Students take Centre for a spin at Global Leadership Academy 2013
June 20, 2013 By Mariel Smith
relax after class in Young Hall.
GLA students attended lectures not only from GLA faculty but
also community members, like local pastor Amy Meaux, who
shared leadership and life experiences.
People often test-drive cars, but how many people get the chance to test-drive college? The answer: 26, the number of students who attended Centre's first-ever Global Leadership Academy (GLA).
Over the course of two weeks, the group of high school juniors and seniors have lived on campus, attended classes taught by Centre faculty and staff, and gotten a unique firsthand experience with a liberal arts education.
Students hail from states as wide-flung as New Jersey, Wisconsin, Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee and North Carolina. No matter where they come from or what their educational and personal backgrounds, each and every one has benefitted from the GLA experience.
Ellen Tyra, a rising junior from Louisville, explains, "The class discussions have been my favorite part of GLA—they lead to some really interesting conversations both in and out of class, and my classmates and I have grown a lot closer as friends by discussing the readings and class topics."
Tyra also enjoyed the opportunity to test-drive the Centre experience.
"Not only have I learned my way around campus, I have also been able to meet various members of the Centre faculty who have been more than helpful and informative," she says.
Tyra plans to study international relations, which makes both GLA and Centre the perfect choice. She cites Centre's study abroad program—ranked #1 in the nation by the Institute of International Education—as one of the reasons Centre tops her college search list.
Sarah Byrd of Fairhope, Ala., was drawn to GLA as a way to build her leadership skills.
"I took "Leadership and Problem Solving" [taught by Associate Dean and Director of Residence Life Sarah Scott Hall ] because it looked like a great way to solidify my background in leadership," she says. "It's important to learn these types of skills, since they can be applied in almost any situation."
For Donald Culotta, a rising senior in Louisville, the residential experience at GLA has been important.
"I really enjoy the time after dinner and before curfew," he says. "It's a great opportunity to meet people and get to know them better outside of class."
Culotta also cites meeting Centre College president John Roush during a talk on leadership as a highlight of his GLA experience.
Half of this year's GLA participants are legacy students (they have at least one relative that is an alum at Centre). For many students, these alumni relatives had a big influence on the decision to attend GLA.
One such student is David Saulsbury of Burnsville, N.C. His mother, Sherry W. Saulsbury ’91, strongly encouraged him to attend GLA as a way of getting to know Centre better. Parent peer pressure aside, Saulsbury enjoyed the individualized, personal attention he received from GLA faculty.
"The faculty have a real interest in us—and take us seriously," he says.
For Eamon Smith of Nashville, Tenn., the highly interactive and intensive classes are the best experiences of all.
"The religion course ["Global Diversity and Cultures," taught by Assistant Professor of Religion Lee Jefferson] has been phenomenal," Smith says. "Getting to create my own religion was one of my favorite things I've done at GLA."
All in all, the two-week academy has been invaluable not only in expanding interested young people's horizons and pushing the limits of their comfort zones, but also introducing them to the unique experience Centre offers its students.
Saiara Mashiat, a Louisville native, explains, "GLA gave me a true perspective on what it would be like to be a student at Centre.
"I really like the campus, and the professors I've met are great," she adds. "I've heard a lot of great things about Centre, and now that I've experienced GLA, I can see why people have such a great experience here."
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.