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Leadership Development

Developing Leaders

Providing students with hands-on experience and training to be better leaders, on- and off-campus.

The Leadership Seminar Series

We offer regular leadership development opportunities for students to gain a better understanding of how to lead in their organizations. We also offer sessions devoted to personal growth so our students can learn about themselves in relation to leadership. Topics of these sessions include budgets, fundraising, ethical decision making, transitioning officers, conflict resolution, etc.  

Leadership seminar topics have included:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Transition new executive officers
  • Personal core values
  • Creating a new work culture

Emerging Leaders Institute

This is an excellent learning experience for USD students who are eager to learn about leadership skills and plan to hold leadership positions in student organizations, OR who are interested in becoming more involved in campus or community activities. Designed to provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership skill development, the institute includes a full agenda of small group activities, large group activities, and interactive learning activities. This program motivates student leaders to initiate change in their community while creating a spirit of camaraderie and teamwork among emerging leaders.

Apply for the 2020 Emerging Leaders Institute

For more information email

Multicultural Leadership Institute

The Multicultural Leadership Institute (MLI) is a voluntary weekend retreat designed to prepare USD students to be leaders in an increasingly interconnected and complex society. MLI is a collaborative initiative by USD's Leadership Development Programming, the Center for Diversity and Community, and Office for Diversity. It is one part of the leadership programming at USD together with the Leadership Seminar Series (monthly meetings) and the Emerging Leaders Institute (Spring semester). Each year, students and facilitators develop a dynamic curriculum that includes small and large group activities designed to build skills for creating change on the college campus. Join us as we explore the impact we can have as student leaders on USD's campus.

MLI takes place in September of each year. Applications open approximately one month before the MLI retreat.

President’s Senior Leadership Institute 

The President’s Senior Leadership Institute (PSLI) seeks to provide senior level USD students – or students anticipating graduation and entry into a professional setting in the next years’ time – an opportunity to gain professional development and learning experiences outside of the classroom that will prepare them for life after USD as a young professional and leader in the state of South Dakota.

Leadership Recognition

At the end of each year we host the Celebration of University Leadership where we recognize our students with awards for their achievements. We also recognize students monthly for their contributions to the USD and greater Vermillion community.  Students who complete all workshops offered through the Leadership Seminar Series in a given semester will be recognized for their achievement at the annual President's Celebration of University Leadership.

Leadership Opportunities

We have many opportunities for students to lead. Students can join any of our more than 170 student organizations and even start their own if the existing organizations don't meet their needs. Organizations on our campus provide students with opportunities to learn about teamwork and personal development. We are committed to helping students achieve their personal goals, and getting involved is just one of the ways to do it.

Join a Student Organization