Dana Carnes Pursley

Dana Carnes Pursley

Director of Alford Community Leadership & Involvement Center (CLIC)
Position Type
- Present
Other Affiliations
She / Her / Hers

Dana Carnes Pursley is a leadership educator committed to developing students who will create change by leading their organizations, communities, and the future. In her 15+ year career, Dana has worked in residence life, leadership education & development, campus organizations & student government, fraternity & sorority life, community service & civic engagement, and large-scale programming & campus traditions. Currently, Dana serves as the Director of the Alford Community Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC). Prior to Denison, Dana served as the Associate Director of the Center for Leadership at Elon University in North Carolina. Dana has also worked at Wittenberg University and Otterbein University. Dana’s professional interests include student organization development, voter education & registration, hazing prevention, LGBTQIA+ support, and assessment.

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.
  • Carnes, D. (2015, June 9). A thank you letter from a first gen student. [NASPA Web blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.naspa.org/constituent-groups/posts/a-thank-you-letter-from-your-first-gen-student
  • Holder, C., & Pursley, D. (in press). Centering Relationships in Collegiate Leadership Curricula. In M. Rocco & D. Pierre. (Eds.), Applying Theories And Models In Leadership Program & Curriculum Design, New Directions for Student Leadership, 2023(180).
  • 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.
  • Pursley, D., (2023, July). Hallmarks of the Modern Student Experience. Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Leadership Institute, Columbus, OH.
  • Pursley, D., & Vermillion V. (2023, June). Creating and Supporting Intentional Voter Engagement Plans Executed by Empowered Student Leaders. NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting, Boston. MA.


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)
  • Denison University Student Life Collaboration Award (May 2023)
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