Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon


Dean, College of Business
Associate Professor, Management, B.A./M.B.A.
Faculty Lead, Business Leadership and Consulting Concentration, Ph.D./E.d.D.

Foundation Trustee Board Member, Northwest University
Champion, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Colleges, Northwest University


Ed.D. Brandman University, 2014
M.A. Chapman University, 2006
B.A. University of Puget Sound, 1999


Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon serves as Dean of the College of Business and as an Associate Professor of Management. She completed Brandman University’s inaugural Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership program in 2014, and was the first to complete her course work and defend her dissertation over 100 other doctoral students and candidates. Dr. Cawthon earned a M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and B.A. in Communications from the University of Puget Sound.

She began teaching business courses for the School of Business and Professional Studies at Brandman University in 2010. With this experience, Dr. Cawthon acquired a full-time faculty position at Northwest University in 2015, teaching management courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She currently serves as the Faculty Lead for the Business Leadership and Consulting Concentration for the Ph.D./Ed.D. program.

Dr. Cawthon worked in the criminal justice profession for eleven years before transitioning to higher education. While employed with the Department of Corrections, she held positions ranging from Business Analyst to Communications Consultant, overseeing media relations in multiple prisons and field offices in Washington State. In her last role, she served as a Correctional Unit Supervisor, managing a 104-bed unit at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women.

Here at Northwest, Dr. Cawthon is known for her passion and willingness to go above and beyond her role as a professor. She actively engages in the community and understands the value of serving as a mentor and source of inspiration for students and colleagues.


Dr. Cawthon is passionate about public speaking. She has experience serving as a keynote speaker and workshop presenter for domestic and international conferences, community engagements, company events, and higher education institutions. Occasionally, Dr. Cawthon engages in organizational consulting work for governmental and non-governmental entities.


Cawthon, R. (2014). A qualitative study exploring the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation on the transition of low-income students to higher education (Doctoral dissertation). Pro-Quest Dissertation and Theses (Order No. 3635053).

Stewart, B. & Cawthon, R. (2010). Rebranding corrections for today’s workforce. Corrections Today, 72(5), 28-31.

Recommended Readings

Nadella, S. (2017). Hit refresh: The quest to rediscover Microsoft’s soul and imagine a better future for everyone. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Sinek, S. (2009). Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.

Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New Your, Ny: Doubleday.