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Apr 18 2008

HLP To Partner With Student Affairs on Leadership Initiative

All Day Event

From DSG to Panhel to Duke Democrats, students step up every year to take on leadership positions in the University’s nearly 300 student organizations. Beginning in the fall of 2008, Duke will launch ULead, a new undergraduate student leadership initiative designed to lend perspective to the opportunities and challenges of campus leadership.

ULead’s initial course offering-PPS 146: Leadership, Development, and Organizations-is designed specifically for students active in on-campus leadership roles, and will complement existing Duke leadership initiatives such as Common Ground and the Beaufort Leadership Retreat. Expanded course offerings will give underclassmen the opportunity to develop leadership skills even before taking top positions in student groups.

A collaboration between the Division of Student Affairs and the Hart Leadership Program, ULead students will work in teams and with Student Affairs mentors to develop consulting projects and propose feasible solutions for various campus groups.

“The courses are designed to blend theory and practice,” said Chris Roby, director of the Office of Student Activities and Facilities, “with the ultimate goal of identifying real problems and finding solutions that will make a difference on campus and within students’ respective organizations.” Roby added, “The HLP and Student Affairs collaboration will afford our already engaged student leaders the opportunity to become more intentional in their desire to serve as change agents both on and off-campus.”

Course instructor Stephanie Helms, director of assessment and professional development programs in Student Affairs, emphasized the power students have to make positive change. “Student leaders and the impact they have significantly shape the culture and thus the collegiate experience,” Helms said. “We believe that not only will students be challenged in a manner which correlates positively with their respective organizations, but it will also result in their personal approach and manifestation of what leadership is and requires.”

Incoming HLP Assistant Director David Gastwirth said a seminar for second-semester freshmen will “provide emerging and aspiring student leaders with a forum to consider the leadership challenges and opportunities unique to college students.” The class will build on existing Leadership Roundtables already available to freshmen, examining classic and contemporary approaches to student leadership as well as on historical perspectives, with a focus on the risks, rewards, and responsibilities of public leadership.

For more information on ULead, contact David Gastwirth (dag13@duke.edu) .