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KU Leadership Education Programs

The mission of KU LEAD is to engage all students in developing their own personal philosophy of leadership, which includes understanding themselves, their peers, their community and ultimately the world around them. At its core, KU LEAD programs challenges students to explore leadership through the lens of their own character, passions, relationships, knowledge, intuition, biases, and every day experiences. Whether your commitment is a semester long program or a onetime session, KU LEAD aims to promote continued development of student leadership through innovative, experiential, and reflective leadership experiences. 

Upcoming Leadership Programming 




Jayhawk Impact Awards 

2019 Jayhawk Impact Awards
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Kansas Union Ballroom - Level 5
Doors Open 5:30 p.m.
Dinner & Ceremony 6:00 p.m.

The Student Involvement & Leadership Center (SILC) is proud host the annual Jayhawk Impact Awards (formally known at the Jayhawk Choice Awards). Centering the contributions and impact of students and organizations throughout the KU community, we are once again celebrating in a major way with the ceremony beginning with a pre-dinner social, dinner during the awards ceremony, and pictures following the last award of the night. The evening will feature over 20 student awards, including the Student Leader of Year Award sponsored by the Vice Provost of Student Affairs and the Tradition of Excellence Award presented by the KU Student Endowment Board. Whether you are an award nominee or a student, staff, or faculty member showing support, we invite you to be a part of this memorable experience. RSVP Required.  RSVP Deadline - Monday, April 12th, 2019.

Award Categories:

Student Programming Awards - For Full Descriptions, Please Click Here5

Outstanding Established Program of the Year - Presented by KU Memorial Unions
Outstanding New Program of the Year - Presented by KU Memorial Unions

Individual Student Awards - For Full Descriptions, Please Click Here5

Student of the Year Award - Presented by the Division of Student Affairs
Rising Leader Award - Presented by the Office of First Year Experience
Legendary Jayhawk Award - Presented by the KU Student Alumni Network

Student Organization Awards - For Full Discriptions, Please Click Here5

Student Organization Advisor of the Year
Student Organization Member of the Year
New Student Organization of the Year
Organization of the Year: Academic Enrichment
Organization of the Year: Student Life Enrichment
Organization Programs of the Year (Community Service, Civic Engagement, or Social Justice Awards)

To complete an Awards Nomination, 
c6lick here: Rock Chalk Central Jayhawk Impact Awards6 6

Award Nominations Deadline: Friday, April 5, 2019 at midnight

If you have any questions or suggestions for the program, please contact SILC at (785) 864-4861 or by email at silcfront@ku.edu1.

First Year Leadership Connection

Application closes on Wednesday, January 30, 2019

FYLC Application Link Click Here

The First Year Leadership Connection (FYLC) is a unique opportunity for first year KU undergraduate students to get involved on campus and learn the basics of leadership in an exciting and innovative way. Over 10 weeks in the spring semester, FYLC participants will have the opportunity to discover the culture of leadership at KU up close and personal, by networking and sharing personal dialog with campus leaders and executives during leadership excursions.

2019 Confirmed Leadership Excursions: Spencer Art Museum, Allen Field House/DeBruce Center, Lied Center, and KU Architecture & Design Studios. Participants will also engage in a series of leadership workshops that revolve around small and large group discussions, team building activities, and campus/community engagement. Topics covered include group dynamics, diversity, leadership theory and practice, ethics and values, conflict management, and the development of your leadership identity.

Participant Qualifications: Participation is limited to first year KU undergraduate students.  Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 to participate.

Program Timeline & Commitment: FYLC is a 10- week cohort-based program, beginning Wednesday, February 6, 2019 and culminating Thursday, April 10, 2019. There are eight required Leadership Connection Workshops and a number of elective sessions. Participation at all required sessions and a number of optional workshops, with a total time commitment of approximately 1-2.5 hours each week.

Attendance Requirements: First Year Leadership Connection participants must attend all required sessions. There are seven required session, excluding the closing session, and ten optional sessions.

Completion Requirements: FYLC participants must earn a minimum of 150 points during the program semester in order to successfully complete the program. The program culminates in a closing session, in which students can create a scrapbook of reflections from the program.

Application Deadline - Wednesday, January 30, 2019   Application status will be communicated via emails by 5pm on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Application Link:   https://rockchalkcentral.ku.edu/submitter/form/start/246608

Second Year Leadership Challenge


Application deadline extended until

Thursday, January 31, 2019

SYLC Application Link Click Here

Program Details: The Second Year Leadership Challenge (SYLC) is a unique opportunity for second year KU undergraduate students to explore leadership through the lens of diversity and social justice and their own identity, relationships, knowledge, biases, and everyday experiences. Through reflective and engaging Leadership Challenge Sessions, participants will have the opportunity to discover their own philosophy of leadership.

Attendance Requirements: Participants must attend and complete a brief reflection for each of the four interactive leadership sessions. Each leadership session will give participants the opportunity to explore their own identity and examine how their identities shape their concepts of leadership.

Program Timeline & Commitment: Required Leadership Sessions will occur every Tuesday, (February 4th - 25th) from 3:30pm - 5:00pm. This four week program will require a total time commitment of approximately 1-2.5 hours each week. 

Week 1: Exploring Identity

Week 2: Social Justice + Leadership

Week 3: Adaptive Leadership

Week 4: Leadership In Action

Completion Requirements: SYLC participants must earn a minimum of 100 points during the program semester in order to successfully complete the program. The program culminates in a closing session, in which students can showcase their leadership portfolio and reflections from the program. Participants who successfully complete the program will be formally recognized at the 2019 Jayhawk Impact Awards, held on Thursday April 18, 2019. 

Applications Deadline - Monday, January 28, 2019  Application status will be communicated via emails by 5pm on Friday, February 1, 2019.

Application Linkhttps://rockchalkcentral.ku.edu/submitter/form/start/231012


The Gathering 2.0: A Black Student Leadership Experience 

Registration closes on Friday, November 2, 2018

Registration Link: The Gathering 2.0  Registration Link Here 

The Gathering 2.0 is a Black Student Leadership Experience designed to provide a space for the African American/Black student community at KU to develop foundational leadership skills while centering culture, unity, and authentic community engagement.

Objectives for The Gathering 2.0 include:

  • Empowering African American/Black students as both individual and community leaders
  • Providing a safe and brave space to for students to build community and share experiences
  • Developing strategies for authentic community development and transformational impact

The Gathering 2.0 Details

Friday, November 9, 2018
Black Culture Mixer
Adams Alumni Center

*Light Refreshments & Appetizers Provided

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Meeting of the Minds
Kansas Union
9:30am - 4:00pm
Kansas Union, Kansas Room (6th Floor)

*Continental Breakfast & Lunch Provided


KU Quest Registration Link: Click Here

Registration Ends: Friday, September 28, 2018

KU Quest is a annual leadership summit designed to provide a space for LGBTQIA+ students to develop foundational skills and become confident intersectional leaders. Each semester KU LEAD partners with the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity for a day long student leadership summit. Through a variety of workshops, recreational and team-building activities, participants have the unique opportunity to network, learn, and share their knowledge and experiences.  Each summit uses a comprehensive curriculum which focuses on community building and engagement in critical dialogues that offer a critique of dominant leadership norms and philosophies.

Some of the objectives of the summit include:

  • Developing stronger queer community at KU
  • Enhancing self-advocacy and autonomy-building skills
  • Learning about healthy community relationships and coalition-building skills

The 2018 KU Quest will be held Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 10:00am - 4:00pm (Check-in begins at 9:30am)

Registration closes on Friday, September 28, 2018

Registration Link: KU Quest Registration Link Here 

Leadership Over Lunch

Leadership Over Lunch (LOL) is a monthly mini-workshop series designed to explore how the concept of leadership intersects with subjects relevant to culture, community, identity, and social change. During this experience, attendees will be able to unpack various aspects of leadership as it pertains to relevant topics and lived experiences.Each session is held over the lunch hour (12:00pm – 12:45pm) three times a semester. All KU students, staff, and faculty are welcome to join for lunch and leadership talk. Light lunch items will be provided, and served on a first come first served bases. Space and food is limited. Early arrival is recommended.


Spring 2019 LOL Series Dates

LOL w/ SILC #1 - Join our SILC Facebook Discussion Here

Collaborating Campus Partner(s)KU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 




LOL w/ SILC #2 

Collaborating Campus Partner(s): KU Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity





Collaborating Campus Partner(s):  KU Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity 



Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in these events, please contact the Student Involvement & Leadership Center at silcfront@ku.edu.

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