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Community Engagement & Leadership

Emerging Leaders

Check back this summer for program information and updates!

Emerging Leaders (EL)
is a competitive leadership development program for up to fifty of SMU’s top first-year students. The program is designed to develop additional leadership skills and refine those already possessed. Students in the EL program will have weekly meetings (Mondays from 4 - 5:30 p.m.) to learn and discuss important elements of leadership and will have the opportunity to network with students, professors, and staff at SMU, as well as with influential leaders within the Dallas community.

Emerging Leaders Retreat

Early in the EL program, a mandatory retreat is held to begin the process of leadership growth and to build the relationships that are important to the EL experience. All participants will travel to a retreat location in North Texas to experience a program facilitated by a team of professional leadership development specialists. Transportation will be provided to those accepted into the program. This retreat is typically held in early September.

Networking with Peers
ELs will have the opportunity to network with campus and community leaders throughout the program. Student leaders from around campus will join the class on a few different occasions to share their leadership stories and advice with the group.

Community Service
Emerging Leaders will have the opportunity to see leadership in action while serving with various non-profit organizations throughout the semester.



Each EL will have the opportunity to be matched with an alumni mentor in the Dallas area who shares similar interests and career paths. Alumni mentors will provide students with insights into their profession as well as advice for success. Student mentors will work with a small group of ELs by coaching them through the semester.


The Benefits
Participation in EL provides a select group of first-year leaders the opportunity to develop and hone skills that are essential in the execution of effective leadership. With a great number of public and private organizations indicating the need for efficient leadership, EL presents students the ideal way to incorporate and enhance the skills necessary for success at SMU and beyond. They will also have the opportunity to hear from influential guest speakers on a wide range of leadership topics and participate in hands-on leadership training. EL provides SMU’s top leaders the opportunity for immediate immersion in a variety of leadership areas, providing the potential for future campus leadership opportunities.

If you have questions about the program, contact:
Rashad Givhan: Staff Advisor
Community Engagement & Leadership Center
Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 200

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