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Husky Leadership Initiative

by Francesca Lo, Director, Husky Leadership Initiative

If we are to successfully educate the people who will take on the enduring and emergent challenges of the twenty-first century with the rigor and prudence those challenges will require, we must focus on leadership development as a critical learning outcome. The Husky Leadership Initiative (HLI) was established to do just this, namely, to propel the UW toward its vision of educating “a diverse student body to become responsible global citizens and future leaders.” HLI’s vision is to cultivate the knowledge, skills and attitudes all students need to be effective change agents and contributing members in their communities. HLI believes the leadership education must be accessible, explicit and comprehensive:

  • Accessible: Every UW student must have the opportunity to cultivate their leadership potential. 
  • Explicit: Leadership can be learned through intentional practice and critical reflection.
  • Comprehensive: Leadership education must advance integrative learning across curricular and co-curricular experiences.

HLI represents a convergence of interest from throughout the campus academic and student affairs community to coordinate efforts, identify gaps, and expand and enhance leadership education opportunities. HLI programs are designed to reach students at multiple points, times, locations and ways. From programs that are broad-based and short-term to opportunities that are in-depth and ask for an extended commitment, we provide many ways for students to cultivate their leadership capacity. Examples of programs include:

U Lead We Lead: a campus-wide conversation about leadership

U Lead We Lead is the Husky Leadership Initiative’s annual signature event that kicks off the year by bringing together students, faculty and staff to engage in a conversation about leadership. Local corporate, academic and non-profit community leaders share their personal journeys and lessons learned about leadership from their fields in this inspiring and interactive event.

Leadership Firesides: storytelling and conversations with inspiring leaders

Leadership Firesides present students with the opportunity to participate in smaller, dynamic conversations with a diverse range of civic, corporate and campus leaders in an informal setting. Community leaders share their personal journeys and perspectives on leadership and become momentary mentors for students.

Husky Leadership Certificate

The Husky Leadership Certificate is a capstone experience for 3rd, 4th and 5th year students to reflect upon their undergraduate experience and articulate what they have learned about leadership and who they have become as a leader through the creation of a leadership e-portfolio. Through the support of a faculty/staff/community member mentor, students refine their leadership philosophy and articulate the knowledge, values, ability and behaviors they have cultivated both in and outside the classroom.

Husky Spring Training

Husky Spring Training is an annual campus-wide leadership training conference. Based on our belief that one’s capacity to lead grows out of experience, practice and reflection, Husky Spring Training gives students an opportunity to build and hone the leadership skills they need to make a difference in whatever context speaks to them.

Leadership Commons

The Leadership Commons is a virtual hub for leadership growth. This web-based portal outlines leadership development programs and opportunities from across campus.

For more information, please visit the Husky Leadership Initiative’s website and like us on Facebook.