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Tom Heuer holds up a book as he speaks to students seated at tables in the Shriver Center at Miami University. A projector screen behind him displays a slide with the words: Your Values and Your Vision.

Student Leadership Academy launches for library student employees

More than 20 students are participating in the inaugural cohort of the Libraries’ Student Leadership Academy, a new program that invests in student employees’ professional development. The Libraries aim to foster inclusive excellence by developing leadership qualities in all library student employees, and expand students’ perceptions of leadership from a formal title to an act anyone can engage in. Inclusivity is at the core, with all new student employees participating during their first semester.

Through a semester-long series of self-paced Canvas lessons and two in-person workshops, Student Leadership Academy participants will discover their CliftonStrengths, write a personal vision statement, learn about the Libraries’ values, and create a personal development plan. Over the next few years, the program will expand to include courses in professional leadership, service leadership, and mentorship.

The program was developed in partnership with Tom Heuer, former Richard A. Forsythe Chair in Entrepreneurship, along with two groups of students from Corporate Entrepreneurship courses. The student groups developed a pitch for the Student Leadership Academy, and Dean and University Librarian Jerome Conley immediately recognized the potential. The vision became reality after Dr. David Hill ‘62 generously provided the funding to launch the first semester.

“Our biggest goal with this program is for students to view themselves the way we view them: as leaders,” said Conley. “Library student employees have a tremendous impact through their work at the Libraries, and then go on to contribute great things to society as well. We want to demonstrate how much we value them by taking this active role in their success.”