Diverse Perspectives on Leadership


Participants engaged in discussion with alumni and student leaders who shared their perspectives on what they have learned about leadership at Cornell and beyond in an event hosted by SLEN, the  Cornell Student Leadership Educators Network.

Diverse Perspectives on Leadership with Melanie Abreu, current Dyson undergraduate student and resident advisor; Elvis Cao, current graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering, and alumna Cvic Innocent, Ph.D. ’14.  View the recording of the session.

The panelists started off by defining what leadership means to them.  They went on to share which role models influenced them, and what they recommend to folks who spend time developing leadership capacity in others. They spoke of leadership gaps in Cornell education, where they failed and how they recovered. In the world now– vs. a year ago around our racial awakening – they were asked if they felt they are able to have conversations they didn’t before, what access they have to conversations, what conversations they currently have towards change, and how they advocate for change.

One of the best questions was, “Given what you know now, what didn’t you know before? Looking back, what didn’t you know that you knew?” The audience chimed in with several fantastic questions, including “What would you say to a student interested in leadership but isn’t sure how to start or doesn’t have the confidence to take the first step?” and “Are you able to achieve work-life balance? Do you find it hard to find time to take care of yourself?”

Additional questions that you can hear addressed in the recording include: “What completely stinks about leadership?” “How does a leader meet the professional and emotional needs of what is taking place in a genuine way? How do you move forward in your own spaces?” and “Have you experienced burnout and how did you get through it?”

Several past leadership topics hosted by SLEN have been recorded:

About SLEN:

The Cornell Student Leadership Educators Network (SLEN) is open to faculty and staff dedicated to the promotion of student leadership development at the university. At monthly meetings, the group shares emerging developments and best practices, dialogues across curricular and co-curricular dimensions of leadership development such as foundational leadership competencies, and collaborates on projects and events. The current iteration of SLEN builds upon a rich history of professional staff and faculty members dedicated to student leadership development at Cornell.