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New Leadership Intensive program offered to juniors

For the first time, a three-week leadership program will be offered to incoming juniors, in line with established freshman and sophomore programs in September such as Arts Intensive.

The new Leadership Intensive program—set to run from Sept. 1 to 19—is geared towards developing broad leadership skills in small seminars that draw expertise from faculty across campus. Advising from the program is intended to continue into students’ junior and senior years, and 10 grants will be awarded to participants who wish to work on a project in the academic school year or the following summer.

“We have a good, rich pile of programs for freshmen and sophomores,” said Lisa Bilgen, associate director of the new program. “We wanted to really focus on the juniors and seniors, and this is one of those initiatives for them.”

Both Bilgen and Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education (VPUE) Harry Elam have been working on creating the program for more than a year, reaching out to faculty from all three undergraduate schools, as well as the professional schools—law, business, medicine and education.

“It’s been talked about for so long at Stanford, and President Hennessy is constantly saying, ‘We’re preparing tomorrow’s leaders,’ so we keep saying, ‘We need to do something actually concrete,’” Bilgen said. “We do that in so many ways, but we wanted to do an actual program that addressed it head on.”

Bilgen added that she and Elam have been meeting with faculty who will be teaching the September program, giving them advice on what should be included in the Leadership Intensive curriculum.

“Tons of faculty were so receptive and so excited about offering this to undergraduates,” Bilgen said. “They’ve all lent their support in participating.”

One of these professors includes Al Camarillo, professor of history, who will also serve as the program’s faculty director.

“I’m most excited about students engaging in the multifaceted understanding of leadership,” he said.

Thomas Freeland, a lecturer in the Oral Communication Program in Writing and Rhetoric, shared the same sentiment.

“It’s always exciting to be working with students who are so strongly engaged with important issues and finding ways to connect with the audience to share that passion and commitment,” Freeland said.

According to Freeland, students would be working on oral communication programs throughout the course of Leadership Intensive.

Moreover, students who participate in the program will have the opportunity to work with faculty members and foster post-program mentoring relationships, similar to the Leland Scholars, a three-week residential program for incoming freshman.

“Part of the course will be designing their plan—what are their academic goals, career goals and leadership goals for their time at Stanford? —and then we assist them with that,” Bilgen said.

“We’ll help them find internships, courses and independent study programs, all based on their interests and goals,” he added.

Bilgen explained that program focuses on life skills that will help students choose their goals personally and professionally whether they’re working domestically or abroad in whatever field they choose.

“This course is not for students who think, ‘I’m going to be the next president’ or ‘I’m going to be a CEO.’ It’s much broader than that,” Bilgen said.

Applications will be accepted between March 3 and April 8.

Contact Clarisse Peralta at peralta4 ‘at’ stanford.edu.