.A. Eastern Michigan University  

Ed. S. Wayne State University 

Ph.D. Eastern Michigan University


734-432-5334, Room 2230F

Les Sharon

Dr. Les Sharon is the Director of the Masters of Science in Transformational EducationalLeadership and the Director of Student Teaching. His professional background includesthirty-three years in K-12 education as a special education teacher, general education teacher,Reading Recovery teacher, and building principal. His work focuses on the formal preparation offuture educational leaders that will someday transform struggling schools into effective,high-achieving learning communities that meet the needs of all students. He received his Ph.Din Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and holds endorsements inelementary and secondary administration, general education (K-8 all-subjects), and specialeducation including cognitively impaired and learning disabilities.

Dr. Sharon’s research interests include examining the role status functions play in schoolorganizations as they relate to curriculum enactment as well as role of language in effectiveschool leadership. He works closely with the Beijing Comparative Educational Institute and withcolleagues at the Xi’an University to provide educational opportunities for school leaders andteachers all over China. Dr. Sharon served as an adjunct professor before joining MadonnaUniversity full-time as an assistant professor.

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Leisa Marie Carzon Concentration Director, Catholic School Leadership

A.B.Ed University of Michigan

M.M. Michigan State University

M.A. Eastern Michigan University

Ph.D. University of the Cumberlands

lcarzon@madonna.edu 734-432-5483, 2230A

Leisa Marie Carzon

Leisa Marie Carzon, Ph.D.,has over 27 years in higher education. She is Director of the Catholic School Leadership graduate program and an assistant professor.  She graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan and obtained graduate degrees in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan and University of the Cumberlands. Her research interests include K-12 education, Catholic school identity, and the spiritual formation and theological literacy of Catholic school administrators.  She is currently a principal investigator for a nationwide study to provide feedback to the Congregation for Catholic Education, a Pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia, with results to be presented to the Vatican.  

She is also coloratura soprano, holds a graduate degree in vocal performance, and has performed both nationally and internationally.  She has sung with the Michigan Opera Theater and Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist with numerous symphonies, chamber ensembles, and choral groups. Musical highlights include performances as an oratorio soloist on recordings, a featured operatic role in Italy, a vocalist in a DSO production with Maureen McGovern, a soloist for the consecration of the EWTN-affiliated Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and a chamber vocalist for a visit of His Holiness Pope St. John Paul II. 

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Stewart WoodAssociate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness

B.Ed. Bishop Grosseteste College 

M.Ed. University of Sheffield 

Ph.D. University of Michigan 


734-432-5645, 2002

Stewart Wood

Stewart Wood is the Associate Dean for University Assessment, Associate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness, Professor of Education, and Chair of the Faculty Professional Development Committee. Stewart joined the full-time faculty at Madonna University in 1994. He teaches Educational Research and Practice in the HEA program, drawing on his expertise in teaching and learning theory, educational psychology, lifelong learning, achievement motivation, and assessment. Dr. Wood is an active member of the American Educational Research Association and serves as a reviewer for the Lilly Conferences on College Teaching. Dr. Wood has served on numerous advisory boards and published articles in Phi Delta Kappa and the Journal of Early Adolescence. Stewart earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Michigan and M.Ed. from the University of Sheffield, U.K.

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Karen ObsniukDean, College of Education and Human Development

B.S. Wayne State University

M.A. Wayne State University

Ph.D. Wayne State University


734-432-5648, 2230D

Karen Obsniuk

Karen L. Obsniuk, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Education. She joined the faculty of Madonna University in 1996. Previously, she was an adjunct faculty, while working in K-12 schools as a teacher and school administrator. She completed her doctoral degree in Administration and Supervision, with a cognate in curriculum, and her M.A. in English Literature, at Wayne State University. She teaches in the areas of educational practice and action research.

Her interests include educational change, K-12 student behavior, literacy intervention with at-risk students, and quality of work life issues for teachers. Her research has been mixed methods research primarily with pre-service and in-service teachers, school administrators, and EL learners. She is actively engaged in the field of education through her work at the State and local levels, serving on State committees and a local board. 

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Sue Ann SharmaChair of Graduate Education

B.S. University of Michigan – Flint 

M.S. Oakland University 

Ed.S. Oakland University 

Ph.D. Oakland University 


734-432-5785, 2230G

Sue Ann Sharma

Sue Ann Sharma is Professor and Chair of Graduate Education at Madonna University. With extensive experience in education, including having served as a curriculum director, literacy coach, and elementary teacher. In addition to her academic leadership, Dr. Sharma is the Director of the Early Childhood Education and Graduate Literacy programs within the College of Education.

Passionate about educational excellence, Dr. Sharma is dedicated to preparing teachers to address the diverse needs of learners. Her commitment extends to developing instructional literacy leaders, contributing to the future of education. As an advocate for literacy, she has actively served on the International Reading Association's Literacy Reform Task Force and holds the position of Past President at the Michigan Reading Association.

Sharma's academic pursuits focus on early childhood education, culturally responsive pedagogies, digital curation, and online teaching and learning. Through her research, she aims to advance knowledge in these critical areas, contributing to the ongoing evolution of effective educational practices. A respected figure in academia, Dr. Sue Ann Sharma continues to inspire and shape the educational landscape, leaving an indelible mark through her leadership, research, and commitment to fostering excellence in teaching and learning.

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