Leadership Academy Reaches Milestone!

Windmills during sunset.

In the midst of these extraordinary times, the Leadership Academy has good news to celebrate this spring 2020: We have recently eclipsed 500 active members in our program!

In just over five years since inception, the Leadership Academy has scaled tremendously in size and impact. Our journey began in late October, 2014 with the first Summit (now an annual tradition) serving as a launch-point. Since that time, our program has expanded in countless ways: exponential growth in regular workshops; popular annual industry treks to Portland, Seattle, and the Bay Area; hundreds of industry mentors in our “mentor pool;” flagship events such as Suit Camp; a book club; many collaborations with college and campus partners; engagement of remote/online OSU engineering students; student leadership roles involved in the administration of the program; and new tiers to provide additional opportunities for students to expand their leadership skills.

From our director, Scott Paja: “It is humbling to see how much the Leadership Academy has been able to scale its impact as it has become a hallmark program in the College of Engineering. Honestly, it is sometimes hard to believe that this integrative structure for student professional and leadership development did not even exist a few years back. I am personally grateful for the consistent support and involvement of so many committed alumni and industry partners. This engagement now enables more than 500 current students to benefit through meaningful learning experiences in the program.” 

In addition to the 520 current students now participating, there are another 250 Leadership Academy alumni out in the world leveraging what they learned in the Leadership Academy to positively impact their families, communities, and companies.  Our graduates are true leaders in their respective areas of influence, engaging as ethical, purposeful, professional, inclusive, and collaborative engineering professionals. We even have program alumni returning to facilitate workshops and provide mentorship to current students. It is wonderful to see everything come full circle.

Christopher Lu, (program alum 2018), who has previously worked at Porsche Consulting and is now a graduate engineering student at the University of Washington, has taken the many lessons he learned in the Leadership Academy to heart.

"One thing that I really appreciate me is that it taught me the importance of giving back. The program nurtured me, so I wanted to give back. I got to learn that life isn’t just you,” Lu says. “Instead, you work toward being useful. In life it’s important to be happy, but also to be useful and be part of something bigger than yourself."

This exponential trajectory for the Leadership Academy would not be possible without the involvement and support of so many, including our industry advisory board; engineering alumni, industry professionals; college and campus partners; and of course, our students, who motivate us to continually innovate and evolve.  Thank you for believing in our mission and investing in our success.  We are already looking forward to achieving our next major milestone together!

April 8, 2020