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

2019 Leadership Consultants and Leadership Advocates doing BIG THINGS! Leadership Advocate meeting (top left), Active Leaders (top middle), Hampton Middle School (top right), Leadership Advocate meeting (bottom left), and Mason LIFE (bottom right)

Student Leadership Consultants Doing Big Things

In the LEAD Office, we are fortunate to work with some incredible student leaders. This year our Leadership Consultants have facilitated 26 educational workshops and provided leadership training and development to over 700 students in the last 2 months. Our Leadership Consultants have worked closely with numerous UNIV 100 courses, the MASI Student Leaders, athletics, the Early Identification Program, Hampton Middle School, and the Mason LIFE program. In addition, our Leadership Consultants also presented at this year's Leadership Mason Conference on Leadership 101, What Would You Do? Making Tough Ethical Choices, and Communication and Chaos.

2019 Leadership Mason Conference: Highlights

Partnership with the LEAD Office and Student Involvement

On September 24th, the LEAD office held its annual Leadership Conference this year, focusing on the power of connecting, collaborating, and engaging with the world around them. Students began their morning with a LEGO Leadership session conducted by our very own Lisa Snyder. Various activities surrounding LEGOs were designed to provide students the opportunity to discuss differences in communication styles, conflict resolution, as well as diving into their own stories surrounding leadership. After a brief lunch, students explored a variety of breakout sessions with topics ranging from understanding the basics of leadership, understanding unconscious biases, self-care strategies, and much more. In total, students could attend three sessions, with five options offered each session. Students closed their time reviewing the events of the day, and discussed strategies to implement the lessons they had learned with each other: discussing how to connect, collaborate, and engage with the environment around them.

Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD

Freedom and Learning Forum

featuring President Anne Holton and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

In her first Freedom and Learning Forum, George Mason University president Anne Holton sat down with best-selling author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and discussed her book “We Should All Be Feminists,” which is this year’s Mason Reads selection. ​

Adichie, a Nigerian writer known for her novels such as “Americanah” and “Half of a Yellow Sun,” shares in her book “We Should All Be Feminists” her experience as an African feminist and her views on gender roles and sexuality. President Holton kicked off the chat with a question about societal expectations for women. ​

"To be human is to like being liked, I think that's quite natural," said Adichie. "But as girls, we are socialized to think that we need to be liked. I find that very problematic because what it does is that girls are taught very early on to change themselves to please other people."

During the panel, Adichie talked about topics such as sexual assault, raising her young daughter, and the relationship between money and masculinity. She also discussed gender expectations for both men and women and how that relates to the feminism movement.

"It's very difficult to unlearn things that we've learned from the time we were two years old,” said Adichie. “And, so, for me, feminism is a process of unlearning."​ She added, "I believe very strongly that men need to be a part of the feminist conversation." ​

Audience questions touched on subjects such as Adichie’s self-care advice and how her ideas on gender have changed since publishing “We Should All Be Feminists” in 2014. "The fundamental things that I believe have not changed, but I find myself rethinking certain things,”Adichie said, adding that in the past, she told men to imagine what it’s like to be a woman, which she now believes is the wrong way to approach the subject because of the limitations of our imagination. She said she now explores other ways to start the discussion around feminism. ​

After the discussion, students and community members lined up for a book signing and the opportunity to grab a picture with the author. ​"I'm from Nigeria so I was really excited when I found out this was the book [for Mason Reads] and that they had passed it out to freshmen," said Natalia Kanos, a sophomore government and international politics major, adding that she is glad to university is discussing pressing issues. ​ Mason senior community health major and Honors College student Gabrielle Jackson, who also introduced Adichie to the stage, added that the book is very timely. ​ "I think it's great that as a university we're now trying to put [women's issues] at the forefront and making sure people of all genders and all identities are reading it and are on the same page in terms of equality, equity and helping create a new campus culture,” said Jackson. ​

The program was sponsored by Fall for the Book, Mason Reads, the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Office and the President’s Office.

Story written by: News at Mason  

Active Leaders Cohort

2018 Active Leaders Cohort

Our Active Leaders Program launched this September with 26 students as part of the cohort experience. The Active Leaders program is a 10-week seminar (2 hours each week) designed to provide a more advanced leadership opportunity for Mason students. There is no prerequisite for Active Leaders. You do NOT need to have a leadership position to be a part of this program! The program is for both those who are in, AND not in, leadership positions!

For the past few months, our Active Leaders have engaged in education around and learning around the following topics:

  • Leadership 101
  • Discover Your Strengths
  • Values and Time Management
  • The 5 As of Ethical Leadership
  • Service and Civic Engagement
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence: More Important than IQ?
  • Resilience, Well-Being and Leadership
  • Translating Your Leadership Experiences to your Career
  • Commencement

For more information about the Active Leaders program, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/activeleaders/

Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence

For more information and to take the pledge, visit http://chapternext.gmu.edu

Five years ago, WE made a pledge to END sexual violence at George Mason University. What comes next is just as critical as what happened before. This is our call to action. Sexual violence is not an easy topic to discuss, and to ignore the fact that sexual violence has been an issue across college campuses would not only be a severely critical error, but it may also be considered downright unethical to ignore the growing problem. That is why the LEAD office has teamed up with the Women and Gender Studies Center and the Student Support and Advocacy Center to host Chapter Next: Ending Sexual Violence.

This event was not merely an opportunity to support survivors, but also a chance to educate the George Mason population as a whole. Knowledge is power, and by providing students with the tools needed to identify sexual violence, and then to act when they see or suspect issues, we foster a campus of dedicated and trained individuals that look out not only for their friends but for strangers. A campus that loves one another, a campus that does not tolerate the misdeeds of others. A campus that stands by survivors and supports them in their steps to recovery. Where there is pain, there is an opportunity for healing.

Photos from the 2019 Chapter Next Program

Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD

Hampton Middle School Partnership

For more information, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/hampton 

Located in Prince William County is Hampton Middle School, one of only two Title 1 middle schools in the area, but what does Title 1 mean? A school is considered Title 1 if at least 40% of the students enrolled in the school come from low-income families. This is shown by the number of kids that require free or reduced lunches.

The LEAD Office has been partnering with Hampton for the past 7 years to provide leadership training to help these students be successful both inside and outside of the classroom. Recently, LEAD has begun to increase its efforts to impact the success of not only the students but their families as well. Last spring, we received $6700 in grant money from the Charles C. Jackson Foundation to enhance and strengthen Mason’s partnership with Hampton Middle School.

Upcoming, LEAD, along with several offices from George Mason, are hosting a Hampton Family Husky Night: The Mason Experience and the Incredible Leadership Conference. The Family Night on November 15 will provide dinner for the families in attendance, and be an evening full of engaging activities to allow students to understand that college may be an option for them in the future. Organizations will be present to help families understand how to navigate the collegiate process and provide them with the resources they need to be successful.

We are also excited to be hosting the Incredible Leadership Conference on the George Mason campus for the first time. On December 6th for 325+ sixth grade students from Hampton Middle School will have the opportunity to attend workshops dedicated to enhancing leadership skills they already posses while simultaneously gaining new skills that will benefit them in the future.

If you have any interest in joining us with this partnership, please contact Lisa Snyder at lsnyder2@gmu.edu.

Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD

Alumni Leadership Speaker Series

For information and to RSVP, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/speakerseries/

Sooner or later, we all will leave George Mason, but that doesn't mean that your time at Mason has come completely to an end. Once you leave, you have the distinction of becoming a George Mason Alumni and may be called upon to pass on your wisdom to those that were once in your shoes. This is the case for those that speak at our Alumni Leadership Speaker Series. On November 12th, from 6:30 pm-8:00 pm, we will be joined by four outstanding alumni as they look to provide insights as to how to turn dreams into reality. Future goals will remain but wishful thinking until you put a plan into motion. Pulling from a variety of backgrounds, these alumni will be able to provide valuable insights to current Mason students and help them prepare for their time after graduation. Don't wait until after you graduate to start preparing for your future; start today. Learn from the successes and failures of those that have gone before you give yourself an advantage that they only wish they had. Who knows, we may need you to pass on the same information to future generations of Mason students.

Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD

2019 Family Weekend Day of Service

For information and to RSVP, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/familyweekend/

On November 9th, families from all over will descend on George Mason to reunite with their college kids and participate in a multitude of Family Weekend activities. George Mason has provided ample opportunity for families to spend quality time together, participating in a variety of trips and adventures, exploring Mason's resources, and even have the chance to give back to the Mason Community. LEAD is sponsoring a variety of services projects that families can complete together to help support the area where their Mason children reside. They will have the chance to create new chew toys for rescue animals in foster care at Operations Paws for Homes. They may choose to drop off food or toiletry items for the Patriot Pantry, or potentially provide monetary donations to the Student Food and Housing Insecurity Fund. Regardless of how there are families at Mason that not only love their children but love the community, they allowed them to live. Being a part of the Mason community doesn't stop at the student; it extends to their families, and we are excited to welcome them back to campus for another action pack Family Weekend.

Written by: Derek Smith, Graduate Assistant for LEAD

Right, Wrong or Different

Rapid Global Climate Change: Threat and/or Opportunity?

Is there a moral responsibility to prevent Climate Change at all costs? If so, whose responsibility is it? Should those who have contributed the most so far (e.g. USA and Western Europe) take more responsibility? What about those who are currently contributing the most (e.g. China and India)? What about smaller countries? Is it enough to focus on solutions that lead to a positive return on investment? Should we respect others rights to emit greenhouse gas pollution? Should there be restitution and/or compensation for damages within and/or across nations? What about impacts beyond individual countries (the air, ocean, Antarctica)? What can a college student do to address the problem? Attend this highly engaging and interactive program to discuss these questions and more. For more information and to RSVP, visit: https://lead.gmu.edu/rightwrongordifferent/. This year's Right, Wrong or Different program will take place on November 19th from 5:30pm-7:30pm in Merten Hall, 1201. 

Spring Course Opportunity: Ethics and Leadership

Looking for a great undergraduate class to add to your schedule for the spring 2020 semester??? Know someone else you could encourage to take the class below???

Looking for a fun and interactive course focused on the relationship between ethics and leadership? Want to learn more about your own views about ethical issues and how you decide what's the right thing to do? Want a leadership course on your transcript? Need a course for the School of Integrative Studies (SIS) Leadership Minor (you do not need to be in the minor to take the class)? Check out INTS 404 (Section 002) “Ethics and Leadership”. The class will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Noon-1:15pm. Note: This is the course with “Lennon” as the instructor.

The course is designed to help develop effective, ethical leaders. It is a highly interactive course that incorporates reflection and in-class discussion. It will count for 4 credits because there is an experiential learning component. The main focus is to help students better understand the relationship between ethics and leadership, see how these topics apply to their lives and develop an ethical decision-making process. INTS 404 counts as a required course for the SIS leadership minor, but you do not need to be in the minor to take the course. We hope you'll register for this course! If you have any questions about the course, please email Dr. Nick Lennon at nlennon@gmu.edu.