Emerging Leaders Retreat

The Emerging Leaders Retreat (ELR) is held annually in the week before classes begin in January. Approximately 10% of the first-year class plus spring transfer students are invited to attend via a nomination and application process. There is a new theme each year, which is communicated through the selected reading(s) and multimedia content. Ten to fourteen upperclass students are chosen to serve as ELR Mentors. One hundred percent of ELR participants since 2015 have indicated that they would recommend ELR to other first-year students. 

Student participants will: 

  • Expand their on-campus social networks through meeting and interacting with their peers, faculty, and staff. 
  • Discuss and develop intercultural competencies critical to a 21st century liberal arts education, including critical listening and thinking skills, collaborative problem solving, and daring curiosity. 
  • Work independently and in groups to explore and reflect upon their own personal identities within the Dickinson community to make Dickinson theirs. 
  • Practice different leadership styles to articulate their own understanding of themselves as leaders. 
  • Explore opportunities for community engagement through guest presentations and discussions with faculty and upperclass mentors. 
  • Engage directly with Dickinson College senior leadership by attending the annual Town Hall and learning about institutional priorities. 
  • Discuss and practice ethical problem-solving through faculty-led thought experiments as they relate to their experiences on campus. 

Student mentors will:  

  • Develop facilitation and conversation skills by guiding discussions related to personal and group development. 
  • Practice public speaking and presenting skills through leading interactive activities for the entire group. 
  • Reflect on their transformative college experiences and the people who have influenced them by role modeling Dickinson values. 
  • Enhance individual relationships with peers, staff, and faculty. 
  • Work individually and collaboratively to create a welcoming learning environment. 

Below are the text selections used for past retreats:

  • 2020: How to Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery by Kevin Ashton
  • 2019: selected readings on the topic of The Common Good
  • 2018: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • 2017: Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant
  • 2016: Creativity, Inc., by Ed Catmull
  • 2015: Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for College Students by Marcy L. Shankman and Scott J. Allen

ELR should serve as a broad introduction to the Social Change Model of Leadership