Emerging Leaders Program helps transfer students find success


The Emerging Leaders Program at Sam Houston State University allows transfer students to eliminate the daunting task of fitting in, a feeling transfer student, Mizraim Reyes was familiar with upon her arrival at SHSU.

“As with many things, I felt a sense of anticipation, both good and bad,” Reyes said. “But I came in looking to experience something new.”

Associate Director of Leadership Initiatives, Max Walling, aids in making that experience both smooth and successful for students through the Emerging Leaders program.

“Students participating in the Emerging Leaders program for the first time are eligible to be a part of the cohort,” Walling said. “By doing so, the experience is enriched by the previous experiences the participants bring with them like work and life experiences.”

The Emerging Leaders program efforts are to help define leadership in all areas of life, an agenda started spring of 2012 by Meredith Conrey, former Director of Emerging Leaders. Conrey developed a system of events including communication, group, and individual building exercises that participants journey through together.

“The atmosphere that Meredith presented was welcoming and she continued to provide that environment throughout the program,” Reyes said. “The leadership skills development provided by Emerging Leaders is advantageous because you learn more about yourself and how to get involved.”

Walling utilizes the Social Change Model of Leadership as a foundation for the Emerging Leaders. Aspects of the model include a collaborative trifecta of the individual, the group, and the community/society.

“The model is based on the ‘Seven C’s: consciousness of self, congruence, commitment, common purpose, controversy with civility, collaboration, and citizenship,” Walling said.

Each dimension combined strengthens the students and helps achieve self-knowledge, leadership competence, and overall positive social change in the community, which is the essential goal of the model.

“Emerging leaders in one word has been substantive,” Reyes said. “At the time, I thought to myself that it would be interesting, but not as impactful as I believe it to be now.”

The program is an application process conducted at the beginning of each semester. Potential candidates undergo several interviews before being selected.

“After the Emerging Leaders program, I felt confident enough to run for office and was elected as Parliamentarian,” Reyes said. “I’m currently one of the mentors for this semester’s cohort of Emerging Leaders.”

According to members, the organization is not only beneficial to individual building, but it is also beneficial for resume building and community involvement.

Transfer students of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to apply.

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