Saunders Leadership Academy Celebrates Certificate Program

Each spring, The Leadership Academy @ Saunders launches its Foundational Leadership for Career Success Certificate Program, run by Molly McGowan, Ph.D. The program’s goal is to introduce students to the critical concepts and skills needed for career success in any industry. The Leadership Academy wrapped up another successful certificate program bringing 40 Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) students to Saunders from all colleges to make up six groups for the program. Each group is tasked with selecting a non-profit to develop and execute a public event or donation drive. The groups present their projects to a panel of judges towards the end of the certificate program. They are rated based on their presentation and how they’ve grown as leaders throughout the project. Check out photos from the final celebration.

Frank Cammarata, Social Media Lead for The Leadership Academy, wanted to involve himself in The Leadership Academy to get hands-on experience with leadership outside of classes and campus. His group chose to work with Children Awaiting Parents, an adoption agency in Rochester, N.Y. Palak Wadhwa, Lead for Certificate Programs for The Leadership Academy, has worked with a different group throughout the semester. Over the past few months, Palak has watched her group grow individually and collectively as they planned an event for a local organization. 

“The Leadership Academy is an added benefit to what students receive in the classroom,” said Palak. “Throughout my involvement, I’ve observed my group face problems and learn how to tackle them as a team. This has helped with their presentation and overall leadership skills. Even for myself, over the past year, my confidence has grown, which continuously helps me inside and outside of the classroom.” In Palak’s role, she has learned from speakers and had the opportunity to interview President Munson. Frank and Palak agree that the Leadership Academy is beneficial to every student at RIT. “What you learn in The Leadership Academy can be applied to each type of disciple, regardless of what you’re studying,” said Frank. “The role you have right now doesn’t determine the leadership aspect you have.”

Free certification programs at Saunders provide all students at RIT, across all colleges and majors, to build personal leadership skills for co-op and career success in a fun and engaging environment. Regardless of your career field, all students can benefit from these co-curricular experiences that will look great on resumes and better prepare students for co-op and job opportunities. The program is facilitated by Saunders faculty, student leaders, and alumni across various industries and is sponsored by the Leadership Academy at Saunders.