Wednesday, November 5, 2003
New program develops student leaders
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
Oakland University offers a number of ways for students to enhance their communication, teamwork and leadership skills through involvement in campus and community organizations and events. This year, 16 students are participating in the OU Leadership Institute, a new program designed to foster the growth of leadership skills, values and knowledge to achieve academic, professional and personal success and a sense of civic responsibility in the workforce and community. The program is sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, Center for Student Activities, Dean of Students Office and Division of Student Affairs.
“We wanted to create some developmental opportunities for Oakland juniors and seniors who may have already gotten their feet wet in some leadership role on campus but want to become more heavily involved,” said Jean Ann Miller, director of the Center for Student Activities. “The program develops students for increased leadership roles on campus. Some may return to Oakland next year and become a resident assistant or orientation group leader or assume a leadership position in a student or community service organization. The program will help students pursue positions at the highest level.”
The program consists of a two-day leadership retreat and seven day-long sessions in which students meet with representatives from each of OU’s schools and colleges and various student service departments to focus on a particular skill-building topic.
The monthly sessions are as follows:
- Nov. 15: College of Arts and Sciences – communication
- Dec. 6: School of Business Administration – ethics and decision making, mentoring and job shadowing
- Jan. 10: School of Education and Human Services – leadership and learning styles, intergroup teambuilding
- Feb. 7: School of Engineering and Computer Science – visionary thinking
- March 6: School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing – inspiration and motivation
- April 10: Center for Multicultural Initiatives and Center for Student Activities – diversity and conflict management
- May 7 or 8: Career Services – public speaking and career opportunities
Participating students must complete two assignments during the course of the program. They must spend a day job shadowing an individual who is an expert in his or her field to observe leadership by example and learn about the challenges associated with their career. Students also must work in groups to design, plan and implement a community service project to benefit OU or a local social service agency. A graduation ceremony and reception concludes the program on June 3. Students will receive a tuition stipend for the 2004-05 academic year upon successful completion of the program.
“The leadership institute will provide the skills and connections I need to become more involved on campus,” said sophomore elementary education major Kathleen Pernak, an institute participant. “Not only will the program provide me with the skills to make me more marketable, it will also help mould me into someone who can be depended on in the community and serve as a role model. It’s a really great program for students who are looking to give back.”
Program applicants must have reached sophomore or junior status with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. Those who have demonstrated student leadership and campus involvement with a cumulative GPA between 2.5 and 2.99 also will be considered. In addition, applicants must be returning to OU the following academic year. Participants are nominated by OU faculty and staff. Self-nominations also are accepted. Attendance at the retreat and at least 80 percent of the monthly sessions are required.
For more information on the OU Leadership Institute, contact Jean Ann Miller at (248) 370-4332 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Gloria Sosa, director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives at (248) 370-4404 or email@example.com.