"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." - John F. Kennedy

Leadership development is an essential student learning outcome of a comprehensive student experience at Governors State University. Student Affairs educators at Governors State aspire to contribute to the mission of the University by challenging and inspiring students to be responsible citizens and leaders on-campus and in their communities. Among the formal programs supporting our focus on leadership development include: Emerging Leaders Program for first-year students, Student Leadership Institute for upper-class students, Graduate Leadership Scholars, and both the Men's and Women's Leadership Retreat.

Print Student Leadership Programs Brochure >>>

  • Service & Leadership Seminar


    Service & Leadership Seminar

    August 17 -21, 2015


    The Service & Leadership Seminar is a week long experiential learning opportunity for incoming freshmen at Governors State University.  The seminar is held prior to the start of the fall semester, August 17 – 21st.  Students are provided an opportunity to learn about community service, leadership, and self-awareness.  The seminar encompasses community service projects, workshops, speakers, and interaction with current campus leaders.  Students will be immersed in an array of activities that will enable participants to discover how they can help create positive, sustainable change on Governors State University’s campus.


    Preliminary Schedule

    August 17 – Program Overview, Workshops, Community Service Council

    August 18 – University Park, Mayor Covington—Service Project

    August 19 – Explore Chicago – Service Initiatives

    August 20 – Leadership, Vision, Civic Reflection – Group Outing

    August 21 –Convocation


    Learning Outcomes

    • Gather an understanding of different perspectives.
    •  Observe, analyze, and advocate community needs and social injustices.
    • Build meaningful relationships with peers, leaders and community.
    •  Become familiar with involvement opportunities on campus
    • Comprehension of personal identities in regard to first year transition.
    • Develop an understanding of effective leadership principles.



    For more information contact S. Sanderson at 708-235-7653


  • Men's Global Leadership Initiative


    2014 Mens Leadership Retreat Participants
    2014 Men's Global Leadership Initiative Participants


    The inaugural Men's Global Leadership Initiative was a success! "This program was by far the best I've been of its kind. GSU is doing a great job at raising and developing leaders" Justin Smith, first-year student participant. 

    About: The Men's Global Leadership Initiative explores the essential elements of what it means to be a man in a leadership role in the Governors State University community and within a global text. The intersection of male gender and leadership will allow us to explore such topics/skills as advocacy, coalition building, contemplative practice, communication, decision making, consensus building, diversity/inclusion and conflict management.

    The goal of the summit will be to develop a cohort and community of male leaders who will begin the work of developing knowledge of and trust among each other so that they can have a positive and enduring influence on the GSU campus community.

    For more information, contact: Robert Clay, rclay@govst.edu or James Flagg, jflagg@govst.edu

    Target Audience: All male students interested in exploring leadership and advancing male achievement.

    2014 Program Schedule

    • 10-10:30am, Check-in with Continental Breakfast.
    • 10:30-11:30am, Introductions and Team builders.
    • 11:30am-12:45pm: Workshops and Discussions.
    • 12:45pm-1:45pm: Lunch and Table Top Discussions.
    • 1:45pm-3pm, Workshops and Discussions
    • 3-3:15pm, Break 
    • 3:15-4pm, Action Planning and Leadership Incubator.
    • 4pm, Networking Panel and Dinner.

    2014 Planning Committee:

  • SHERO Women's Leadership Symposium


    Come celebrate your inner SHEro!

    The goal of Governors State University’s Women’s Leadership Symposium will be to inspire women to seek their highest level of personal and professional development.  Participants will gain a greater understanding of their own approach to leadership and acquire new ideas to optimize and sustain one’s potential.  The program will provide perspectives and strategies in the areas of: personal development (such as health, financial maintenance, stress management, etc.), career development and advancement, and community engagement.  The conference format will be a tribute to the arts that include a keynote speaker and breakout discussions to celebrate "SHE"ROs and diversity. The conference is inclusive to all genders looking to support leadership.

    S – Sharing, H – Her story of, E – Empowerment, R – Resilience, & O – Opportunity

    Register using this link by October 1st >>>

    Keynote Speaker: Dorri McWhorter, Chief Executive Officer at YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

    Program Sessions:

    • Dr. Crystal Blount and the Psychology Undergrad Research Team: Psychological Cost of Financial Stress: Balancing Stress and Procrastination When Money is Tight
    • Dr. Mary Bruce: The Art and Skill of Follow-Through
    • Dr. Rebecca Michel: Strengths Based Leadership and Career Development
    • Dr. Mazna Patka & Dr. Shaalein Lopez: Rising Up: Connecting the Mind and Body for Empowerment 

    Optional Evening Activity: Ladies Night Ceramics Party, 7-9pm @ Art 4 Soul, Homewood, IL


    Want to be part of planning this SUPER sHERO  event? 
    Just participating not enough for you?  Join the Planning Committee!  For more information, contact: Jessica Specht, jspecht@govst.edu 

    Planning Committee:

    • Dartina Dunlap, Career Counselor, Office of Career Services
    • Amanda Evans, Volunteer Recruiter/Trainer, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
    • James Flagg, Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel
    • Katrina Koltz, Graduate Assistant/President, Graduate Professional Network
    • Jessica Specht, Career Counselor, Office of Career Services 

  • CEO Leadership Certificate Program


    CEO Picture

    The Certified Executive Officer (CEO) Leadership Certificate Program is designed to provide clubs and organizations student leaders effective and essential leadership skills. Students will have the opportunity to develop and enhance a personal philosophy of leadership that includes comprehension of leadership theory and application. The CEO program develops leadership potential and self-efficacy in preparing today’s students to lead.  Student leaders will also explore leadership trends to foster learning and personal development through exploration of theories and practices. Registration is now open until September 14, 2015

    Register atwww.surveymonkey.com/s/CEOLeadership  



     Program Schedule:  


    Workshops are held 3:30 - 4:15 pm on Tuesdays and Thursday.  Some workshops offered at 6:00 pm.

    Orientation:  Tuesday, September 15
    Workshops:  Thursday, September 23 to Tuesday, October 30
    Reflective Project due: Friday, November 6 
    CEO Guest Speaker and Certificate Presentation:  Tuesday, November 12


    Organizational Development (2)

    Strategic Plan/Vision

    Protocol (Roberts Rules) How to Run a Meeting

    Peer Mentoring/Conflict Resolution

    Group Dynamics/Team Building/Diversity


     Personal Development (2)

    Creating a Legacy/Sustainability

    Group Dynamics/Team Building/Diversity 

    Understanding Elements of Budgeting

    Organizational Management (2)

    Financial Management

    Record Keeping 

    Peer Mentoring/Conflict Resolution 

    Creating a Legacy/Sustainability

    Group Dynamics/Team Building/Diversity

    Program Development (2)

    Understanding Elements of Budgeting

      Expenditures & Purchases


    Target Audience: Elected leaders of student organizations.

    Contact: Sheree Sanderson, ssanderson@govst.edu



    Robert Clay, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs
    Dennis Dent, Coordinator, Campus Programs
    Dr. Rupert Evans, Chair Health and Human Services
    Dr. David Green, Chair, Division of Accounting, Economics, Finance and MIS
    Dr. Zo Ramamonjiarivelo, Assistant Professor
    Dr. Caren Rossow, Senior University Lecturer
    Sheree Y. Sanderson, Assistant Dean of Students
    Tamieka Scott, Interim Director of Student Conduct
    Tamara Winn, Senior University Lecturer

    Robert E. Clay, Director, Intercultural Student Affairs
    Dr. David Green, Chair, Division of Accounting, Economics, Finance and MIS
    Caron Jacobson, Senior University Lecturer
    Dr. Zo Ramamonjiarivelo, Assistant Professor
    Tamara Winn, Senior University Lecturer



    • Inclusive Leadership Conference


      Lifted HandsThe Inclusive Leadership Conference is designed to create an understanding and appreciation for diverse identities amongst students through social justice education.  An increased self-awareness encourages students to be free of misconceptions and prejudices as leaders.  

      This year's theme "Lifting Every Voice" reflects the ability to lead diverse populations by creating engaging spaces where every team member is able and willing to contribute through the affirmation of their voices being heard to ensure innovation, resolution and collaboration that create solutions for social change.

      Schedule: Save the Date for Friday, January 23, 2015. 

      Contact: Robert Clay, diversity@govst.edu or Roshaunda Ross, dualdegree@govst.edu

      Target Audience: All individuals interested in advancing social change and learning about the intersection of leadership and social justice. 

      Registration is FREE!!!  Register by using this link by December 7th!!!


    • Student Leadership Institute


       SLI Video Image  

      View the Student Leadership Institute promo >>

      Based on national best practices for leadership education, the Student Leadership Institute is a distinctive co-curricular certificate program designed for students seeking leadership development opportunities that will contribute to their personal development and help achieve their leadership potential.

      Applications to participate in 3rd annual Student Leadership Institute now available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GSUSLI 

      Schedule: Offered annually in the spring semester and completed by Spring Break. Applications available and due November 1, 2014.

      Lisa Carra, lcarra@govst.edu

      Target Audience:
      All students interested in exploring leadership topics, learning leadership from faculty and staff mentors. Open only to Transfer and Graduate students in Spring 2015.

      More about the Student Leadership Institute:

      Using Kouzes and Posner's nationally recognized Five Practices of Exemplary Student Leadership as a foundation, this innovative program consists of workshops that participants elect to attend based on their individual interests and leadership goals. While the SLI co-curricular certificate program offers participants the flexibility to create their own curriculum, there are common program features that include:

      • Introduction to, and administration of, the Leadership Practices Inventory, the only leadership tool designed specifically for student leaders that approaches leadership as a measurable, learnable and teachable set of behaviors. This 360 degree leadership assessment tool helps student leaders measure their leadership competencies, while guiding them through the process of applying Kouzes and Posner's acclaimed Five Practices of Exemplary Student Leadership® model to real-life challenges.
      • Support and guidance from a GSU leadership mentor that will assist in processing LPI results, maximize your benefits through the SLI certificate, serve as a personal resource and consult with you throughout the program, and beyond.
      • Choice of topical and interactive workshops offered throughout the semester designed to develop your leadership skills and increase your networking opportunities with other student leaders in a variety of contexts. Successful participants must choose three workshops from the various offerings during the semester in which they are participating. Tracks will be suggested for various leadership positions, such as student organization leaders and peer mentors.
      • A culminating celebration and workshop that integrates reflection and content from selected workshops with action planning to help ensure students achieve their leadership potential.

      In 2012-13, its inaugural year, the response to the Leadership Institute from the campus community was overwhelming. In total, 45 undergraduates and 19 graduate students participated (selected from 160 applicants), and 15 faculty and staff served as workshop presenters, while 45 more served as leadership mentors. Students involved with the Student Leadership Institute program at GSU will also benefit from the mentorship component that is woven into the program design. Students will have the opportunity to work directly with a mentor who will discuss their workshop options, provide direction and track their development and progress.

      The goals of the mentorship component of the SLI include:

      • Develop a connection to the program for students through a personalized mentor.
      • Establish a connection for students to the university through a member of the community serving as a SLI mentor.
      • Articulate an intentional path in the SLI program for students that can specifically meet their leadership needs as it pertains to their major and/or involvement on campus.
      • Assess a student's success in the program.
      • Assist students in understanding and integrating what they have learned.
      • Assist students in applying what they have learned to their experiences at GSU, their leadership and professional aspirations.

    • Graduate Leadership Scholars


      Due to an overwhelming response to the SLI program, we are pleased to announce the continuation of a graduate component of the Student Leadership Institute. The planning team has developed the Graduate Leadership Scholars, which will be both unique to the graduate participants and have added value to your experiential learning experience. This is an exclusive opportunity to participate in the leadership program designed specifically with you in mind.
      The GLS Program will contain the following required elements:

      • Opening Ceremony, Wed., Jan. 29, 2014
      • Work with a mentor
      • Select two (or more) workshops
      • Select one (of five) Graduate Leadership Discussion Workshop
      • Prepare an LPI  presentation for Closing Ceremony, Tues., Mar. 11, 2014 (tentative date)

      Participation in the Graduate Leadership Scholars Program is exclusive to graduate students. 

    • Emerging Leaders Program


      The Emerging Leaders Program immerses freshman and sophomores in a process of personal development that lays the foundation for the exploration of leadership at GSU.   Students participate in workshops, activities, and discussions where they encounter various social issues, including but not limited to multiculturalism, diversity and gender roles, racism, sexism, and religious and socioeconomic issues.

      Schedule: Offered annually in the spring semester. Applications available August 11 and due: November 1, 2014
      Contact: Dennis Dent, ddent@govst.edu 
      Target Audience: Freshmen Students.