SBL Graduate, Ken Rice
Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL), '09
As a 17-year-old convenience store clerk in South Carolina, Kenneth W. Rice '09 (Business & Leadership) never imagined earning his DSL, or serving as a commander in the Navy. Rice joined the Marines after high school to earn enough money for college. After eight years in the Marines he earned an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and spent two years working as a corrections officer in a maximum-security prison.
Later, Rice joined the Navy to advance his education even more. When he decided to pursue his Doctor of Strategic Leadership (DSL) at Regent, he found he could immediately apply his studies to his career. Several papers he wrote as part of the doctoral program led Navy leaders to implement new strategies after he provided them to his boss.
Rice is one of a growing number of armed services men and women choosing Regent's graduate programs. Part of the appeal for him was Regent's focus on academic excellence combined with a Christian worldview. He also enjoyed the relationships he built with professors.
"The DSL faculty modeled a pattern of living marked by professional excellence, courage in making ethical decisions based on Christian values and compassion in serving others," Rice explains. "They demonstrated that zeal and humility are equally important in effective leaders."
Rice's current position as executive officer of the USS Jason Dunham requires him build relationships and lead diverse groups of people to agree on strategic decisions. He says his courses on consulting, coaching and strategic foresight equipped him for this by providing the ability to foresee potential problems and work with others to rapidly develop solutions.
"The DSL program helped me to realize that leadership is more about who you are rather than the job you do," he says. "I was able to walk away with the confidence to know that I can lead my sailors to greatness; that I can inspire sailors to be extraordinary and become great leaders themselves."