Student Leadership Seminar

The Global Liberal Arts Alliance will offer a seven-day leadership development seminar for students at Alliance schools. The seminar will be hosted by the Leadership Development Institute at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. Through a generous grant from the Endeavor Foundation, there is support for one student from each of the 30 Alliance institutions.

Students are required to bring a project to develop. The seminar will offer a mix of theory and practice, will include sessions on leadership theory and characteristics, engagement with the local community leaders, student presentations, and opportunities to develop the student’s project. There will also be free time for discussion and excursions to local points of interest. 

Seminar Outcomes

Following the seminar, students will be able to:

  1. Describe five models of leadership and relate them to the student’s personal style and project needs
  2. Articulate a definition of leadership and its application to the student’s interactions with others
  3. Provide examples of ways that cultural differences impact leadership
  4. Reflect on a self-assessment of leadership skills leading to a plan for continued self-assessment and development following the seminar
  5. Apply the skills developed at the seminar to advance the student’s project
  6. Describe how leadership may change in future career and work environments

Nomination of Student Delegates

Each Global Alliance member institution may nominate up to two candidates to be considered for selection for the seminar. From this pool of candidates, 30 students will be selected. A review committee will make selections to create a cohort of students that provides a range of project types and globally balanced set of perspectives on leadership. Ideally one student will be selected per campus. However, if a campus does not nominate a student, or no nominated student from a campus meets minimum expectations in terms of the description of the project (clear project proposal, student leadership role in the project, timeline for project, potential impact of project) or potential impact of the seminar on the student, a second student may be selected from a limited number of campuses.

Applicants must be undergraduate students who will be enrolled full-time at an Alliance school in 2020-21 and must be endorsed by their campus’ chief academic officer. Candidates should have interests in expanding their leadership skills and be able to work with students from diverse backgrounds.


Through a grant from the Endeavor Foundation, airfare (up to a cap), ground transportation in Morocco, lodging, and meals will be covered. Students will be responsible for visa fees, some meals, and incidentals.

Project Requirement

Each student must bring a project to the seminar. The student must have a clear and significant leadership role in the project. The project may be in progress (but not close to completion) or one that has been approved and will begin within the academic year following the seminar (2020-21).

The project may be in the areas of civic engagement, service-learning, or social or business entrepreneurship. The project may be initiated by the student, by the school’s service learning or entrepreneurship offices, or by an entity external to the student’s school.

Ideally, the project is targeted at the local community (or beyond), but campus-focused projects will also be considered. Strong preference will be given to projects relatable to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Pre-Seminar Work

Invited students must commit to doing preparatory work

  1. Project status – It is expected that students have a clear project proposal and have already begun their projects or have at least been in planning conversations with working groups/organizations that will participate in the project.
  2. Leadership self-assessment – Identify strengths and areas to work on during the seminar.
  3. Readings on leadership – Read a range of materials on leadership and be prepared to discuss them in the time leading up to the seminar and at the seminar.
  4. Small group work – Students will be placed in small groups where they will discuss responses to a set of prompts that will probe definitions and models of leadership, and share the contexts in which they apply leadership, including the project the student brings to the seminar.

Post-Seminar Work

Invited students must commit to doing follow-up work

  1. Reflection paper (~600 words) on how the seminar impacted the student’s knowledge and practice of leadership and the impact the seminar had on leadership of the project.
  2. A follow-up self-assessment completed six months after the workshop to encourage continuous reflection and improvement.
  3. Each student will be asked to continue to share experiences and progress with one or two other students from the seminar up to the end of the project or the academic year, whichever comes first.
  4. A project update/report at the end of the academic year or when the project is completed, whichever comes first.

Application Materials and Process

Application to participate in the Leadership Seminar has two steps.

Step 1: An interested student submits a completed application to their Chief Academic Officer. Consult your Chief Academic Officer for your campus’ application due date.

Step 2: Each Alliance campus selects up to two applications to forward to the Global Alliance office (Simon Gray – A review committee will make selections to create a cohort of students that provides a range of project types and globally balanced set of perspectives on leadership.

A complete application consists of the following.

  1. Student application
  2. Curriculum vitae/resume
  3. Academic transcript (may be unofficial)

Important Dates

January 20, 2020: Campus nominations due to the Global Alliance office (

February 24, 2020: Notification of acceptance

March 23, 2020: Visa application submitted (if needed)

Spring/Summer 2020: Groups assigned; groups meet by video conferencing/email and complete preparatory research

June 27, 2020: Students arrive in Ifrane

June 28, 2020: Seminar begins

July 4, 2020: Seminar ends

July 5, 2020: Students depart


Simon Gray
Program Officer for the Global Liberal Arts Alliance

Duncan Rinehart
Director, Leadership Development Institute, Al Akhawayn University

Albert Ko
Director of Service Learning, Lingnan University,

Glenn Bryan
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Ohio Wesleyan University