Leading Minds, an EphVenture option that premiered during the 2009 First Days, will be reinstated for 2012. The program was suspended in 2010 due to budget restrictions despite positive program reviews in its inaugural year.
All first-years are mandated to participate in an EphVenture during First Days. Leading Minds is designed to encourage students to realize their leadership potential at the College.
“The way that our program is structured builds on the skill set that students already have,” Assistant Director for Student Involvement Benjamin Lamb said. “All EphVentures are very specialized in the way they are structured, and this program brings together student leadership and organization right off the get-go.”
Leading Minds seeks to capitalize on existing opportunities within the College community and provide students with valuable information at a low cost.
“Students come to Williams because they are leaders in many dynamic ways,” said College Council co-president Krista Pickett ’13, who was a participant in the fall 2009 iteration of Leading Minds and will serve as a leader in 2012. “Leading Minds helps students realize what types of leaders they can become in college and introduces them to the resources, including the Office of Student Life and how to plan an event.”
Following the reorganization of the Office of Campus Life into the Office of Student Life this fall, funds were reallocated to support the revitalization of Leading Minds. Under the current proposal, 20 first-years will be able to participate in the program.
“The focus of our office now is on leadership development from the moment you step on campus and onwards for the next four years,” Lamb said.
Leading Minds will use a social change model for its program structure. The EphVenture is designed to get students to think of themselves on day one as individuals, on day two as members of a particular group and on day three as members of the global community, according to Lamb.
This fall’s version of Leading Minds is intended as a trial program, but Lamb plans to maintain programming throughout the year that will be open to the entire campus. The final schedule will be arranged during a multi-day training session for program leaders following the conclusion of the semester.