The Leadership Academy @ Saunders

The Leadership Academy @ Saunders, directed by Molly McGowan, Ph.D., fosters innovative leadership development opportunities for bridging business and technology. The academy is available to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students, in addition to alumni and employers.

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Mission

Leadership Academy @ Saunders fosters innovative leadership for bridging business and technology by providing a multitude of experimental co-curricular opportunities for individuals to develop their personal and professional leadership skills. A variety of leadership experiences are offered to meet the leadership development needs of high school students, RIT undergrad and graduate students, alumni, and working professionals. This leads to a positive impact on the business environment and global community.

Leader Development Competency Model

At Saunders, we believe that leadership development starts with the self, understanding your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and values while developing the critical professional skills necessary for career success. As leaders become more self-aware, they are in a stronger position to lead others. Leadership is a great responsibility that allows you to influence, change, and solve complex problems across diverse organizations, but it requires a commitment to learning new skills and developing a nuanced mindset. Work on the leadership skills that will increase your value and differentiate you from the rest on your path to success!

Leader Development Competency Model

Leading Self: Foundational Leadership for Career Success

Building skills and knowledge in self-awareness, integrity, and professionalism; empathy, courage, and resilience; critical thinking, self-management, and initiative; effective communication and networking; and personal goal achievement.

Leading Teams: Leading High Performance Teams

Influencing, motivating, and empowering others to positively impact organizational culture and achieve business goals by engaging in creative problem solving, building productive relationships, and developing trust and credibility.

Leading Globally: Leading Change in a Global Environment

Leading across diverse cultures, groups, and organizations to facilitate change and solve complex problems.

Certificate Programs

These free certification programs provide all RIT students across all colleges to build personal leadership skills for co-op and career success in a fun and engaging environment. No matter your field, all students benefit from these co-curricular experiences as they look great on resumes and better prepare students for co-op and job opportunities. Sponsored by the Leadership Academy @ Saunders, these programs are run by Saunders faculty, student leaders, and alumni across various industries.

Leading High Performance Teams Certificate Program

Influence, motivate, and empower others to positively impact organizational culture, achieve business goals by engaging in creative problem solving, build productive relationships, and develop trust and credibility.

Goal

Introduce students to the critical concepts and skills needed for effectively leading teams in any industry or organization. Provide an opportunity to put these skills into practice through meaningful, fun, and interactive challenges facilitated by Saunders Faculty, alumni and industry leaders, and upper-class student leaders. 

Fall Semester 2022

Business Activities Center (BAC)
Meetings are on Tuesdays, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. (light dinner will be provided) 
Dates: Sept 20, Sept 27, Oct 4, Oct 18, Oct 25, and Nov 1
*must be able to attend all sessions in-person
Application deadline: Wednesday, September 7

Outcomes

By participating in the program, students will:

  • Develop their own leadership identity
  • Explore best practices in leading, motivating, and influencing others
  • Learn strategies for navigating teams through team development stages
  • Discuss practices for managing crisis, change, and conflict
  • Explore strategies for creating inclusive and positive work cultures
  • Build presentation and networking skills

Apply

Foundational Leadership for Career Success Certificate Program

Power your leadership potential and step forward to success!

Goal

Introduce students to the critical concepts and skills needed for career success in any industry. Provide an opportunity to put these skills into practice through meaningful, fun, and interactive challenges facilitated by Saunders Faculty, alumni and industry leaders, and upper-class student leaders. 

Spring Semester 2023

Business Activities Center (BAC)
Spring 2023 schedule is pending release.
*must be able to attend all sessions in person

Apply

Leadership Academy @ Saunders Experiences

Leading Change in a Global Environment Certificate Program

More information coming soon!

There are leadership training opportunities for students from high school through to graduate school, as well as alumni and employers. Explore the options below to find leadership opportunities tailored for you.

High School Student Programs

Students Leading Business Camp
Offered at RIT's Camp Tiger during the summer, Students Leading Business is open to high school students (grades 9 - 12). The workshop provides high schoolers with the opportunity to learn about a variety of business fields while engaging in dynamic leadership skill-building activities. 

DECA Region 10 Conference at RIT
Saunders College is proud to partner with local and national high school organizations like DECA. Each year, Saunders College hosts the DECA Region 10 Conference at RIT, inviting DECA students to present their business plans to local business leaders who serve as the competition’s judges.

YEA Conference and Competition
Saunders College is a proud sponsor of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). Each year, Saunders College hosts the YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition, which brings together top student businesses from around the country to compete to win scholarship dollars and business start-up prize packages.

Women Leading Business Event
This event invites high school women (grades 9-11) interested in learning more about careers in business from successful women business leaders. More information on date and registration for 2022 coming soon!

Undergraduate Student Programs

Peer Mentorship Program
The Peer Mentorship Program assists incoming business students to become acclimated to Saunders College of Business and RIT’s campus, for a strong and successful start to your college career.

Leadership Academy Certificate Programs
The free certification programs at Saunders provide all students at RIT, across all colleges/majors, to build personal leadership skills for co-op and career success in a fun and engaging environment.

  • Leading High Performance Teams Certificate Program - fall
  • Saunders Foundational Leadership for Career Success Certificate Program - spring
  • Leading Change in a Global Environment Certificate Program - coming soon

Women Leading Business Conference - spring

Leadership Case Competition Day
Put your leadership knowledge and skills to the test and compete for cash prizes with students from across the RIT campus to solve complex leader challenges in a fun team environment. Dinner provided. Spring semester – dates for 2022 coming soon.

Graduate Student Programs

Saunders Leadership Fellows Program
With a guaranteed 50% scholarship and mentorship from industry professionals, this program provides a unique opportunity for graduate students to enhance your education while getting your graduate business degree.

Leadership Academy Certificate Programs
The free certification programs at Saunders provide all students at RIT, across all colleges/majors, to build personal leadership skills for co-op and career success in a fun and engaging environment.

  • Leading High Performance Teams Certificate Program - fall
  • Saunders Foundational Leadership for Career Success Certificate Program - spring
  • Leading Change in a Global Environment Certificate Program - coming soon

Women Leading Business Conference - spring

Leadership Case Competition Day
Put your leadership knowledge and skills to the test and compete for cash prizes with students from across the RIT campus to solve complex leader challenges in a fun team environment.  Dinner provided. Spring semester – dates for 2022 coming soon.

Community Members, Alumni and Business Professionals

Step Forward Women's Coaching and Leadership Development Retreat
This intensive, two-day coaching and development experience gives you the tools, resources, and support to get where you’re going—quickly. Immediately apply what you learn. Share best practices with your talented peers. Build the foundation for a life of leadership—at work, at home, in your community.

Women’s Professional Leadership Program
Build your leadership skills and a strong network at the same time!  This eight-week program will give participants the opportunity to learn and practice critical concepts for career success, including communication and presentation skills, vision, strategy, and goal setting, courage and confidence, resilience, self-advocacy, and negotiation skills. Leader assessments and Coaching included. More information coming soon on dates and offerings.

Professional Personal Leadership Program
Three-day program to build professional skills for workplace success. Focused activities and reflection on the following topics: self-awareness and management, managing your boss, emotional intelligence at work, personal goal setting, growing your influence and personal power. DISC and Emotional intelligence Assessments provided. More information coming soon on dates and offerings.

Leading Dynamic Teams Program
Three-day program to learn and practice the critical skills to lead people and achieve organizational and team results.  Focused activities and reflection on self-awareness through a 360 coaching and development process, team assessments, setting a vision, creating a positive work culture, managing conflict, practicing accountability and achieving results. More information coming soon on dates and offerings.

Customized Workshops and Programs
Our customized workshops and programs cover a variety of topics via Saunders Executive Education, including emotional intelligence at work, building productive work relationships, resilience and courage, team dynamics and high performing team techniques, emerging leaders program, credible leadership, leading change, and performance management.

Leadership Academy @ Saunders Peer Mentoring Program

The Saunders Peer Mentorship Program assists incoming business students to become acclimated to the Saunders College of Business & RIT’s campus, for a strong and successful start to their college careers. Through our one-on-one Mentor/Mentee Program, the incoming students will learn from their upperclassmen regarding their experiences from Co-op, Study Abroad, and Student Life. The program encourages the incoming business students to build relationships from experienced role models such as their peers, faculty, and alumni, who will encourage and motivate them to achieve their career goals. Mentors and Mentees are expected to meet a minimum of once a month from August - November and attend two program community events for the fall semester.

Who are our Mentors?

Our Mentors are a team of experienced upperclassmen from all different majors at Saunders who act as role models for the incoming business students. They assist them with any questions and concerns the students might have about The Saunders College of Business, student life, clubs, majors, minors, immersions, co-ops, and career paths.

Sign-up to be a Mentor in the Peer Mentorship Program

Who are our Mentees?

Our Mentees are our incoming business students ranging from first years, second years, and transfer students. As a Mentee they will have the opportunity to attend networking events with peers and faculty and to meet with our great alumni community, who were once in their shoes!

Sign-up to be a Mentee in the Peer Mentorship Program

Services & Resources

Leader Assessment Center

Individuals and teams can complete a variety of self-assessments to build self-awareness. 360 Leadership Assessment, DISC Assessment, Motivators & Drivers, Emotional intelligence, and Five Behaviors of a Team assessment.

Individualized and team coaching

Saunders Student Clubs & Organizations

Student activities play an important role in student life at Saunders. Saunders Clubs & Organizations can help you develop leadership skills, provide networking opportunities, and more.

Favorite Leadership Books recommended by our leadership team

Leading People, Teams, & Organizations

  • The Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes & Barry Posner
  • Daring to Lead by Brene Brown
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins
  • Extreme Ownership – Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
  • Primal Leadership by Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee
  • Give and Take by Adam Grant
  • Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  • Clash of the Generations: Managing the new workplace reality by Valerie Grubba

Developing You

  • Mojo & What Got You Here Won’t Get you There by Marshall Goldsmith
  • Developing the Leader within You 2.0 – John C. Maxwell
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • How Full is Your Bucket by Donald Clifton
  • The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • The Passion Test by Janet and Chris Atwood

Effective Communication, Conflict Management & Negotiation

  • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
  • Leadership and Self Deception – the Arbinger Institute
  • Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
  • Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson
  • Quiet by Susan Cain

Productivity

  • Getting Things Done by David C. Allen
  • Execution by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan

Managing Change

  • Deep Change by Robert Quinn
  • Managing Transitions by William Bridges
  • Leading Change by John Kotter
  • Influencer by Joseph Grenny & Kerry Patterson

Leadership Academy Spotlights

The Leadership Academy @ Saunders is dedicated to the professional development and experiential learning of high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as alumni and employers.

Ann-Katherine Candelori
Business Analyst
Cisco Systems Inc.
Silvia Caraballo
Senior Staff Specialist
Advance RIT
Ty Clauss
Research Analyst
Techstars
Jacob Ellis
Sourcing Commodity Specialist
Baker Hughes
Kate Ferguson
Associate Data Analyst
Liberty Mutual Insurance
Jillian Fioravanti
Master's of Business Analytics Student
Rochester Institute of Technology
Kristina Haller
Rotational Associate in Financial Services
TIAA
Thomas Higgins
Senior Supervisor, Production Planning
L3Harris Technologies
Andrea Munda Mbombo
Analyst, Asset Management
Broadstone Net Lease, Inc.
Rhyse Nier
Financial Analyst
Precision Castparts
Camila Mota Oliveira
Quality Engineer
EG Industries
Patrick Reynolds
Product Manager
UTC Fire & Security

Leadership Academy Team

Meet the Team

The Leadership Academy @ Saunders Team is composed of our excellent teaching staff, and students. Students and faculty thrive to offer leadership programs to the high school students, undergraduate and graduate RIT students, alumni, community members, and business professionals.

 

Frank Cammarata Headshot
Frank Cammarata
Management and Management Information Systems
Chief Academy Officer
Logan Foster Headshot
Logan Foster
Supply Chain Management
Peer Mentorship Program Team
Makenzie Hufnagle
Associate Certificate Program Coordinator
Peer Mentorship Program Coordinator
Rosanna Hyde
Chief Financial and Communications Officer
Leadership Academy @ Saunders
Ruth Kaveke Headshot
Ruth Kaveke
Technology Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship
Associate Program Coordinator
May Ko Headshot
May Ko
International Business
Associate Program Coordinator
Danny Le Headshot
Danny Le
Finance & Management Information Systems
Chief Academy Officer
Palak Wadhwa
Associate Certificate Program Coordinator
Women's Leadership Summit Chair
Karen Magnuson Headshot
Karen Magnuson
Executive in Residence
Saunders College of Business
Molly McGowan
Senior Lecturer
Department of Management
Saunders College of Business
Joy Olabisi
Associate Professor
Department of Management
Saunders College of Business
Michael Palanski
Professor
Department of Management
Saunders College of Business
Anthony Testa Headshot
Anthony Testa
Partner
Two Point Capital Management, Inc.
Rick Lagiewski Headshot
Rick Lagiewski
Principal Lecturer
Saunders College of Business