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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Students in Northwest's inaugural cohort of the Exemplary Leadership Academy work together to solve a challenge. The nine-week program involving 12 students culminated with a graduation ceremony Nov. 19.

Students in Northwest's inaugural cohort of the Exemplary Leadership Academy work together to solve a challenge. The nine-week program involving 12 students culminated with a graduation ceremony Nov. 19. (Photos by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Nov. 21, 2014

First cohort of students graduate from leadership academy

By Alexandra Mortallaro, media relations assistant

Northwest students in the Exemplary Leadership Academy created colorful posters that depicted their personalities during one class session.

Northwest students in the Exemplary Leadership Academy created colorful posters that depicted their personalities during one class session.

Anthony Mittan, a leadership development graduate assistant in Northwest’s Office of Campus Activities, guided students through the program.

Anthony Mittan, a leadership development graduate assistant in Northwest’s Office of Campus Activities, guided students through the program.

Northwest Missouri State University students are applying leadership talents learned through a new leadership program as they preside over organizations on campus and prepare to embark on professional careers.

Twelve Northwest students graduated from the inaugural class of the Exemplary Leadership Academy during a Nov. 19 ceremony hosted at the Gaunt House by Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski and first lady Denise Jasinski with several distinguished staff, faculty and administrators.

The program’s inaugural graduates are Cassondra Zeier, Brooke Ravenscraft, Taylor Polacek, Paige Diels, Sean Bartlow, Taylor Scantlebury, Kimberly Porter, Dana Grenfell, Calli Bales, Lathan Clayton, Leah Eng and Jenny Hutton.

The Exemplary Leadership Academy is a curricular and co-curricular course based on The Student Leadership Challenge, a behavioral-based leadership model built five practices that all exemplary leaders demonstrate. In addition to learning, connecting and applying the five practices of exemplary leadership, students engaged in peer-to-peer discussions and highly-interactive group activities to connect their acquired knowledge to their personal experiences.

Each student completed a personal action plan to reflect his or her ongoing journey of leadership development. Collectively, the curriculum for the Exemplary Leadership Academy challenges students to think and act in ways consistent with exemplary leadership while equipping them with leadership skills necessary to be successful beyond their college experience.

Admission into the Exemplary Leadership Academy began in April 2014 when interested students applied and interviewed for the program. The selected students began the nine-week program in September.

“The Exemplary Leadership Academy offers numerous benefits to students,” said Anthony Mittan, leadership development graduate assistant in Northwest’s Office of Campus Activities. “Participants in this program have a great opportunity to build relationships with a diverse group of individuals across campus. In addition, students walk away from this program with a newfound understanding of leadership, an ability to connect material learned to their own personal experiences, and several tools and resources to help them apply their skills to their on-going leadership journey.”

Clayton said he chose to join the Exemplary Leadership Academy because he was looking for ways to gain skills that will help him as a student leader with the Northwest chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary.

“The Exemplary Leadership Academy provided me with a fresh perspective of the roles of people and organizations campus wide,” Clayton said. “Many of the lessons I have learned in the class and from my peers I have been able to apply within my own organization and my role as a resident assistant.”

Scantlebury shares a similar experience with her organization, Spiritually Involved Sisters Together Achieving Harmony (S.I.S.T.A.H).

“I wanted to gain leadership knowledge that I could take back to my campus organization, and through participation in the Exemplary Leadership Academy I learned there are many different, yet important aspects of leadership,” Scantlebury said.

The Student Leadership Challenge was launched at Northwest through a collaborative initiative within the Office of Student Affairs. During the last year, about 25 individuals at the University, representing multiple offices and departments, have completed training to become “Certified Student Leadership Challenge Facilitators.”


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468