Dr. Vonk seeks to inspire her students “to live confidently with intention and purpose.” As director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership, she connects with local, national and international organizations to create professional development opportunities for students. She also teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Vonk brings a vast array of real-world experiences to her classroom. She has directed an economic education center, taught high school business and social studies, and also manages finances and human resources for a local farming corporation. A Northwestern College graduate, she earned an MBA from the University of South Dakota and a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Concordia University Chicago.
Students in Dr. Vonk’s New Venture Innovation class learn how to develop ideas and recognize opportunities. They brainstorm possibilities on a local, regional and global scale and research how those possibilities could take shape in the real world. The class culminates in a pitch presentation during which students share their findings with classmates and guests.
Quality business education, leadership training and professional development are just a few of Dr. Vonk’s passions. To empower leaders to reach their full potential, she has coordinated past educational and collaborative opportunities like Leadership Sioux Center, Your Future @ Work, and the Northwest Iowa Business Summit. She also serves as director for the Center for Innovation and Leadership—a campus initiative that is blazing new trails with a regional leadership development program, micro-credential offerings and much more.
A lifelong swimmer, Dr. Vonk is a USA Swimming certified coach and official. She volunteers on the board for the Sioux Center Seahawks swim team, serves as an administrative official and helps coach as needed. She sees coaching as a form of servant leadership and enjoys giving back to others in a sport she has loved all her life. In the summer, you may see her competing in open-water swim races as well. Dr. Vonk also serves as the senior woman administrator in Northwestern's athletic department.