The 2016-2017 Academic Year was filled with excitement for students in The Leadership Institute at Rutgers University – Camden. The Leadership Institute is proud to have brought new programs, minors, and even an honor society to Rutgers-Camden. We are especially glad to see how these initiatives have already begun to impact our students.
Throughout the duration of the academic year, Leadership Institute students logged more than 700 hours of Leadership Development activity. Students attended workshops, networking and mentoring events, and conferences all designed to help students further identify their strengths and weaknesses, and develop a better understanding of their own potential. The Leadership Institute was able to track this information due to cross-campus collaboration with the Campus Center and the Division of Student Affairs through the use of the CollegiateLink software. Students are required to submit a reflective form following each event they attend in order to receive credit. Reflection is an essential practice in leadership development and personal growth.
In an effort to further develop a focus on interdisciplinary and experiential learning, Rutgers University-Camden now offers a minor in Leadership Studies. The minor is offered through the Camden College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business-Camden due to the dual-school collaboration efforts of the Leadership Institute’s Director, Dr. Rick Demirjian; Urban Studies Program Director, Zachary Wood; Professor of Marketing and Director of the Business Leader Development Program, Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough; and Assistant Professor of Management, Dr. David Dwertmann. The Leadership Studies minor will allow students to engage in 12 to 15 credit hours of study in leadership theory, and will be present on a qualifying student’s transcript upon graduation.
The Leadership Institute was also able to earn a charter from Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society in May 2017. As the first charter throughout Rutgers University, inducted students will have access to a nation-wide network, scholarship opportunities, and several chances to attend national conferences. Starting in the summer of 2017, the ‘Scarlet Circle’ will begin organizing Rutgers-Camden’s teams for the Relay for Life fundraiser in order to raise money for cancer research. The Leadership Institute would like to thank Deborah Scheibler, Assistant Director of Housing and Residence Life at Rutgers-Camden, and, who is also an ODK alumn, for proposing an ODK circle at Rutgers-Camden and for helping the Leadership Institute to establish this charter.
Since the impacts of mentoring and advocacy have become essential parts of undergraduate educational experiences, The Leadership Institute has established an External Advisory Council thanks to the help and support of Dr. Kriste Lindenmeyer, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Graduate School – Camden; Associate Chancellor for Development, Kate Brennan; and Director of Development, Akua Asiamah-Andrade. As a result of various programming initiatives, some of our Leadership Institute students continue to meet with our External Advisory Council members for monthly lunches and meetings. Students are being mentored by individuals who are in the very fields that students are trying to enter, or, are being connected to extended contact lists if a specific interest is out of an Advisory Council Member’s profession.
As we anticipate the start of our third year of operation, The Leadership Institute will be welcoming our largest incoming class yet. We look forward to expanding our efforts to provide personalized mentoring opportunities to our students, as well as combining our programming with the Leadership Studies curriculum in order to maximize learning outcomes. With many more undergraduates aspiring to graduate school, we will also be dedicating efforts to prepare interested students for undergraduate research opportunities.
We would like to congratulate our many students who were able to secure leadership positions, become accepted into graduate school, and earn appointments to exclusive advisory boards. Together, we are confident that our many approaches to learning outside of the classroom and our engagement with alumni, faculty, and staff will produce an engaged and successful student body, both within our university and beyond.
Would you like to help the Leadership Institute to further its mission to prepare tomorrow’s leaders? Kindly consider donating to our Opportunity Fund so that we may further expand our programmatic offerings for our students.