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Program focuses on future leaders

Learning to be a leader is as much about working well in a team and being able to take feedback as it is being courageous enough to forge a path for others to follow.

Mina Suchak

The Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) program at RIT is blazing a trail for tomorrow’s leaders. Sponsored by the Center for Campus Life in collaboration with Student Affairs, the program offers opportunities for students to learn teamwork and relationship skills.

“Becoming involved in the LEAD program has been one of my best decisions at RIT,” says fourth-year business management information systems major Mina Suchak. “Not only has the program helped me realize my potential as a leader, it has given me countless opportunities to put my leadership skills into practice at events, retreats and on the program’s advisory board. It’s also been a great opportunity to meet fellow students, faculty and staff and leaders in the community.”

LEAD programs include a community lunch series covering current books and leadership topics; twice-a-year leadership adventure trips; evening track sessions on leadership issues; community service projects at Rochester City School District’s Jefferson Middle School; and a corporate leadership experience sponsored by Paychex, which this year offered more than 100 RIT students sessions on leadership styles, communication skills, creative problem-solving skills and interviewing.

LEAD began six years ago with eight programs and about 70 students. It now has 35 programs with more than 500 students participating. New this year is a certificate and portfolio program covering leadership roles and styles, cultural communication, teamwork and group dynamics, emotional intelligence skills and ethical decision-making. Also new this year are a women’s series focusing on career, communication and confidence, and an alternative spring break program centered on leadership and civic engagement is in the works.

For more information visit www.rit.edu/lead.