Dr. S.R. Aurora (also known as Mai P. Trinh) is an Assistant Professor of Organizational Leadership at Arizona State University. She is a Senior Global Futures Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability and a faculty affiliate in the Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity and the Center for Behavior, Institutions at ASU. She also serves as a Research Fellow of the Coaching Research Lab at Case Western Reserve University.
Aurora‘s interdisciplinary research lies at the intersection of leader development, experiential learning, technology, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She uses technology to facilitate experiential learning processes to empower people, especially the underrepresented, underprivileged, and underserved, to become the best leaders they can be so that we can build a more equitable and equal world together. From the top down, she combines complex adaptive systems science with agent-based modeling to reveal systemic patterns of inequalities, examine the effectiveness of plausible solutions, and recommend leadership actions to alleviate equity and equality. From the bottom up, she uses experiential learning theory and techniques to help leaders develop key competencies and to improve leadership training and education. Overall, her works serve to advance four of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, #4, “Quality education,” #10 “Reduced inequalities,” “#8 Decent work and economic growth,” and #5 “Gender equality.”
Aurora‘s coaching, teaching, and professional development training have impacted thousands of students and educators worldwide. Building on the work of David Kolb, Aurora has pioneered the use of peer coaching and experiential learning practices in virtual spaces and online settings. She has designed and delivered leader development programs for groups and organizations in healthcare and education in the United States, Vietnam, Singapore, Denmark, Australia, and Qatar. She actively shares her innovations in teaching and training in the form of professional development workshops, conference presentations, scholarly publications, or magazine articles. Her latest work regarding gamification has been featured in Nature and received the 2023 Global Forum Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Conference.
Aurora has published in top-tiered peer-reviewed journals such as The Leadership Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Journal of Management Education, and Business Ethics: A European Review. Her works have received international and national recognitions, such as multiple inclusions in the Academy of Management’s Best Paper Proceedings, the Best Symposium Award from the Management Education & Development division of the Academy of Management in 2017, the Junior Faculty Best Paper Award in 2022 and the Global Forum Best Paper Award in 2023 from the same division. Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society, recognized her with the Emerging Advocate Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity in 2023. Among many other honors, she has also received both the Early Career Outstanding Research Award and the Early Career Teaching Award in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts at ASU, the Faculty Women Association’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, the Badass Woman of ASU, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Sun Devil Circle Faculty Advisor’s Award for Leadership.