Centre hosts first-ever Global Leadership Academy
June 6, 2013 By Mariel Smith
and is open to rising high school juniors and seniors.
"GLA prepares students for the kind of curriculum and lifestyle
they will experience at a college like Centre, especially one that has
an internationalized curriculum like we do," says Milton Reigelman,
Director of the Center for Global Citizenship.
This weekend, Centre debuts its Global Leadership Academy (GLA), a rigorous academic program for motivated high school juniors and seniors that runs June 9 – 22 . For two weeks, participants will live and study on Centre's campus, where they will pursue one of three unique academic courses. Designed to be intensive and exploratory, the Academy introduces students to global diversity and awareness in ways that better prepare them for higher education.
GLA Director and Assistant Professor of Religion Lee Jefferson explains, "GLA came about through an ad hoc committee that was charged with discussing ideas for summer programs and events in the wake of the Governors' Scholars Program's departure. We wanted to host some high-achieving rising juniors and seniors and give them a taste of a liberal arts college experience."
Three different courses of study are offered, each focusing on a uniquely important element of global citizenship. Jefferson will be teaching "Global Diversity and Cultures," a course designed to introduce students to the many different religious faiths, artistic endeavors and cultural heritages of our globe.
Assistant Professor of Biology Matthew Klooster will lead "The Global Environment," a course that explores both scientific and ethical perspectives on sustainability and environmental stewardship.
Lastly, Sara Scott Hall, associate dean and director of residence life, will be teaching "Leadership and Problem Solving," a course tackling subjects as diverse as leadership theory, creative problem-solving, time management and communication.
For Jefferson, GLA is hugely important in today's world.
"Many high school students may not have much knowledge of non-Western religious traditions or have a skewed view of other traditions. This is why understanding diversity, both religious and otherwise, is so pivotal for them. GLA allows me the opportunity to teach to a pre-college audience something about this diversity, as well as instill critical thinking skills they will need in college."
Klooster aspires to a similar goal of deconstructing stereotypes and dispelling misconceptions.
"My personal goal is to disseminate a better understanding of how these students directly influence the environment through their behaviors. Ideally, this new understanding will inspire change in these individuals, who will then inspire change in their peers. Students need to know what the options are in terms of environmental problems and solutions before they can make an informed decision about how to address them."
While Jefferson and Klooster's aspirations center on increasing students' awareness of the world outside of themselves, Hall's goals focus more on self-examination. She sees "a real need for students to learn more about themselves—to independently discover their passions and explore ways to pursue them."
Though Hall will teach an intensive leadership curriculum, she will also encourage students to focus on careful contemplation "instead of going from activity to activity without reflecting on why they're doing what they're doing.
"I hope to teach these students how to live more purposeful lives," Hall adds.
Ultimately, no matter which course of study students pursue, they will all receive a healthy dose of the Centre experience: residential life on campus, a rigorous academic environment, and the opportunity to integrate a global perspective into their academic and personal lives.
Director of the Center for Global Leadership, J. Rice Cowan Professor of English and Special Assistant to the President Milton Reigelman explains, "GLA focuses on two areas in which we at Centre excel: global awareness and leadership. It introduces students to a mindset that we at Centre increasingly like our students to have—to think globally. It also prepares students for the kind of curriculum and lifestyle they will experience at a college like Centre, especially one that has an internationalized curriculum like we do."
For those students planning to attend Centre, an international perspective is essential; after all, at least 86% of Centre graduates study abroad at least once and many travel to multiple countries during their tenure. As host of two Vice Presidential debates and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Centre is frequently on the national and international stage and its students are increasingly globally active and aware as a result.
For more information on the Global Leadership Academy, click here.
Centre College, founded in 1819, is a nationally ranked liberal arts college in Danville, Ky. Centre hosted its second Vice Presidential Debate on 10.11.12, and remains the smallest college in the smallest town ever to host a general election debate. For more, click here.