Students grow skills through Emerging Leaders program


“There are all different kinds of leaders,” Katie Kelly said. The MSUM graduate student is the director of Emerging Leaders, an eight-week leadership program offered to students.

Katie Kelly

Katie Kelly

The program gives the chance for any student, regardless of year or major, to gain leadership knowledge and experience. Through small group sessions, students learn about leadership styles and how they can develop into better leaders themselves.

“It’s based off of the social change model,” Kelly said. Students learn about individual leadership, leadership in a group and how they can apply their leadership for meaningful social change. The program centers on the model’s “seven C’s” of leadership: consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, collaboration, common purpose, controversy with civility and citizenship.

Students also use the Myers- Briggs personality test and StrengthsQuest to assess themselves and their strengths.

“I learned a lot about myself,” said Jordan Pepple, senior criminal justice major and former participant in the program. “What makes me tick, what my strengths and weaknesses were.”

Through their varied and individual strengths, participants find better strategies for both leading and participating in a group. Groups are led by facilitators, who are often undergrad or graduate students themselves.

A commitment to service is another unique aspect of Emerging Leaders, extending the reach of the group into the Fargo-Moorhead community.

“We try to incorporate a service learning project,” Kelly said. “Last semester . . . we met and wrote letters to sick children, and I dropped them off at the Sanford Children’s hospital.”

The program, which has been at MSUM for five years, also gives students a way to get involved on campus and meet other students, while developing their leadership skills and resumes. Former participants agree.

“These lessons are universal,” said Lindsay Marosi, a graduate student who has worked as an Emerging Leaders facilitator for two and a half years. “An opportunity like this doesn’t happen when you leave college.”

“It’s a great way to meet new people,” Kelly said, adding that a diverse group of students from varied majors enroll in the program each semester.

“You get to meet new other students who are interested in leadership and making the most of their time here at MSUM,” Pepple said.

Kelly has seen positive reactions and development from participants and encourages those interested in developing themselves as leaders to enroll.

“My advice is: ‘Just go for it,’” said Jennifer Felch, graduate student and program facilitator. “Even if you think you are a great leader already, there is always room to grow and improve.”

Registration for this semester is still open. Hour long sessions run once a week for eight weeks. Kelly advised the best way to get involved is by applying on the Office of Student Activities (OSA) MSUM website, under the “leadership” tab.

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