Geaux Lead - A Student Feature: Maja Stojanovic



Maja Stojanovic

Maja StojanovicJeffery Portier

Baton Rouge - The School of Leadership and Human Resource Development is proud to feature Maja Stojanovic as this month's Geaux Lead student. 

Maja has a BA and MA in English Language, Literature, and Culture from the University of Belgrade, Serbia and is currently a first year graduate in the PhD program. Maja works as a Graduate Research Assistant for the School  under Dr. Petra R. Robinson. When offered the position, she was most excited about the opportunity to get an in-depth perspective of the issues she intended to explore by doing research of a qualitative type, in which Dr. Robinson excels. This includes projects like the study titled “To Speak or not to Speak… English? Barriers for Non-Native English-Speaking Students in American Graduate Schools” which is her first study to be accepted for a conference in her first term at LSU. The study will be presented as a lecture on the 3rd Annual Conference on Academic Research in Education (CARE) in February 2019. They have prepared another presentation entitled “Attitudes of Non-Native English-Speaking Graduate Students regarding Academic Success and Job Prospects” that will be shown next year at the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Conference, in April 2019. Maja and Dr. Robinson are currently in the process of writing a journal article on the topic of the benefits and barriers for non-native English-speaking students in American graduate schools, and have already collected the data for another study which is supposed to focus on the analysis of non-native English-speaking students’ language patterns with the implication for presentation skills and business communication. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition!


The primary reason Maja chose LSU was because of the program, LHRD,  in which she is currently enrolled.

“Considering that I have a BA and MA in English Language, Literature, and Culture, and come from a language teaching profession, the moment I decided to pursue a PhD degree, I knew I wanted it to be in Human Resource Development.”


The research interests of the professors in the program were aligned with her ideas of the topics she was eager to research herself. While working as a teacher, Maja worked primarily with adult learners and noticed a lot of them had problems with a lack of motivation for career and skill development, as well as several other issues. She decided to focus on doing more extensive research on how to reduce the occurrence of these phenomena in the first place, and was convinced that the LHRD program would provide the necessary skills to impact these changes in a more meaningful way. Regarding her future goals, Maja explains, 

“I am interested in the international human resource development and I would like to develop my research on this topic further after my graduation in the US, before I attempt to make a change in my home country, Serbia, where the field of HRD is not as developed as in the other parts of the globe.”


One fact people might not generally be aware of is how widespread the field of LHRD is. Maja referred to a metaphor that Dr. Gary McLean used to describe the field, where we can think of LHRD as an octopus or a centipede, but the truth is LHRD's influence and impact is global and necessary.


Maja feels that overall, her LHRD education has greatly enhance her ability to be globally engaged and impactful, explaining how the courses she has taken so far have guided her towards the discovery and understanding of how impactful HRD researchers and consultants can be, not only in an organization such as a company, but also an entire country. Moreover, the research she has done so far have made her become more engaged in the HRD issues which could have a global impact. According to Maja,

“Many might think that leadership requires someone to be put at a pedestal or that a "leader" is often considered to be synonymous to "boss", but I have learned from the knowledge offered at LSU that motivation is the greatest characteristic a leader should strive to possess”.  

She sees herself becoming a change-maker on an international level, which might seem like an unachievable goal to some, but a realistic plan to Maja. She would like her research and practical work to impact the way people perceive multiculturalism in education and the work environment. Maja is of the opinion that double standards should not exist based on someone being "native" or "non-native" and will strive to make a meaningful change in that respect. For students searching for a degree path, she would say that this field is for anyone who cares about making a meaningful change in people's attitudes, beliefs, behavior, and characteristics related not only to the work environment, as many might think when they hear the acronym HR, but also the area of education. It is for all those who would like to help people achieve the best they can in their overall career and not settle for less.


Keep up the great work, Maja!


About the School of Leadership and Human Resource Development

The LSU School of Leadership & Human Resource Development (SLHRD) offers programs dedicated to producing world-class practitioners, leaders, and instructors in human resource and leadership development. The BS, MS, PhD, and certificate programs are designed to develop the leadership, planning, analytical, problem solving, and change management capabilities that today's globalized organizations need to be successful. Additionally, SLHRD also offers two master’s programs and a certificate program, of which are 100% online. The School is housed within the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

About the College of Human Sciences & Education

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree programs, enrolling more than 2,020 undergraduate and 879 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.


Author: Allie Thorpe
Graduate Assistant, SLHRD

Contact: Jeffery S. Portier
SLHRD Public Relations Coordinator
(225) 578-5750