Mark Pogue and Samantha Kennelly
Get to Know Us


Clifton Strengths Institute Team

Pogue, Mark
Executive Director of Clifton Strengths Institute
Kennelly, Samantha
Clifton Strengths Institute Coordinator

Mark Pogue, Executive Director

Mark Pogue

Mark Pogue is the Executive Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Business Administration. In this role, he creates strengths-based programs at the university to empower students, staff and faculty to lead successful, self-directed lives with the knowledge of their talents and how to apply them. Prior to coming to UNL, he was the senior director of strengths development in the education division of Gallup Inc. In his 15 years with Gallup, Pogue was a consultant and speaker to higher education institutions, K-12 school districts and Fortune 500 companies on building strengths-based organizations. He has shared his message of moving from strengths to thousands of educators and students at more than 250 campuses and national conferences. Pogue also led the design and implementation of StrengthsQuest, a campus-based human development and engagement program, created to help students apply their strengths in academics and career. Under his direction the program grew to more than three million participants in a wide range of settings on over 600 campuses.

Pogue earned his master’s degree in leadership from UNL and his bachelor’s degree in management science from Oklahoma State University.

Pogue and his wife, Jami, have two daughters, Paige and Reilly, attending UNL. In his spare time Mark is an avid sailor, runner, photographer and plays the guitar.

Pogue’s Top Five Strengths are: Self-Assurance, Activator, Ideation, Intellection, and Command

Samantha Kennelly, Coordinator

Samantha Kennelly is the Program Coordinator within the Clifton Strengths Institute and a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. She recently earned her M.A. in Educational Administration-Student Affairs at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2016 and was a graduate student in the Institute as one of the original team members. Prior to attending graduate school, she graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa with a B.S. in Psychology in 2013 where her interest in positive psychology and strengths-based psychology began. Throughout Kennelly’s undergrad, she performed roles as a student leader helping students discover their passions and true potential to create meaningful experiences to create an impactful life for themselves. She is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota.

In her free time, Kennelly enjoys being with her family and friends, spending time at her cabin in Wisconsin, karaoke, traveling to new cities and countries, and capturing “moments” on her camera.

Kennelly’s Top Five Strengths are: Harmony, Input, Responsibility, Maximizer, Positivity