University of Calgary

Leaders of the future

October 8, 2009

Students take lead with new program


First-year students took part in a leadership retreat at Bowness Park. / Photo: Gareth McVicar
First-year U of C students who are interested in developing a foundation for leadership now have an official program to help them achieve their goals. Emerging Leaders is a certificate program that has been designed to introduce students to the idea of university.

A total of 93 students have signed up for the program. “Students will participate in specially designed developmental workshops, keynote-speaking events and more,” explains Meghan Houghton, acting associate vice-provost (student success and learning support services). “They will then be able to apply what they’ve learned to the campus community through junior leadership roles. It will be rewarding to see these students develop and grow throughout their first year.”

Monika Markovinovic, a first-year communication studies student, signed up for the program in order to become involved with campus leadership. An active member of her high school student council and athletics, she wants to meet and learn from other leaders on campus.

“I plan on becoming involved with media and journalism when I graduate, and this program is a great way for me to develop skills that I can use after graduation,” she says.

Students launched their leadership training at a retreat in Bowness Park last weekend. They applied leadership principles to group activities such as compass navigation and each student took on a team leadership role at some point during the day.

“Part of leadership development is learning how to work together effectively in team situations,” says Houghton. “This retreat was designed to help foster these skills in our students.”

Another unique component of the Emerging Leaders program is that each student is matched with a professional mentor on campus. These mentors include members of senior administration, faculty, managerial and support staff. 

Markovinovic’s mentor on campus is Greta Hall, coordinator of student development and orientation in student and enrolment services. “Programs like Emerging Leaders help students engage with the university in meaningful ways,” says Hall.

Markovinovic agrees that having a mentor on campus has helped her feel more at ease about beginning university. “It’s really great to have a connection on campus like my mentor. Emerging Leaders has definitely helped to make my first few weeks on campus much better, and I look forward to being involved in leadership for the next four years.”

For more information on this program, visit

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