Emerging Leaders Program fosters civic engagement

Cooper Josephs, Staff Writer

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Fourteen first-year students signed up to participate in this year’s Emerging Leaders Program. The 10-session, non-credit program has attracted students from a wide range of academic areas throughout campus.

Associate Dean of Students Amy Badal started the Emerging Leaders Program in 2001 as a means to encourage student leadership and community progress.

“The intent of the program [is] to provide an out-of-the-classroom learning experience for students interested in personal growth and leadership development,” Badal said.

Every week, students discuss various topics ranging from ethics to risk taking. The program also teaches students to be leaders while still taking into account other’s perspectives and core values.

Beth Bouchard, the director of New Student Orientation and Student Leadership Programs, has organized the program for three years. Several modifications have been made to the program this year to accommodate student interests.

“This year we gave participants a little bit more control with the content of the meetings. Due to this, they have been very invested in the conversations,” Bouchard said. “Last weekend students participated in an overnight retreat at the Cowan Camp grounds where they performed various activities focused on topics like team building and communication development.”

Previous students who have matriculated from the program have applied their leadership qualities throughout the University.

“From the students who participated in the 2012 EL program, three are RAs [Resident Advisors], eight became OAs [Orientation Assistants], two became OLs [Orientation Leaders], one is the current BSG [Bucknell Student Government] president, and several students won leadership awards presented by the University,” Bouchard said.

Three coordinators have been selected to the program to help facilitate and lead group discussions. Kortney Marshall ’16 is one of the three.

“This year I am hoping to the lead the session about written communication because it is an essential part of success in college as well as the professional world. It is also important for me to help the students understand how this concept ties into being an effective leader,” Marshall said.

Marshall expanded on the educational philosophy upon which Badal founded the program.

“It is so important to become involved in extracurricular activities on college campuses because they are great ways to build character,” Marshall said.

Students will be discussing ethical decision-making at their next meeting. The program will go through the end of March.

“Leadership is applicable to anyone in life. It just makes you a good human being. Team building and risk taking are all very useful,” Bouchard said.

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