Application deadline is March 23 for Presidential Leadership Program

For first-year students who maintain a high grade point average, hold leadership roles in organizations and are active in their community, Ripon College offers another great growth opportunity — the Presidential Leadership Program.

“The Presidential Leadership Program is a unique, mentored cohort program that provides opportunities for outstanding Ripon College students to pursue personal achievement, professional development and academic excellence,” says Andrea Young, special assistant to the president and associate professor of mathematical sciences.

She says the program aims to challenge intellectually talented students to excel academically; develop students’ leadership potential; encourage students to develop wide-ranging interests; promote students’ facility with the critical exchange of ideas; enable students to become more attractive candidates for national scholarships, graduate school and professional employment; and prepare students for exceptional and lasting contributions to their community and profession.

Students selected to participate in the mentorship program participate in a presidential book club, attend dinners, network with college administration and attend special receptions and other events. Starting next year, students participating in the program will enroll in a special 1-credit course each semester. “Catalyst for Change” and will focus on community engagement and leadership.

They also interact with President Zach Messitte. “One of the reasons the program means so much to me is that it gathers together some of the most committed and academically gifted students into a group to think about big ideas and what the future might hold,” Messitte says.

For next year’s program, the deadline for applications from first-year students is March 23. Information is available here. Application information is available from Andrea Young.

The current program includes eight sophomores:

  • Kayla Furlano of West Bend, Wisconsin
  • Claire Greenlee of Marshfield, Wisconsin
  • Mitra Kermani of Louisville, Colorado
  • Alexandra Molinski of Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Maya Petersen of Emerald, Wisconsin
  • Mariah Stiemsma of New Berlin, Wisconsin
  • Emily Tetzlaff of Kaukauna, Wisconsin
  • Zea Woods of Hillsboro, Wisconsin

A highlight so far this semester was a special networking event with Lindsay Blumer, assistant dean, Career and Professional Development. During a cocktail hour with members of the Board of Trustees, students were able to test their newly acquired networking skills and experienced a social business atmosphere.

Blumer taught the students that a good elevator pitch should include the student’s year in school, a fun fact about themselves, and a question for the other side. “I always hope students walk away from any interactions feeling more confident about their own journey and experiences,” Blumer says.


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