Oglethorpe’s Office of Student Involvement, which focuses on student engagement and leadership, has launched the Multicultural Leadership Institute, an initiative dedicated to cultivating and engaging diverse student leaders at Oglethorpe University.
Students participating in the institute this fall are attending a series of six discussions that cover a variety of professional development topics, including cross-cultural leadership, overcoming grind culture and launching a leadership journey. The students are learning how to create a culture of advocacy and success for other students as well.
According to initiative organizers Leron Burge, assistant director of student involvement, and Cecil Rose, associate director of academic success, the goal of the Multicultural Leadership is four-fold:
- Strengthening authenticity and connectivity as a leader;
- Championing and cultivating your platform whether community, personal, or professional;
- Refining capacities for networks and groups to share vision and create impactful change; and
- Transitioning successful practices on and off campus
“This institute was created in response to the needs of our students and the climate to support individuals and students of color on campus to be successful in and out of the classroom,” says Rose.
Program organizers worked in tandem with Dr. Brandon Jones, associate director of student learning and development for residential living at the University of Texas at Austin. Since beginning his role at UT Austin three years ago, Dr. Jones has been responsible for the design, development and assessment of similar student success and engagement programs.
“My hope is that this initiative gives these diverse student leaders the guidance, structure, and competency needed to be successful in each of their future endeavors,” says Dr. Jones.
The Institute will be wrapping up its final discussion this weekend, but aims to recruit more students on a per-semester basis to take part in leadership development.
“We hope to scale up to include as part of summer programming and orientation that is native and unique to Oglethorpe,” says Rose.
This semester’s participants were Marc Collins, Courtland Davis, Clara Grimaldo, Michael Morgan, Kushboo Patel, Taylor Roberts, Justlynn Russell, Rajan Sampat, Justin Stewart, David Swillum, Mimi Woods, and Yemariam Workneh.