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CMU students explore leadership

Learning by leading

CMU students explore leadership and their ability to make a positive difference for others

Contact: ​Jeff Johnston

​Leadership. It's been an educational priority at CMU for decades, and 2017 has been all about making leadership education accessible to everyone. This year, nearly 4,000 CMU students have participated in leadership programs and activities.

With new resources and campus partnerships, Daniel Gaken, director of the Sarah R. Opperman Leadership Institute, said this has been a year to state with confidence, "if there are students who want to make leadership a part of their college experience, they can."

Students have put their new skills to work as leaders on the campus, in the Mount Pleasant community and around the world.

"Leadership, to us, means students see themselves as leaders and understand that they have the capacity to make an impact," Gaken said.

Here's a sampling of leadership initiatives and CMU Chippewas discovering and developing their strengths and supporting their campus and community:

CMU leadership emphasis keeps growing

The new LeadCMU curriculum sorts CMU leadership activities into four phases — exploration, discovery, experience and challenge — meant to guide students' leadership development. 

A life-changing expedition for new students


More than 2,000 freshman and transfer students began their CMU experience with Leadership Safari. The optional program helps students settle into college living, learn how to succeed academically and build leadership skills. 

Backpacking, kayaking, dolphins, oh my!

A two-week program offered students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, environmental values and cultural awareness through experiential learning in the back country of New Zealand.

Teaching schools about bus routes

Local school district leaders reached out to a CMU student organization, the Supply Chain Management Association, earlier this year when they needed help evaluating bus route efficiencies. 

Students join city government

CMU senior William Joseph, from Brighton, Michigan, and graduate student Kristin LaLonde, from Beal City, Michigan, won seats on the Mount Pleasant City Commission in the November election.

100 percent of med students secure residencies

At the College of Medicine's first-ever Match Day, all 62 members of its first class of doctors-to-be obtained placements. Nearly half were matched to residency programs in Michigan.

Leading the way on autism

A CMU senior used an interior design project to launch a conversation that could improve the lives of people living with autism spectrum disorder.

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