As a part of the STAGES Leadership Certificate Program, over 70 Centre College students recently participated in the College’s first free, week-long online summer leadership program.
Jack Layden, director of campus activities and leadership programming, said this program was created to engage with Centre students during a time when many of them may have had their internship cancelled or—in classic Centre student fashion—are just looking to continue their hard work toward self-betterment, despite a pandemic.
“Students come to Centre because they want not only to get a great job after graduation but also to grow in a way that allows them to obtain a fulfilling and accomplished life,” he added. “We know leadership is integral to this pursuit—it’s a part of our mission—and programs like this contribute to the long list of opportunities students have to develop their leadership at Centre.”
During the week, students were able to choose whether to engage synchronously and asynchronously each day. The workshops featured a presentation and an activity that either aimed to solidify the content or to put the content into practice. The leadership workshops ranged from developing an essential skill for leadership to learning leadership theory through exploring their implications on our lives.
“In addition, many of the participants in this program were students who already hold leadership positions on campus,” Layden said. “For these students and students who will soon take on leadership positions, it is valuable to be able to supplement their resume and graduate school application with a leadership certificate, because it signals ‘this person is willing to put in the extra work to not only be a leader but to be the type of leader dedicated to self-improvement.’”
Anahit Grigoryan ’23 and Jezebel Roldan ’22 were involved in developing this year’s summer leadership program.
Grigoryan, who served as the leadership program intern, helped conceptualize how the program would work. She created and facilitated a workshop titled “(Inter)national Student Leadership: Challenging the Assuming.”
“She did incredible work and serves as an example of what it means to be a leader amongst her peers,” Layden said.
Roldan, a Bonner student and civic engagement intern, created a workshop on addressing community needs and how to commit oneself to being a civic leader.
“These two student leaders both brought their expertise and leadership experience to the program, and the positive impact they had is undeniable,” he added.
Throughout the program, Layden said he was impressed by the level of insight and thoughtfulness the participants demonstrated in their reflections and during their final workshop, in which they responded to the prompt “What, in your opinion, is the most pressing issue surrounding leadership in today’s society?”
“It is clear the world needs better leaders, and I would not be surprised if some of these Centre students fill that void,” he added.
“Based on the positive response from participants, the plan is to continue to offer a summer leadership program next year,” Layden concluded. “This year was a good start, and the goal is to take the feedback participants provided and create a better program with new and expanded content.”
by Kerry Steinhofer
August 10, 2020