Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron

Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron

Graziella Pagliarulo McCarron

Assistant Professor

Lived experiences of college students as well as the role of higher education, families, and communities in fostering student success and learning via inclusive, ethical, and equitable practices; intersection of student development theory and leadership education pedagogy (teaching and learning); leadership education and underserved student populations.

Dr. McCarron is an Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Integrative Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. She develops and teaches face-to-face and online courses on leadership theory, ethics and leadership, social change, and leadership and organizational problem-solving. As a former student/academic affairs professional and as a current leadership studies faculty member, Dr. McCarron has over 20 years of experience centered around holistic student development, increasing students' access to higher education, student mattering, community-building, and creating learning climates that transcend time and place. A significant focus of Dr. McCarron’s research and practice includes improving access and experience for first-generation learners, reframing leadership education pedagogy to meet students’ changing needs, and exploring the intersections of pedagogy and student development.

First-Generation College Graduate

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications (select)

McCarron, G. P. (In Press). First and flourishing?: An exploration of how first-generation college students make meaning of their well-being through purpose, relationships, and multiple identities. Journal of First-generation Student Success.

Garner, P. W., & McCarron, G. P. (In Press). Perceptions of competence, autonomy, and relatedness among women of immigrant origin working as family childcare providers in the U.S. Community, Work, & Family.

McCarron, G. P., Zhou, S., Schierbeek, E., Campbell, A., & Muscente, K. K. (2022). We’re not working with a blank slate: Students’ pre-college leadership activities and perceived parenting behavior as predictors of college-based leader emergence and leader self-efficacy. Journal of Leadership Education, 21(1), 33-47.

McCarron, G. P., Olesova, L., Calkins, B. (2021). An exploratory examination of student-led, asynchronous collaborative online discussions in fostering higher-order cognitive skills and ethical leadership learning. Online Learning, 25(4), 198-219.

Frye, S., & McCarron, G. P. (2021). Leveraging high-impact, collaborative learning in an undergraduate nonprofit studies course toward bolstering career readiness. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, 11(2), 65-85. 

Maskell, S., McCarron, G. P., Zhou, S., Cannon, J., Goldstein, T., & Zaccaro, S. J. (2021). The leadership stories our children are told: An examination of the characterizations of leadership behaviors and orientations in popular youth TV shows. Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Owen, J. E., Rigaud, S., & McCarron, G. P. (2021). Hidden costs and commitments: Leadership, social class, and experiential learning. New Directions in Student Leadership, 2021(169), 103-110.

Garner, P., McCarron, G. P. (2020). Developing leadership in early childhood education and care through the integration of theory, policy engagement, and advocacy. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 1-18.

McCarron, G. P., Jackson, G., McNaughtan, J., Olesova, L., Schmidt, G. B., & Adams, T. T. (2020). Centering dialogic and digital approaches in leadership education pedagogy: Priority 6 of the national leadership education research agenda 2020–2025. Journal of Leadership Studies, 14(3), 72-77.

Owen, J. E., Krell, M., & McCarron, G. P. (2019). An exploration of civic identity in first-generation college students: From charity to solidarity. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 56(5), 535-549.

McCarron, G. P., & Inkelas, K. K. (2006). The gap between educational aspirations and attainment for first-generation college students and the role of parental involvement. The Journal of College Student Development, 47(5), 534-549.

Chapters in Edited Books or Companion Materials

McCarron, G. P. (2021). Module 5.2: The effects of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination on women’s leadership. In J. M. Pigza, J. E. Owen, & Associates (Eds.), Women and leadership development in college: A facilitation resource (pp. TBD). Stylus.

McCarron, G. P., & Pigza, J. M. (2021). Module 6.3: On-ramps and off-ramps: Narratives of professional journey. In J. M. Pigza, J. E. Owen, & Associates (Eds.), Women and leadership development in college: A facilitation resource (pp. TBD). Stylus.

Courses Taught

INTS204 Leadership Theory and Practice

INTS391 Introduction to Integrative Studies

INTS404/575 Ethics and Leadership

INTS435/535 Leadership in a Changing Environment

INTS451/575 Leadership and Organizational Problem-Solving

INTS498/595 Leadership in Social Change in Italy

INTS498/585 Ethical Leadership: The Italian Perspective



Ph.D., Counseling & Personnel Services, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

M.A., Counseling & Personnel Services, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

B.S.B.A., International Business, American University, Washington, DC

Recent Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Presentations/Posters (Select)

McCarron, G. P., Montiel, S., Hassell-Goodman, S., Byrd, X., Kim, N. (2021, June 30). Honoring the intersections: Supporting first-generation immigrant-origin college students [Virtual conference presentation]. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) - Student Success in Higher Education Conference.

McCarron, G. P., Yamanaka, A., & Lennon, N. (2021, June 30). Supporting ethical decision-making across culture: Leadership education on-campus and abroad [Virtual conference poster]. Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) Annual Meeting.

Schierbeek, E., McCarron, G. P., & Gilmore, M. (2021, June 21-July 2).Community position statements as tools for social change: Collective action and community engagement in the Peruvian Amazon. [Virtual conference poster]. Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America – Biennial Meeting.

McCarron, G. P., & Olesova, L. (2021, April 8-12). Students’ cognitive learning and leadership development via virtual collaboration in online leadership education coursework [Virtual conference poster]. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting.

Chen, C. W., & McCarron, G. P. (2021, April 7). Resilience and resistance: Social justice and human rights college student activists int the Washington Metropolitan Area during Covid-19. [Virtual conference presentation]. International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention.

Yamanaka, A., & McCarron, G. P. (2021, March 24). Fostering social justice awareness through face-to-face and online experiential learning. [Virtual conference presentation]. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Meeting.

McCarron, G. P., & Yamanaka, A. (2021, March 23). High-touch and high-tech: Fostering student mattering and success in online learning communities [Virtual conference presentation]. Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Annual Meeting.

McCarron, G. P., Kodama Muscente, K., Zhou, S., Campbell, A., Schierbeek, E. (2020, December 16). College students’ leadership development: Spotlighting parental influence and pre-college engagement [Virtual conference presentation]. NASPA - Leadership Educators Institute (LEI) Annual Conference.

Barnes, A., Haber-Curran, P., Hassell-Goodman, S., McCarron, G. P., Owen, J. E., Rocco, M., Yamanaka, A., Youngblood, RJ. (2020, December 15). Critical perspectives of women leadership development in college: Tools for facilitating student learning development [Virtual conference presentation]. NASPA - Leadership Educators Institute (LEI) Annual Conference.

Andenoro, T., Skendall, K. C., Middlebrooks, A., Satterwhite, R. J., Chunoo, V. S., Smith, D. N., & McCarron, G. P., (2020, November 5-8). The National leadership education research agenda 2020-2024: Advancing  collaboration & inclusion [Virtual conference presentation]. International Leadership Association Annual Conference.