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Program Description

Today’s global society calls for college graduates who can lead, innovate and think entrepreneurially. Each year, a cohort of broadly representative freshmen is selected as Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) Fellows. These fellowships last all four years of their undergraduate education and include four main components in this privately funded program.

COMPONENT 1: The Context of Global Questions

During their first year of study, Fellows enroll in seminars focused on new and enduring Global Questions taught by UM faculty recognized for their scholarly work and teaching excellence. Fellows also attend a freshman lecture series, getting an opportunity to participate in structured discussions with UM faculty, as well as national and international figures.  These individuals are experts in their fields and involved in seeking answers to global questions. 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

Distinguished alumni and friends of the University are invited to interact with students enrolled in the UM Global Leadership Initiative through a Models of Leadership program. Each year, national and international leaders in business, law, science, the arts, humanities, social sciences, and public service will be brought to Missoula to discuss with the Fellows approaches and experiences necessary for meeting challenges posed in the global century. Leadership workshops held specifically for GLI students help the Fellows discover who they are as individuals and as leaders, while weekend retreats help facilitate the process of collaboration. The weekend retreats are facilitated by UM faculty and chosen leaders and are typically held at one of the University's off-campus properties to provide a concentrated opportunity for discussion and reflection.

COMPONENT 3:  Beyond the Classroom

All Fellows enrolled in the GLI participate in activities that broaden their understanding of and applied interaction with global questions. These opportunities include study abroad, international and regional/local internships, service-learning coursework, or research or creative scholarship. The University provides each Fellow with a U.S. Passport and 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 of Completion and receive a notation on their transcript.