Leaders Engaging in Advanced Discovery

Leaders Engaging in Advanced Discovery

About the VCU LEAD Team

VCU LEAD is a distinguished leadership-focused Living-Learning Program for undergraduate students, of sophomore status or above. VCU LEAD is focused on developing graduates who can successfully lead professional and civic organizations at a local, national, and global level within their respective fields.

The VCU LEAD team is comprised of three full-time faculty/staff members and 6 student interns and teaching assistants who assist with the LEAD, Emerging Leaders Program, Lead Explorers, and classroom activities.

Dr. Jimmie Gahagan

Dr. James (Jimmie) Gahagan


Jimmie Gahagan currently serves as Director of the LEAD program at VCU. He is passionate about helping students develop their leadership skills. He oversees the LEAD, LEAD Explorers, and Emerging Leaders programs and encourages students’ engagement in high-impact practices such as study abroad, internships, undergraduate research, peer leadership, and service-learning at VCU. Jimmie is from Va. Beach and received his undergraduate degree at VCU’s cross town rival the University of Richmond. His master’s and Ph.D. are from the University of South Carolina.

Rebecca Halligan

Rebecca Halligan

Assistant Director

Rebecca (Becca) Halligan is the Assistant Director of VCU LEAD and is dedicated to developing student leaders throughout their journey at VCU.  She works with the LEAD and Emerging Leaders programs and supervises four fabulous LEAD student interns.  Becca is originally from Vermont and received her undergraduate degree from Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA.  Her master's in Higher Education is from University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  She is an ISFJ and her strengths are empathy, positivity, developer, consistency, and harmony.

Dr. Kimberly Matthews

Dr. Kimberly Matthews


Dr. Kimberly Matthews serves as VCU LEAD professor. She received her Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University, a Master’s of Education and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Matthews has work in the field of higher education for over 10 years. During her tenure as a higher education professional, promoting academic, professional, and personal success among the students she assists has continually been her ultimate goal.  Dr. Matthews is inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, "You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."


VCU LEAD is now accepting applications for the next class of LEADers starting in the Fall of 2018! Please click the "Apply" button to submit your application. If you have any questions, please email leadllp@vcu.edu.