Ellen J. Winiarczyk

Academic Director/Teaching Associate Professor at University College, University of Denver

  • Faculty
  • University College

What I do

Direct and develop a Master's and certificate program in Nonprofit Leadership. Teach in the program. Develop partnerships across the university, nonprofit programs and external organizations that may help support the mission of DU, University College and the Nonprofit Leadership program.

Professional Biography

In 2018, Ellen developed, with advisors, the Nonprofit Leadership Master's program at University College. As the program's Academic Director, she is responsible for program management, course scheduling, enrollment, faculty, and program innovation and development. Ellen was a consultant for 18 years to local and national nonprofit organizations, corporations, and different levels of government in the areas of leadership development, DEI, change management, strategic planning, and teambuilding and supervisory skill building, She worked in Washington state government for 10 years as an education director, risk communications staff, and grants and program manager. From 2012-2017 Ellen coached K-12 superintendents and principals for the National SAM Innovation Project. She currently is an executive coach for the Center for Creative Leadership (Greensboro, NC & Colorado Springs, CO).

Motivation for Teaching

Ellen loves to include experiential activities in her teaching. Her experience outdoors and as an Outward Bound instructor inform her approaches to making content highly practical for students she teaches. She is passionate about developing leaders so that they can bring others to be the best they can be in the organizations in which they work and volunteer.

Helping Students Be Successful

Ellen brings stories, metaphors, case studies, games and simulations to planning the classes she teaches engage students and make course content come alive. She fosters a class culture of belonging by inclusively helping all students get to know one another and support each other in their learning together. Students call her fun, engaging, and authentic. 


  • Doctor of Education (EdD)  in Educational Leadership and Policy, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver
  • Master of Environmental Studies (MES) in Water Policy/Tribal Natural Resources, The Evergreen State College
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Physical Education, University of New Hampshire

Licensure / Accreditations

  • Vertical Development: Global Leadership Profile
  • Leading Managers 360 (and other 360 degree products)
  • Qualified Executive Coach
  • Workplace Big Five Profile
  • FIRO and FIRO-Business Assessments
  • Professional and Community Mediator
  • Meyers Briggs Type Indicator- Qualified

Professional Affiliations

  • Nonprofit Academic Centers Council
  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Research and Voluntary Action


Nonprofit Organizations, Adjunct Faculty


  • Integrating Inclusive Excellence into the Classroom: Strategies for Creating Inclusive Classroom Environments


  • Ruth Murry Underhill Teaching Award, University of Denver
  • Master Teacher Badge, University College
  • Willi Unsoeld Award, NW Region Association for Experiential Education