Heidelberg University is implementing a program that is giving students opportunities to lead.
Julie O'Reilly, chairwoman of the department of communication and theatre arts and assistant professor of communication and women's and gender studies; April Beisaw, assistant professor of anthropology; and Julia Hada, social media coordinator, are to oversee Women's Leadership Initiative for the next three years.
O'Reilly said the goals and objectives of the program include having participants receive support from other leaders, be mentored and serve as mentors, network with alumni and community leaders, interact with administrators, take part in workshops, presentations and discussions about leadership, and apply their leadership skills through activities.
"To me, the goal of the program is to give students opportunities to practice being leaders," Beisaw said.
Women's Leadership Initiative has three levels of participation, according to a release from Heidelberg.
The first level of participation is attending events open to the campus and Tiffin community. Second, students can apply to the program's certificate program, which requires completion of the course and two leadership projects and attendance at events. Third, students can become part of the core leadership team and work with the directors to plan programs.
"There's 12 students that are in the core group, so they're sort of the leaders of the leaders," O'Reilly said.
Women's Leadership Initiative started last year.
The provost had asked three employees to develop the program in October, and their proposal was submitted May 15.
"We ran a pilot program during that time," O'Reilly said.
During the pilot program, 12 female students met and provided input about what they wanted from the program, what they thought hadn't worked with past programs and what would attract other students. O'Reilly said they discussed topics such as how they defined a leader.
"(They were) women that we thought had the qualities to be leaders or were currently leaders. ... They were working with us to develop this project," Beisaw said.
Beisaw said two of the 12 women have graduated, and 10 are returning and are going to be leaders of the initiative.
"It's up to them to get some of these things going," she said.
Women are leading the initiative but men can participate.
O'Reilly said the goal for the first year is to do at least one program or event per month. Some might only be available to the core group or the certificate group, and some might be open to the public, she said.
"We're working on at least one a month," she said.
Members of the initiative are going to assist students with moving in Aug. 26. The first event is to be a workshop about introductions and first impressions led by two graduate assistants Sept. 13.
The directors also are planning Early Success Series.
O'Reilly said the series involves bringing back some recent alumni who already have achieved a significant amount of success. In November, a 2008 graduate is to speak to students.
Although the initiative is not directly connected to Patricia Adams Lecture Series, students involved in the initiative are to have a role in it.
O'Reilly said the initiative's core group of students is going to have breakfast with the lecture series speaker, and in the spring, one of the members moderated one of the panels for the lecture series' speaker.
Officials are encouraging participation in the lecture series events, she said.