Students in the Elliott School of International Affairs can now apply to serve on a speaker panel to showcase their leadership skills.
Officials involved in the Leadership, Ethics and Practice Initiative, a program established by Dean Reuben Brigety last year to develop students’ professional and academic skills, sent an email to Elliott students last week inviting undergraduate and graduate students to submit applications for a student panel in April. Officials and students said including students on the panel gives them an opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with their peers and encourage them to take on new leadership roles.
The two speaker series are entitled “Why Ethics Matter” and “Leadership In International Affairs: Lessons Learned,” the email states. The application, which is due March 15, requires students to submit statements describing experiences related to leadership and ethics in their academic and professional lives.
Christopher Kojm, the director of LEAP and a professor of international affairs, said the student-led series, which will occur twice a year, was created to showcase skills students have acquired through Elliott School courses like the recently launched First Year Experience class.
“These panels will be a great occasion to showcase the ethical and leadership skills acquired by both undergraduate and graduate students throughout their academic training at the Elliott School and their professional journeys,” Kojm said in an email.
Kojm said officials hope to host a panel of three to four students, likely moderated by a faculty member, on April 17. He declined to say how many applications officials have received so far.
He added that officials are looking for “experienced” students who understand that ethics and leadership play a role in solving the next generation’s challenges, like gender inequality, environmental degradation and poverty.
“Our hope is to strengthen our students’ commitment to responsible leadership and create a space where Elliott School students can exchange and learn from each other’s experiences,” he said. “Our long-term goal is to build on this initiative, with additional opportunities for student engagement in ethics and leadership.”
Senior Rajan Vasisht, the chair of the International Affairs Society, said the panel is an ideal forum for students to express diverse viewpoints on issues related to leadership and ethics in international affairs. Vasisht said he does not plan on applying to the program because he will graduate in May.
“I definitely think having representation at varying levels is extremely helpful,” he said. “Student representation on the panel kind of brings that diversity of opinion, so having students on panels similar to this would be really helpful in that regard.”
He said that the International Affairs Society will encourage their members to apply to be on the panel through announcements on their weekly listserv emails. He added that the panel could “inspire” students to become more involved in leadership positions across GW.
“Getting insight through the LEAP initiative, and about leadership in international affairs, gives a good insight and inspiration for students to run for student leadership positions in general,” Vasisht said.
Student Association Sen. Rilind Abazi, ESIA-U said students who serve on the panel can draw from past experiences in internships and jobs to analyze what ethical leadership in international affairs entails. He said the panel gives students an opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers and learn from others.
“I think having students on the panel is a good opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to share their experiences, their knowledge and understanding of what leadership and ethics in international affairs is,” he said.