More than 30 students are participating in a new yearlong program this year designed by the Student Activities Office to introduce emerging young leaders to the many facets of leadership.
The program’s sessions will be led by professionals from diverse fields, including Bowdoin staff, teachers from an outdoor leadership school, and Karen Gordon Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration.
Nate Hintze, associate director of Student Activities, organized the Leadership Development Series 2012. He said the program’s sessions will teach students about different qualities of leadership and how effective leaders adapt their leadership styles to fit particular contexts. The program, which is free for students, is supported by the Healey Family fund for Leadership Development.
In their applications to the leadership program, Bowdoin students expressed a range of reasons, from the abstract to the specific, for signing up for the training.
Chunyi Zhao ’15 wrote that she had always dreamed of starting her own “nonprofit organization aiming to facilitate the equalization of educational opportunity in China.”
Reid Wilson ’14 wrote, “I believe that armed with a Bowdoin education, …I should try to give back to the world. The better leadership skills I develop, the better I will be able to maximize the impact of my efforts to help others.”
Junru Guo ’16 saw the training as a way of speaking up for her principles. “I want to participate in the Leadership Development Series because I want to learn the skills to be able to stand up for what I think is right and actually have people listen to me.”
Others saw the value in acquiring particular tools. “Specifically, I’m excited about the “Marketing Your Leadership Experiences” workshop, because I have no prior experience in marketing myself as a leader and I perceive that as a skill that would be difficult to learn on my own,” Katherine Churchill ’16 wrote.
The program kicked off over fall break with a two-day training offered by NOLS, the National Outdoor Leadership School. NOLS staff came to campus to teach students its model of leadership based on wilderness expeditions. Adapting this model to Bowdoin’s campus, NOLS offered interactive activities and a Brunswick-based orienteering course.
On Oct. 19, Karen Mills will give a talk on entrepreneurship, which will be open to the campus. Her talk, “Leadership and Entrepreneurship in a Rapidly Changing World,” will be moderated by Dani Chediak ’13, president of Bowdoin Student Government.
The remainder of this semester’s leadership sessions include productive communication in a group setting, judgment and decision making, and public speaking, among others. Facilitators include Katy Longley, College treasurer and senior vice president for finance and administrator; Michael Woodruff, director of the Bowdoin Outing Club; and E. Whitney Soule, director of Bowdoin Admissions.
Slideshow: Students participating in the two-day NOLS training Oct. 6 and 7.