Lisa Kensler

Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor for Educational Leadership

photo of Lisa Kensler

Office: 4016 Haley Center

Units: Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology

Campus Mail: 4036 Haley Center


Phone: (334) 844-3020

Vita: view vita

Academic Areas

Administration of Elementary and Secondary Education

Administration of Supervision and Curriculum

Educational Leadership

Short Bio

Lisa A. W. Kensler ( is the Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at Auburn University. Her original training in ecology continues to fuel her love of systems thinking and the challenges located at the intersection of human and nature’s systems, particularly as they appear in PK-12 schooling. For more than two decades, Kensler has engaged in learning and teaching about systems thinking and sustainability. Her research over the past decade has focused on green schools and the leadership and learning required for transforming schools into more socially just, ecologically healthy, and economically viable communities that engage intentionally with the global sustainability movement. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters related to democratic community, systems thinking, trust, teacher leadership, and whole school sustainability/green schools.    

In 2017, she and Cynthia Uline co-authored, Leadership for Green Schools: Sustainability for Our Children, Our Communities, and Our Planet. In 2018, the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) recognized Kensler as one of its “Hidden Figures - behind the scenes giants in the field whose work cannot be ignored.” She and Cynthia Uline expect their second book, A Practical Guide to Leading Green Schools: Partnering with Nature to Create Vibrant, Flourishing, Sustainable Schools, to be published mid-2021.


Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, 2008, Lehigh University

S.E.C. in Biology/Life Science, 1997, Old Dominion University

M.S. in Biology, 1996, Old Dominion University

B.S. in Biology, 1987, George Mason University

Professional Experience

2017 - Present

Emily R. and Gerald S. Leischuck Endowed Professor, Auburn University

2015 - 2017

Associate Professor and Program Coordinator, Auburn University

2008 - 2013

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Auburn University

2007 - 2008

Research Assistant, Lehigh University Center for Urban Leadership

2005 - 2006

Curriculum Writer, Learning Sciences International

2004 - 2007

Graduate Assistant, Lehigh University

1999 - 2004

Biology Teacher, Principia Upper School

1997 - 1998

Science Teacher, Bates Middle School

1996 - 1996

Biology Teacher, Lake Taylor High School

1995 - 1995

Research Consultant, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

1994 - 1996

Teaching Assistant, Old Dominion University

1990 - 1991

Preschool Teacher, Montessori Institute of Tidewater

1988 - 1990

Research Consultant, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ann Arbor, MI

1982 - 1986

Laboratory Manager, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC