Leaders emerging into the future

Nancy Hall

The Emerging Leaders program is just the first step on the road to a life of leadership at Quinnipiac and beyond.

This program, which runs during both the fall and spring semesters, takes a group of 50 students and tries to make them think outside the box.

Program Director Kerstin Soderlund said that the most important element of this program is that it helps the students understand themselves.

“Once they do that, they are ready to understand others,” she said.

The program consists of mandatory meetings every Tuesday during which members discuss their thoughts on various topics, including personal beliefs and conflict resolution.

There are no assignments, only conversations about issues that concern the students and philosophical ideals.

The students look at the individual characteristics and qualities that make a successful leader and do group oriented projects to help them learn how to work together.

Some workshops deal with issues such as cultural diversity and give the students an opportunity to learn about their own culture while appreciating other cultures.

The Emerging Leaders end the semester with a retreat during which former Emerging Leaders join them to see how much they have learned.

Soderlund said this program is an outlet for students to begin their pursuit of leadership, and that this is just the first step.

A new program is being developed for next year, which would include a sophomore session to serve as an intermediary step before the Lead Team.

Soderlund hopes to focus this program on collaborative issues to prepare the students to present workshops for the younger student leaders.

This would also aid in incorporating the older students into working with the Emerging Leaders so that they will be better acquainted when the retreat begins, she said.