The Minor in Leadership Studies started Fall semester 2007. Initiated as an academic minor through the College of Education's former Counseling and Personnel Services (CAPS) department, the Minor formed based on a multitude of leadership initiatives through the College of Education, CAPS, and the Adele H. Stamp's Leadership & Community Service-Learning program. The first student leadership course was offered around 1971 through the College of Education and CAPS; which made the University of Maryland one of the first institutions to develop a curricular leadership program. The University also became home to the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP), the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and the International Leadership Association (ILA). These affiliations helped the University recruit and attract scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the study and application of socially-responsible leadership.
The creation of a Minor in Leadership at the University of Maryland reinforced the University's existing institutional leadership initiatives. The President's Promise Initiative at the University guarantees all Maryland undergraduate students will have the opportunity "for leadership that only a university located adjacent to the nation's capital can provide". In 2006, then Vice President for Research, convened a leadership scholarship network to unite faculty from multiple disciplines to share their leadership research. Maryland's increased emphasis on global leadership and study abroad/international experiences require that students examine leadership across multiple cultural contexts; which further established a need for a leadership studies program.
The Minor in Leadership Studies promotes college student leadership development by educating undergraduate students for and about leadership in a complex world. The goal of the Minor is to prepare students to serve effectively in formal and informal leadership roles in campus, local, national, and global contexts. The Minor encourages students to identify a working philosophy of leadership that can advance students’ thinking around ethics, civic engagement, and the importance of working within diverse and multicultural environments. These areas are critical aspects of leadership that require faculty and students to build and critically evaluate existing theoretical, research-based, and practical knowledge of leadership. Students in the Minor can use their knowledge, skills, and competencies gained from this academic program to enhance their sense of self, engagement with others, and better identify their values in future aspirations. Core courses in the Minor are sequenced to meet increasingly complex sets of learning outcomes across cognitive, personal development, and group/organizational domains.
The efforts to establish a Leadership Studies program were led by Dr. Susan R. Komives, Professor in the former Counseling and Personnel Services department with support from Dr. Dennis Kilvighan and Dean of the College of Education Donna Wiseman.
The Leadership Studies program is administered by the following Leadership Studies Administrative Team:
Craig E. Slack, Ph. D.- Administrative Director, Leadership Studies
Assistant Director, Leadership & Community Service Learning; Adele H. Stamp Student Union- Center for Campus Life; Director, National Clearinghouse for Leadership programs
Dr. Slack complete his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in Organizational Leadership and is in the College of Education. He received his Masters degree in Educational Leadership at Ohio University. Prior to his work at the University of Maryland, Dr. Slack served as the Director of Student Involvement at the University of Denver from 1994 to 1997, Coordinator of Student Organizations at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas from 1987 to 1994 and the Director of Student Activities at Daniel Webster College from 1985 to 1987. Dr. Slack currently serves on the board for the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. He is apart of the planning teams for the National Leadership Symposium and Leadership Educators Institute, as well as one of the Co-Editors of the Handbook for Student Leadership Programs.
Natasha H. Chapman, Ph. D.- Program Director, Leadership Studies
Coordinator, Leadership & Community Service Learning, Adele H. Stamp Student Union- Center for Campus Life
Dr. Natasha Chapman has served as a leadership educator, practitioner, and administrator in higher education collectively for over 10 years. She received her B.S. in Human Services from Black Hills State University, a M.A. in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Higher Education, both from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is passionate about supporting students as they develop their leader identity and providing opportunities for them to explore how they value, understand, and practice leadership. As the Coordinator for the Leadership Studies Program, she provides support and direction to the curriculum design, instructional delivery, instructor development and administrative functions of undergraduate leadership courses and the Leadership Studies Minor and Certficate.
Melissa L. Rocco, Instructor and Doctoral Coordinator, Leadership Studies Program
Graduate Coordinator, Leadership & Community Service Learning
Melissa Rocco is the Graduate Coordinator for Leadership Curriculum in the Leadership Studies Program and a doctoral student in the Student Affairs concentration in the College of Education. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Human Resources and M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. Her research interests include leadership identity development and student transitions, leadership educator preparation and self-efficacy, and organizational understanding and structure of leadership education.