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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences Launches Distinctive Leadership Scholars Program

Welcoming the next generation of leaders.

Feb. 13, 2020, by A&S News Staff

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Louis Smith ’23

Alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences are at the forefront of every field. From aviation pioneer Eileen Collins ’78 to best-selling author Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah G’16 and countless others, A&S alumni shape the world during and after their time at Syracuse University. To build on that proud tradition, A&S has launched a program to nurture the next generation of leaders.

Launched in fall 2019, the Leadership Scholars program attracts high-achieving students to A&S. In high school, these students usually demonstrate success both in and out of the classroom. They might be president of their class, first chair in a musical ensemble, or captain of multiple athletic teams. Or they may have founded a club that gives back to the local community. When they look at colleges, they seek out undergraduate experiences where they can continue to excel. The Leadership Scholars program offers just that.

Louis Smith ’23, a pre-med track biology major, says, “When I was accepted to Syracuse University, I was elated. But becoming a Leadership Scholar made me feel the proudest, representing years of hard work and dedication to academics, leadership and civic engagement."

A&S | Maxwell director of graduate and undergraduate recruiting Chris Anderson says, “The Leadership program is designed to provide the best possible environment for these students to achieve success. It provides a bridge to academic and career opportunities and helps to refine their skills as leaders."

Dedicated resources allow individual interests

Leadership Scholars are awarded a renewable merit scholarship, and can also take advantage of special academic offerings tailored to their interests, such as:

  • Fast-track to undergraduate research, internship and career opportunities.
  • Experiential learning grant for internships or research.
  • Faculty and other mentors to encourage individual goals and aspirations, and assist with prestigious post-graduate scholarships. Dean’s Team members are also assigned as peer mentors.
  • Opportunity to apply to the Renée Crown University Honors Program.
  • Priority consideration to join the A&S Dean’s Team.
  • Special networking events and interaction with visiting scholars and lecturers.
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Emma Fenton ’23

Emma Fenton ’23, a forensic science and math major, notes the importance of the faculty and staff support available to the Leadership students. She says, “My mentors have helped me with applications for a summer internship and an honors internship with the FBI. My advisor in the Honors Program has helped me initiate a research opportunity dealing with cold cases.”

The emotional rewards of being a Leadership Scholar are just as important to the students as the financial and academic opportunities. Smith, the pre-med track biology major, says, “The monetary scholarship, opportunity to apply to the Renée Crown University Honors Program, research stipend, and mentoring was a package I couldn’t pass up. But Leadership is more than just financial support—it gives confidence, responsibility, motivation and the chance to achieve greatness.”

Fenton agrees, saying, “Being part of the Leadership community gives you another home on campus. I love to meet my fellow Scholars. It means a lot to meet people like me and get the chance to talk to each other.”

High-achieving students like Emma and Louis have many choices of where to attend college. The Leadership Scholars program is another advantage that the College of Arts and Sciences can offer to academically gifted students. Along the way, it helps elevate A&S’ standing among prospective faculty and students.

With the inaugural class of 35 scholars now enrolled, Anderson hopes to grow to 50 students per year. “We want students to take full advantage of the liberal arts by embracing multiple academic interests and combining topics of study in uncommon or unexpected ways,” he says.

The Leadership Scholars program is a campaign priority for A&S. As Emma Fenton notes, “The Leadership Scholars program is a gift for future students.”

Learn more about the Leadership Scholars Program.