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The LEAD Scoop We believe everyone has the potential to be a leader

LEAD Dreams BIG: Crowdfunding 2018 Campaign

How your donations make a difference

This past November, The LEAD Office and the Mason LeaderShape Institute was selected to serve as part Mason's Crowdfunding Campaign.

At LEAD, we are extremely fortunate to be able to work for a cause that we truly believe in: the development of more effective, ethical leaders for the world. This is not just a slogan, but something that inspires and drives us. We are especially fortunate to be able to work with a team of students, faculty and staff that care deeply about their work and who help to inspire positive change for individuals, groups and society as a whole. These days we need leadership and ethics education more than ever. This is what LEAD is actively focused on and we reached out to over 500 Mason Alum directly connected to LEAD and we were able to raise $815 in less than one month with the help of 15 incredible donors. On average, the LEAD Office spends nearly $800 per student to participate in this incredible 6-day life changing leadership experience. Each donation collected is going directly towards the Mason LeaderShape Institute - a week long off campus retreat that focuses on preparing students to “Lead with Integrity”.

Personal testimonials from Mason LeaderShape Institute Alum

Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence

Together, the Women and Gender Studies Center, the LEAD Office, and the Student Support and Advocacy Center accomplished the completion of a beautiful event. Being a college student, it's easy to look back at the sometimes redundant functions and gatherings held by various student organizations or offices. However, this event in particular will be one of those in a more memorable category, as an event of emotion, impact, and action. The ambiance as I walked in the room to help set up shop for the LEAD Office’s table was set with purpose. Each staff member and student held strong focus as the time was nearing to open the doors. Looking around Dewberry, the space had been transformed into thoughtful stations of storytelling and story sharing. The illuminance of the colors and decor allowed the space to not just be Dewberry, but to be a place of empathy, understanding, love, and openness. At Chapter Next, these characteristics brought about more than quiet inflection, but also necessary discourse to really pledge and act on the termination of sexual violence within our community.

Written by: Hannah Licea, Student Office Assistant

Leadership YOUnited: Leadership and Ethics and Understanding Our Intricate Identities

The Leadership Mason Conference is a conference grounded on inspiration, education, and solidarity for George Mason Students. For more than ten years, this conference has been uniquely designed for the Fall cohort of students who decide to register for a day of impact. This year’s theme on “YOUnited” quite literally ties together “you” as well as “unity” to call to mind our own roles that we may hold in society. The full theme was, “YOUnited for Positive Change: Ethical Leadership and Understanding Our Intricate Identities.” YOUnited brings into perspective the responsibilities that we each carry so that we don’t attempt to bear the entire weight of the world on our shoulders. Through unity, we have the opportunity to check our privilege, to better ourselves, to be inclusive for a global discourse, and to understand how to improve our leadership style. Thank you so much for being “YOUnited” with us in your development and educational journey of leadership.

Written by: Hannah Licea, Student Office Assistant

Freedom and Learning Fourm: Featuring Jose Antonio Vargas and President Ángel Cabrera

Photo Credit: Creative Services Multimedia and Photography

On October 20th, the Leadership Education and Development Office, Diversity Inclusion and Multicultural Education + LGBTQ Resources, and the President's Office collaborated together to bring Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, Jose Antonio Vargas to campus as part of this semester's Freedom and Learning Forum with President Ángel Cabrera. Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and a leading voice for the human rights of immigrants. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Define American, the nation's leading nonprofit media organization that fights injustice and anti-immigrant hate through the power of storytelling. He is the author of the forthcoming memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, to be published by HarperCollins in fall 2018. The event was a huge success with over 250 people in attendance.

Brown Bag Lunch Series: Materialism and Mindfulness

Flyer from November Brown Bag Lunch

On Wednesday, November 14th, the LEAD Office hosted a Brown Bag Lunch on the topic of Materialism and Mindfulness. The Brown Bag Lunch Series is designed to empower and inspire students to make positive change, challenge the systems of oppression that exist, and encourage students to lead more effectively and ethically. A number of both students and faculty came out and engaged in a lively discussion on the importance of mindfulness and why more things don’t make a person happy, as well as how practicing mindfulness can assist you in becoming a better leader. Be on the lookout for our next Brown Bag Lunch on representation in sports in March.

Written by: Batool Ibrahim, Leadership Consultant 

2018 Active Leaders Program Highlights

2018 Active Leaders Cohort

20 Mason students fully completed the 9 week Active Leaders program! This year’s group was an amazing mix of graduate and undergraduate, international and domestic students, some with leadership positions and some without. The group focused on Leadership 101, Strengths, Time Management, Values, Intercultural Competencies, Emotional Intelligence, Career Links, Service and Civic Engagement. The group was highly interactive, and learned a lot about the complexities of leadership for positive change.

Alumni Leadership Speaker Series: Successful Skills and Competencies Needed Before Graduation: Choose Your Path at the Alumni Leadership Speaker Series

Featured Mason Alum: Janae Johnson, Charles Nicholson, Sreehima Gadamsetty, Shauntae Barber, and Amir Zonozi

The Alumni Speaker Series was focused towards choosing your own path. The Alumni were very welcoming and open to expressing their experiences at Mason. They inspired the current students to go after their passion and trust the process. Most of the Alumni also mentioned "stepping out of your comfort zone" will take you very far. One of the most important tips was "reading over your resume before an interview." No one wants to be bombarded by a question about an aspect of your resume that you can't remember. The most important aspect of the entire event was to take advantage of the resources at George Mason. These resources include: Career Services, Handshake (previously known as HireMason), offices on campus, job opportunities in the Mason community, and networking with peers and alumni. After the event, multiple students had a chance to talk to Alumni and ask questions individually without interruption. Let's just say you'll have to be there next time. Our next Alumni Speaker Series is March 26, 2019. Mark you calendar and prepare for your future with The Lead Office.

Written by: Jazyerra Pittman, Leadership Consultant and Liwei Xu, Leadership Consultant

Better Angels: Helping Depolarize the USA

LEAD collaborated with the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) to offer a Better Angels Red/Blue workshop bringing together 5-7 conservative/Republican-leaning students and 5-7 progressive/Democratic-leaning students for an evening of structured conversations. In Better Angels parlance, you’re probably “red” if you lean conservative and/or Republican, and you’re probably blue if you lean progressive and/or Democratic. The workshop was facilitated by two moderators who ensured a setting hospitable to red and blue participants alike. The focus was on listening and reflecting, rather than debating and persuading. The goals of the workshop were:

  • To better understand the experiences and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide.
  • To see if there are areas of commonality in addition to differences.
  • To learn something that might be helpful to others in our community and the nation.

Better Angels, launched in 2016, is a bipartisan citizens’ movement to unify our divided nation. By bringing red and blue Americans together into a working alliance, we’re building new ways to talk with one another, participate together in public life, and influence the direction of the nation. Learn more at www.better-angels.org.

2018 Family Weekend Day of Service Highlights

This year The LEAD Office coordinated the 2018 Family Weekend Day of Service on Saturday, November 10th as part of Family Weekend hosted by New Student Orientation and Family Programs .

Projects this year included:

  • Collecting and recycling old denim jeans and jackets to support the Go Blue Go Green Sustainable Service in partnership with Madewell 221
  • Making fleece chew toys to be donated to Operation Paws for Homes
  • Collected food, toiletry, and school supplies for Mason's very own Patriot Pantry (partnership with the Student Support and Advocacy Center
  • Letters of hope, inspiration, and support to the kids at Hampton Middle School (partnership with Hampton Middle School)
  • Writing positive messages of "hope and love" to be shared around the Mason's community (#masonlove campaign)

Ethics and Leadership: Pluralism in Spain

Top left/bottom right: Toledo, Spain and top right/bottom left: Cordoba, Spain

In November LEAD’s Director traveled to Spain on two grants to research a new global leadership program called “Ethics and Leadership: Pluralism in Spain.” Increasingly, polarization is acknowledged as a significant and dangerous problem in the United States and around the world. In an age of filter bubbles and echo chambers, how can we move towards a more pluralistic society where there is a greater focus on mutual understanding, respect and the common good? During the medieval era, part of what is now Spain was ruled by an Islamic civilization called al-Andalus. Muslims, Christian and Jews reportedly collaborated and lived together relatively peacefully for hundreds of years. However, this history is also contested. What can today’s students learn from the history of this region of Spain? This new program will help prepare Mason students to be more effective, ethical leaders by introducing them to historical examples of conflict, cooperation and collaboration across difference in Spain. We will examine the history of this region with a specific focus on what we can learn about ethics and leadership that is applicable to students and life today. Student participants will return better prepared to unite communities across difference and have a positive and powerful impact on the Mason community, and beyond.

LEAD in the News

Faculty, staff, and community mentors for Mason's Action Groups at the Leadership YOUnited Conference

LEAD has been very popular with Mason’s media lately! Check out these articles about LEAD’s effort to help depolarize America and our Freedom and Learning Forum featuring Jose Antonio Vargas. For more news stories featuring the LEAD Office, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/leadnews/.

LEAD Celebrates Amazing Staff: University Wide Award Recipients

We are so excited to share that our very own Nick Lennon, Director and Phil Rippa, Office Manager are receiving awards on December 13th. Nick is the recipient of Outstanding Achievement Award and Phil is the recipient of the Exceptional Support Award given through Human Resources and Payroll.

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