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University Relations

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Feb. 21, 2006
Contact: Rueben Perez, director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, (785) 864-4861.

KU announces 52 graduates of its 2006 LeaderShape Institute program

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LAWRENCE — Fifty-two University of Kansas students are among the newest graduates of KU’s LeaderShape Institute, sponsored and coordinated annually by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center to develop students’ leadership abilities. Undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds chosen for the six-day intensive training met Jan. 11-16 at Tall Oaks Conference Center near Linwood.

KU has sponsored a campus-based LeaderShape Institute since 1998, one of few Big 12 Conference schools to do so. Last year, only four Big 12 Conference universities offered the training. KU was the only one in Kansas; others were the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Texas A&M University and the University of Texas-Austin.

Other organizations helping to sponsor 2006 LeaderShape at KU are KU Memorial Unions; Student Union Activities; the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Success; Department of Student Housing; the Raymond F. Nichols League of Former Student Leaders; and Coca-Cola.

During the leadership enhancement training, students worked in large and small groups to create ideas for projects, then refined goals, plans and implementation strategies to accomplish those ideas within their own organization, living group, community or workplace. They learned about leadership styles and worked through simulations of situations they could face.

Facilitators and fellow participants helped them identify their strengths and troubleshoot areas that need improvement. LeaderShape graduates left the program with action plans for their projects.

Rueben Perez, director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and Cordelia M. Holbert, diversity coordinator at DePaul University in Chicago, were lead facilitators for the 2006 LeaderShape session. Assisting them from KU were five cluster facilitators: Mike Harrity, coordinator of Student Athlete Development; Lisa Pinamonti Kress, director of Admissions and Scholarships; Pamela Scott, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs; Ken Stoner, former director of the Office of Student Housing; and Kathy Talbott, student development adviser of Union Programs.

Student site coordinators were Kaitlin Connealy, Leawood senior, and Colleen Grosch, St. Charles, Mo., senior — both 2005 LeaderShape Institute graduates. Connealy, a language arts education major, is the daughter of Kevin and Candice Connealy and a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park. Grosch, who is majoring in journalism and mass communications (news and information emphasis) with a minor in leadership studies, is the daughter of Al and Cindy Grosch and a graduate of Duchesne High School in St. Charles, Mo.

More than 530 KU students have graduated from LeaderShape Institute in the nine years it has been offered. Among examples of university- and community-related projects that KU students created or enhanced through their LeaderShape experiences are:

  • Colors of KU, a weekend multicultural educational retreat that focuses on diversity within the KU community, is in its fourth year, coordinated through the Office of Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with Student Involvement and Leadership Center, Freshman-Sophomore Advising Center and the Office of Student Success.
  • House That Greeks Built, a philanthropy coordinated by Panhellenic Association and Interfraternity Council, through which hundreds of fraternity and sorority members have recruited sponsors, done fundraising and built two Habitat for Humanity houses in Lawrence.
  • Empty Bowls, sponsored by the student-run and student-funded Center for Community Outreach volunteers, decorates, donates and sells pottery bowls to benefit local groups, including raising $700 during its 2001 sale and more than $2,000 for Jubilee Café, a nonprofit organization that provides meals for homeless people in Lawrence.
  • A marketing campaign for the new Student Recreation Fitness Center that targeted KU students, asking for them to approve a fee specifically to help fund the center for them to use, a successful endeavor that led to the facility that opened September 2003 on the Lawrence campus.
  • The RA Proctor Council for Department of Student Housing resident advisers and proctors was reactivated to provide a unifying organization that meets and schedules special social and supportive programming events throughout the year.

The LeaderShape Institute began in 1986 as part of the national Alpha Tau Omega fraternity leadership initiative. In 1988, LeaderShape was established as a separate nonprofit corporation with independent funding to expand its financial support and encourage a diverse mix of participants. More than 20,000 young adults between 17 and 25 from more than 500 colleges, universities, corporations and other organizations are among LeaderShape Institute graduates, either from campus programs or regional or national centers.

2006 KU LeaderShape Institute graduates represent 15 Kansas counties: Bourbon, Cheyenne, Clay, Crawford, Ford, Johnson, Leavenworth, Lincoln, McPherson, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Trego and Wyandotte. States represented are Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. Other countries represented are Hong Kong and India.

Students are listed below by home county, state or country and hometown, with their parents’ names (when available), major, current level in school and high school attended (when available).


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045