Position Type
- Present
Other Affiliations

As the Director of the Alford Community Leadership and Involvement Center, Dana Carnes Pursley is responsible for overseeing involvement opportunities including leadership development and education, campus organizations, fraternity and sorority life, service and community engagement, civic and political engagement, and major events and traditions. Pursley is responsible for enhancing leadership development and education programs through signature CLIC programs including D.U. Lead, LeaderShape, and the Leadership Fellows program.

Prior to this role, Pursley served as the Associate Director of the Center for Leadership at Elon University for seven years and Area Coordinator and Leadership Initiatives Coordinator at Wittenberg University for three years.

Pursley is originally from Brook Park, Ohio. Her work with students is informed by her personal and professional experiences as a first-generation college student and a social justice educator and advocate.

In her free time, Pursley enjoys working out, spending time with family, cooking, and reading.

B.S., Heidelberg University; M.A., The Ohio State University


  • Bosch, M. A., & Pursley, D. (2019). Rising like a phoenix: One institution’s journey through trans and LGBTQIA inclusion. In G. Beemyn (Ed.), Trans people in higher education (pp. 279-295). New York, NY: SUNY Press.
  • Janet, C. & Carnes, D. (2017, March). Moving beyond membership: College student development of citizenship and agency. College Student Personnel Association ACPA Annual Convention, Columbus, OH.
  • Janet, C. & Carnes, D. (2016, December). Moving beyond membership: College student development of citizenship and agency. Leadership Educators Institute, Long Beach, CA.
  • Bosch, M. A., & Carnes, D. (2016, March). Should my department go there: LGBTQIA inclusion across campus departments. College Student Personnel Association ACPA Annual Convention, Montreal, Canada.
  • Carnes, D. & Ward-Johnson, F. (2014, December). Facilitating learning through creative experiential leadership courses. Leadership Educators Institute, Fort Worth, TX.
  • Rusterholz, S. & Carnes, D. (2014, December). Exploring the intersections of diversity, social justice, and leadership. Leadership Educators Institute, Fort Worth, TX.


Professional Memberships
  • Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)
  • College Student Educators International (ACPA)
  • National Clearinghouse of Leadership Programs (NCLP)
  • Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA)
  • International Leadership Association (ILA)
  • National Association for Campus Activities (NACA)
  • Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA)


Honors & Awards
  • Elon University Student Life Collaboration Award (May 2019)
  • Elon University Student Life Innovation Award (May 2018)
  • Elon University Phoenix Rising Award (May 2017)
  • Elon University Student Life Professional Development Award (April 2017)
  • Elon University Gender & LGBTQIA Center Staff Member of the Year (May 2015)