The Mulerider L.E.A.D.  (Lead, Excel, Advance, and Develop) class of 2017-18 has had a great first year at Southern Arkansas University. Mulerider L.E.A.D. is professional development promoting leadership through a cohort model. The one-year process includes leadership modules as well as an overview of various SAU departments.

One of the goals of L.E.A.D. “grow” leaders at SAU. Not only do participants experience a variety of leadership modules, they learn more about various areas at SAU. The SAU departmental involvement this inaugural year included Student Affairs, the academic deans, Physical Plant, Development, Foundation and Alumni, Human Resources, and Financial Affairs.

In addition to face-to-face sessions, the L.E.A.D. class had virtual learning/discussion sessions on such topics as recruitment, retention, and communication. The class also had an action project year which aligned with AQUIP.  Class members worked together to create a recycling proposal and work closely with our institutional effectiveness and strategic planning department.  To bring attention to their project, they sponsored a booth at the AQUIP Day, handing out “earth stress balls” and will have a Recycling Awareness Day at SAU on April 25. On Monday, April 9, the class had a banquet and recognition ceremony where Dr. Trey Berry, SAU president, spoke about the significance of being a leader. He gave examples from history with stories of how the courageous choices of others changed the world. He inspired the future leaders at SAU to make a difference.