New UT Program to Foster Tomorrow’s Leaders

Published: Jan 11, 2008
 The University of Tampa has created a new, highly selective leadership program designed to engage students with proven leadership abilities and the commitment to make positive change in their communities.

And UT is looking for the best, most outstanding high school student leaders to enter the inaugural program as members of the University’s incoming freshman class.

The President’s Leadership Fellows is a four-year program in which students work with personal mentors and in group leadership projects and activities. The program’s focus is on guiding students toward a future as leaders in the community.

The program is competitive, and participants will be selected each year from the incoming freshman class. Incoming UT students who have demonstrated active participation in leadership or volunteering activities during high school in addition to meeting a set of academic requirements will be encouraged to apply.

“It’s a higher commitment level for students,” said Kim Northup, assistant director of leadership engagement. “By committing to this, they’re committing a lot of time to the program.”

Upon enrolling at the University, participants will engage in a variety of periodic leadership projects and activities. In year one, students partake in workshops and activities focused on their sense of “self” and individual leadership styles and abilities. The second year focuses on group leadership, which includes a day spent on a leadership challenge ropes course among other team-focused activities.

Perhaps the program’s most notable project occurs in the third year, when students are tasked with working together to identify and bring change to a certain issue. The project could be focused on any number of community issues such as homelessness, environmental waste, etc.

“They must look at the issue as a group and try to impact that issue in some way,” Northup said. “It could be an environmental issue. It could be a community issue. It could be something on our campus.”

Students will continue to build on the community change project in the fourth year as the focus of the program shifts to an examination of global leadership and how global influences affect the group’s chosen issue. In this year, each student also becomes a mentor to an incoming freshman leadership student.

Students who commit to the program will be recognized with a $1,000 yearly scholarship, in addition to other financial assistance the student may be qualified for.

UT President Ronald L. Vaughn said that while The University of Tampa is known for developing community leaders, this program will expand leadership opportunities for students and help recruit prospective students who are committed to leadership.

“Educating students to be effective leaders, while also educating them in the classroom and the community, will continue to be a high priority for The University of Tampa,” Vaughn said.

More information on the President’s Leadership Fellows, including information on how to apply, can be found at http://universityoftampa.wsol.net/leadership/presidentfellows/.