The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Yearlong Leadership Academy to Partner Students with Local Leaders

The Student Activities Office is adding a yearlong curriculum to its leadership and involvement series. The new program, dubbed the Reed Leadership Academy, or ReLAy, is set to begin in January. Twenty students will be partnered with mentors in the greater Portland community, some of whom will be alumni, and attend weekly one-and-one-half-hour-long discussion-based classes.

Students, faculty, and seven administrative departments have spent more than a year and a half custom-tailoring ReLAy to Reedies. “We didn’t want a cookie-cutter,” says Director of Student Activities Kristin Holmberg. Student discussion contributed greatly to the program’s development. “[Discussion is] something Reedies really like to do a lot about anything,” Holmberg says.

ReLAy will feature lessons on emotional intelligence, good citizenship, and models of non-hierarchical leadership. The program will also include a group community service organized by participants. Participating students will also receive help looking for summer opportunities to use their skills.

At the core of ReLAy, says Holmberg, is the “social change model” of leadership. Seven C’s define the social change model: consciousness of self, congruence (that you walk your talk), commitment, collaboration, controversy with civility, common purpose, and citizenship. In the social change model, these qualities take precedence over traditional conceptions of leadership.

Those who might not immediately consider themselves leaders are encouraged to apply. “Everyone affects the group,” says Holmberg, and even people who prefer not to be at the head of things can learn to be more effective.


ReLAy applications will become available in the Student Activities Office on October 1 and are due October 29. Students of any year are encouraged to apply, as long as they won’t graduate before Spring/Fall 2013.

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