Program Description

Today’s global society calls for college graduates who can lead, innovate and think entrepreneurially. Each year, a cohort of broadly representative students is selected as Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) Fellows. These fellowships last four years and include a sequence of four main components.

COMPONENT 1: The Context of Global Challenges 

During their first year of study, Fellows enroll in small seminars focused on new and enduring Global Challenges taught by UM faculty recognized for their scholarly work and teaching excellence.  Fellows also enroll in a course that delves into the GLI’s five overarching global themes and engages students in discussions around innovative ideas within these themes. Faculty mentors and advisors help entering Fellows find an answer to the concern, “How do I design my college experience to deal with these kinds of critical and complex questions?”

COMPONENT 2: Models of Leadership

A Leadership Seminar provides a broad context of leadership, introducing students to a variety of approaches to leadership. Distinguished guests who embody each style of leadership will be invited to present during class periods and two skills-based workshops will allow Fellows to delve into the ways they can best lead. Weekend retreats are facilitated by Leadershape encourage Fellows to consider powerful questions that move them toward becoming a catalyst for change, while meetings with chosen leaders provide an opportunity to network and find leadership role models. 

COMPONENT 3:  Beyond the Classroom

All Fellows enrolled in the GLI participate in activities that broaden their understanding of and applied interaction with global challenges. These opportunities include study abroad, international and regional/local internships, service-learning experiences, or research or creative scholarship. The University provides each Fellow with the opportunity to apply for funding to cover travel and research expenses. Fellows are able to take advantage of University partnerships already in place through the Office of International Programs and other appropriate academic departments, as well as online opportunities to stay connected should they engage in an experience off campus or abroad.

COMPONENT 4:  Leadership and Teamwork Brought to Fruition—The Capstone

The Fellows enrolled in the Global Leadership Initiative demonstrate mastery through interdisciplinary, culminating capstone projects fashioned by the students. In small, faculty-supported groups, Fellows address crucial issues affecting the world community, such as economic development and expansions, cultural and historical clashes, population and environmental changes and their effects on production, and the development of democratic societies. They collaborate across disciplines to design specific questions and propose solutions. At the culmination of the Global Leadership Initiative, successful Fellows are awarded a Certificate in Global Leadership.