Clark University recently celebrated its first class of undergraduate students inducted into the campus’ Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI), a six-week leadership program created by Kamaro Abubakar, assistant director of campus life.
Thirty-seven students received certificates from Abubakar and President David Angel in a Dec. 5 ceremony and luncheon in Dana Commons’ Higgins Lounge.
“You’ve been taught a very progressive model of leadership, and the kind of leadership that we hope is taking root in this country and this world,” Angel said. “People are gravitating to this model of leadership and moving away from leadership that is based upon power over people, and the arbitrary use of authority.”
He added, “I can’t wait to see your mark on Clark four years from now, and what you’ve done.”
Abubakar launched the program this fall to prepare first-year students for leadership roles on campus. He designed the program — which is co-funded by Campus Life and and co-funded by the Brian K. Yee ’93 — based on Clark’s LEEP curriculum and the Social Change Model (SCM) of leadership development. Developed in the 1990s by higher education professionals, SCM teaches students how to become collaborative, socially responsible leaders who effectively address complex social issues.
“ELI is a well-known program in many institutions,” Abubakar said. “But the difference with this one is that we developed a curriculum to associate with it, and there’s going to be an outcome and a continuous solution moving forward.”
ELI matches participants with peer mentors serving in various roles on campus: student athletes, peer advisers, residence advisers, and members of the National Residence Hall Honorary.
Abubakar organized the program around “7Cs,” each related to Clark’s LEEP Learning Outcomes. Faculty and staff mentors led weekly sessions on the topics:
The students also visited the African Community Engagement (ACE) Center in Worcester to meet staff members and learn about ACE’s services and volunteer opportunities.
The 37 students who received certificates included Gloria Anderson, Kamryn Barrows, Lilith Bourne, Drew Brodney, Emily Cai, Aliza Nussbaum Cohen, Faridat Dangbe, Allison Decola-Judge, Adriana Diaz, Alexander Fraser, Ian Hirons, Jonathan Hoff, Sobia Khokhar, Iris Knowles, Antonio Lapeyrolerie, Caitlin Leggett, Laura Linares, Chai Luong, Jackie Madrigal, Rebecca Manley, Nicholas Mitchell, Kezia Moros-Achong, Alexandre Nazaire, Anujin Ochirbat, Luke Pond, Deisy Rodriguez, Maria Salazar, Jemma Sager, Liam Stewart, Will Talbot, Philip Tran, Kaely Tucker, Nicole Turestky, David Reyes Vindel, Rachel Weir, Natalie Zaba, and Loobna Zahan.
“When I heard about ELI, I thought that this could be an opportunity for me to gain confidence and work on my leadership skills,” said participant Sobia Khokhar ’21. “Throughout the entire workshop, I’ve learned so much, not just how to be an effective leader, but also how to communicate with people and how to give ourselves a chance to try and understand the other side even when we don’t agree with it.
“I’ve also learned more about my identity — how it’s a strength I have through which I can contribute to the world.”