The NorthStar Leadership Program, a new co-curricular leadership development program at Unity College, will be launched on Tuesday, January 24 with an event featuring Leadership Institute founder Mike Webber.

The presentation on leadership featuring Webber will take place in the Student Activities Building, Parson’s Wing, Room 204, on the campus of Unity College, 90 Quaker Hill Road, Unity, Maine.  The event is free and open to the general public.

Two of the program organizers are Jennifer Olin (left facing), Community-Based Learning Coordinator, and Nancy Zane, Experiential Programs Coordinator.

A reception for Unity College students who are interested in The NorthStar Leadership Program will take place prior to the event beginning at 6 p.m.

In 1993, Webber founded The Leadership Institute to help organizations work better together through improved systemic design, personal skill development, and cultural change.

For the past 22 years Webber has worked with over 500,000 students and employees at colleges and businesses throughout the country.

Webber’s presentation coincides with the kickoff of a comprehensive leadership initiative at Unity College called The North Star Leadership Program.

The NorthStar Leadership Program provides students with opportunities to develop and enhance a personal philosophy of leadership that includes understanding of self-groups, community, and acceptance of responsibilities. Students who enroll will progress through a structured framework for exploring leadership development from basic to advanced levels. The program also includes practical applications across four different pathways of interest: campus engagement, service leadership, outdoor leadership, and Women’s Environmental leadership.

Among the planners of the NorthStar Leadership Program are Jennifer Olin, Community-Based Learning Coordinator, and Nancy Zane, Experiential Programs Coordinator.

They see the creation of the program as a way for Unity students to enhance a set of skills that will make them marketable upon graduation.

“This program is a way for us to honor and recognize all of the co-curricular contributions that students make to the campus and community,” Olin explained.  “It will be a great resumé builder.”

Zane sees the program as making leadership opportunities accessible to all students.

“There is a very nice overlap with some of their curricular training, as well as some of their co-curricular activities,” Zane said.  “We are training our students to be environmental and civic minded problem solvers and certain leadership qualities are assets to the achievement of positive environmental outcomes of any sort.”

Olin says that this kind of comprehensive leadership program is relatively new at colleges, which often frame leadership training as speaker series events with experts offering advice.

“This type of hands-on leadership program is relatively new at colleges,” Olin noted.  “This is far more developed than what usually takes place.”

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

In 2011, Unity College was named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s 2010 Green Rating Honor Roll.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012