Graduate College Emerging Leaders Academy

Our graduate students and postdoctoral scholars are developing extremely strong expertise in their disciplines. Yet the challenges our society is facing require more than just expertise, these challenges require a new generation of leaders who can build collaborations, work across disciplines, and forge stronger solutions from diverse perspectives. ISU is committed to developing these skills in our strongest and most promising graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Hence in Fall we will gather a cohort of approximately 20 young leaders in the Graduate College Emerging Leadership Academy (GC-ELA). We will be seeking leaders with broad career aspirations, industry, government, NGO, entrepreneurship, and academia.

Here are some testimonials from our earlier participants:

"In GC-ELA, I have engaged in a different type of learning than any experienced as an academic thus far. In GC-ELA, I've learned about how I lead and interact with people. The meetings prompted self-reflection and thought-provoking discussions and activities regarding leadership styles. I already feel like a more well-rounded individual, both professionally and personally."
"I started this program thinking I have at least a basic idea about what leadership means. During the short period of time I was involved in GC-ELA proved how little I actually knew about being a true leader, and what leadership really means. I have learned more about myself, my type personality, my leadership style, what strengths I bring in to a team environment, what are my weakness, how to overcome them. This program changed the way I view things in general. I learned about team building, communication, and the importance of being a culturally competent leader in a society which is vastly diverse. It was a delight to hear from the experts from different fields how they tackle problems, what makes them more successful, and what qualities we need to cultivate as future leaders. I would never have given the considerations as to which members should be included in a team to cover all the bases, had I not learnt the importance of what type personalities should be included in a team for it to be a successful team."

The academy will be for one year with approximately 5 full-day sessions each semester. The program sessions will focus on:

  • Leadership research, theory and practice
  • Ethics
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • The effects of gender and diversity issues on work teams
  • Communication
  • The program culminates in a semester-long mentoring experience for each participant with a current Iowa State leader

The deadline for the 2023-24 academic year cohort is May 12, 2023. We invite faculty, department chairs, and Directors of Graduate Education (DOGE) to encourage graduate students or postdoctoral scholars to complete the application form. Upon acceptance into the GC-ELA, the student’s/postdoctoral scholar’s home department or graduate program will need to pay $600 to cover the costs of the program.

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can apply at
*If you have not already registered for PD@ISU you will first have to register, then return to the application page above.