Servant Leadership Fellows program launched for students

A new Servant Leadership Fellows program has been announced by Nicholas Eastman, Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership and associate professor of educational studies. A cohort of students will be selected annually for the yearlong program that will include an academic course in the theory of servant leadership in the fall; followed by a servant leadership practicum in the spring.

“In the spring, students can live out student leadership and continue to maintain this strong Ripon College tradition of servant leadership across campus,” Eastman says. “Our aim is to have a student-led campus transformation around the concept of servant leadership. Their reach will be so much greater than one classroom and will build it as a culture throughout the broader campus and beyond.”

The program is open to juniors and seniors, and participants will be compensated each semester.

“Servant leadership has been a strong principle for a long time, based on Robert Greenleaf’s ten characteristics of servant leadership in the 1970s. That drew on characteristics of transformational leaders throughout history,” Eastman says.

“We are not inventing something entirely new but continuing a tradition of servant leadership at Ripon College. The Servant Leadership Fellows program places the focus on what the students are capable of doing, not only to better the community but to better themselves in the process. The goal is to see these students — who are from a lot of different disciplines — become involved in leadership in a lot of ways.

“This approach to leadership emphasizes that all of those involved in the process are valued and served and result in better people living in better communities.”

The first cohort of Servant Leadership Fellows includes:

  • Allison DeNamur ’25 of Elcho, Wisconsin
  • Juliana Garcia ’26 of Quito, Ecuador
  • Bella Kasuboski ’25 of Racine, Wisconsin
  • Isabelle Kennedy ’25 of Muskego, Wisconsin
  • Thirzah Koetz ’26 of New Franken,Wisconsin
  • Bella Opelt ’25 of Neillsville, Wisconsin
  • Ben Rahlf ’25 of Janesville, Wisconsin
  • Preston Reese-Grimm ’26 of Wautoma, Wisconsin
  • Matthew Seeber ’25 of Lakewood, Wisconsin
  • Jamar Thomas ’25 of Houston, Texas
  • McKenzie Wiesner ’25 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin,

“It will be exciting to see what they will do and grow as leaders and as people as well to see what they can accomplish to make the campus, their organizations and the community better through their leadership,” Eastman says.

(Photo: Nicholas Eastman works with Ripon College students.)

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