Written by: Caitlin O’Donnell ‘13
The common phrase “leaders are born, not made” doesn’t ring true for Steve Mencarini, director of the Center for Leadership.
“Leaders are made,” he says. “You may have some innate skills that you need help with development-wise but everyone is a leader at various points in their daily lives. It’s important to help harvest that and explore ways to improve your leadership.”
The center recently launched LEAD, the Leadership Education and Development Program. The three-tier program is open to students of any year to complete at their own pace.
Formerly called the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program, the program was remodeled to reach more students at all stages of leadership. Leadership is one of the five Elon Experiences.
“I firmly believe that if you want to be successful in life, at some point you have to demonstrate leadership,” Mencarini says. “You need to work with other people, you need to identify a common goal, you need to move people towards that goal.”
All three tiers include foundational experiences for participants – such as workshops, required service hours and mentorship – and each focuses on a specific goal.
“The first tier is about understanding who you are as a leader,” Mencarini says. “It’s about how you exemplify leadership, what your strengths are.”
The second tier explores how to work with other people and groups, and the third tier focuses on instituting change within organizations and communities.
Junior Mathew Goldberg, one of the program's student leaders, says LEAD allows students to recognize their own skills as leaders and make changes in their style, as necessary or desired.
Goldberg is one of four students specifically assigned to work with the LEAD program.
“It’s about taking advantage of your experiences and having the time for intentional reflection about leadership training,” he says.
Goldberg is no stranger to the benefits of leadership training – he is an active member of the Center for Leadership and participates in the Leadership Fellows Program, along with more than 20 other students from his class.
Sophomore Lauren Snow signed up to participate in the LEAD program after a successful experience as a leader of her ice skating team.
“Being in the leadership program will help me in the real world,” Snow says. “Leadership and the LEAD Program will help me work with students more than I already do.”
Junior Ashley Fowler says she considers one of the biggest draws of the program to be how manageable it is to complete, along with other responsibilities on campus.
“This is something that you’re going to get tangible results from,” Fowler says. “Everything you do put into the program, you get out twice as much. It’s possible to glide through the program and you’ll still get the basics, but if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’re going to be transformed through the experience, there’s no doubt.”
This semester, nearly 400 students signed up to complete tier one of the LEAD program. Mencarini described the program as a hands-on personal development tool for students who want to impact both the Elon community and other communities they will enter in the future.
“You need to do things right now in college that help you set yourself up to be successful when you leave Elon,” he says.
|Nov. 1||Early Decision|
|Nov. 10||Early Action|
|Nov. 16||Fall Open House|
|Nov. 28-29||Admissions closed for Thanksgiving break|
|Dec. 1||Early Decision notification date|
|Dec. 20||Early Action notification date|
|Dec. 23-27||Admissions closed for holiday break|
|Jan. 1||Admissions closed for New Year's holiday|
|Jan. 10||Regular Decision application deadline and scholarship deadline|
|Feb. 10||Watson and Odyssey Program Scholarship deadline|
|Feb. 21||Phoenix Friday*|
|March 7-8||Fellows and Scholarship Weekend|
|March 14-15||Rising Phoenix Weekend (for those accepted under Early Decision and Early Action)|
|March 15||Regular Decision notification date|
|April 4-5||Phoenix Fusion|
|April 5||Open House for juniors|
|April 11||Phoenix Friday*|
|April 25-26||Rising Phoenix Weekend (for those accepted under Final Decision plan)|
*Phoenix Fridays are opportunities for accepted seniors to spend a day on campus and learn more about life at Elon.
**Invitations for Open House are mailed four to six weeks in advance. For more information, please call the Admissions office at 800.334.8448.
Visit our website, elon.edu/admissions, to find out more about application deadlines and notification dates.