Note: We are currently undergoing a reorganization in spring/summer 2019. The Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership Development programs are becoming a new unit called Community Engagement & Leadership. Look for updates in fall 2019!

Leadership for a better self and a better world.


The Leadership Development program is grounded in the theories of:


Social Change Model

A leader is not necessarily a person who holds a formal leadership position or who is perceived as a leader by others. Rather, we regard a leader as one who is able to affect positive change for the betterment of others, the community, and society. All people, in other words, are potential leaders.

Leadership involves collaborative relationships that lead to collective action grounded in the shared values of people who work together to affect positive change. A conscious focus on values should be at the core of any leadership effort, including values of the individual, the group, and the community/society.

The Social Change Model of Leadership is built upon the following assumptions:

  • Leadership is concerned with affecting change on behalf of others and society.
  • Leadership is collaborative.
  • Leadership is a process rather than a position.
  • Leadership should be value-based.
  • All students (not just those who hold formal positions) are potential leaders.
  • Service is a powerful vehicle for developing students' leadership skills.


Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to flourish.

This field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.


  • Positive Emotions – life satisfaction
  • Engagement – ability to fully engage in activities
  • Relationships – the significance of cultivation relationships with people, places and things
  • Meaning – purposeful existence 
  • Accomplishments – acknowledge to enhance future accomplishments


Sustainable Leadership

Sustainable Leadership is a conscious engagement in individual and collective actions that nurture and sustain the economic, environmental, and social well-being of organizations and communities.