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Office of Student Activities and Union Services

Emerging Leaders

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If you are a first-year student interested in meeting new people, learning about yourself and others, and gaining valuable experience, then this is the program for you!  The SUNY New Paltz Emerging Leaders Program is a fun and dynamic learning opportunity that will encourage you to explore an understanding of self, an understanding of others, and an understanding of what it means to be a productive community member. The program will introduce you to leadership and followership through hands-on activities, discussion groups, and self reflection.

Current Emerging Leaders: Click Here to fill out a Community Service Form after you've done volunteer hours!


The Emerging Leaders Program will encourage you to explore what it means to be an effective leader for today.  It will provide you with the tools to explore your own definition of leadership, and experiential opportunities through service learning projects.

The program is based on the philosophy that leadership comes in many forms; you do not necessarily need to hold a formal leadership position to make a significant contribution.  The Emerging Leaders Program will introduce you to leadership and followership through hands-on activities, discussion groups and self-reflection.


Being involved in Emerging Leaders will give you an opportunity to meet people and make friends with a similar drive.  The program also focuses on empowering you as an individual, addressing the impact of ethics in one's life, celebrating diversity in an inclusive community and developing the skills to work within the group.

The Emerging Leaders Program is dedicated to providing a well-rounded leadership experience four our participants.  We recognize Five Dimensions of Leadership that are essential for a student leader's growth and development.

  • Global/Community Perspectives - Leaders should be mindful of the world around them.  It's important to recognize the different systems and structures that are in place, and understand how to work within those structures to have a positive impact on others.  These perspectives can be local (the campus, New Paltz), and far-reaching (our nation, the world).
  • Ethics and Values - It's important that leaders recognize that ethics and values help identify their perspectives and opinions on almost every issue.  Emerging Leaders should be able to consider how their personal values and beliefs could play a role in how they interact with the world around them.
  • Personal Empowerment - A good leader is comprised of a variety of skills that can be continually enhanced and improved with time and experience.  An Emerging Leader should seek to continually improve upon his/her own personal skill development (public speaking, resume building, interview techniques, etc.).
  • Interpersonal Skills - Being a leader means working with people!  Just as individual leadership skills can be learned and improved, so too can skills that will help a person work with others.  As an Emerging Leader, you should continue to work to improve your interpersonal skills (team dynamics, conflict resolution/mediation, group organization, etc.).
  • Service Learning - It's important to put some of these leadership skills into action.  Giving back to the campus and community is a great experiential way for Emerging Leaders to recognize that they have the ability to impact the world around them.  Through individual and group service projects, our Emerging Leaders will recognize that they can always make our world a better place.

Graduates of our Emerging Leaders Program have gone on to apply their leadership skills to a variety of areas both on-campus and in the community.  Many have distinguished themselves as leaders by becoming Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders, Student Activities Managers and involved in many clubs and organizations.  The benefits of Emerging Leaders go beyond graduation however.  Employers look for personal characteristics such as integrity, motivation, communication skills and self-confidence.  You can begin to develop all of these skills in the Emerging Leaders Program!


EL Grads 2013

Congratulations to our 2012-2013 Emerging Leaders Graduates!

Ronald Aucapina, Sophia Conte, Madeline Donahue, Genesis Encarnacion, Sarah Foerschler, Liat Friedman, Alexa Guarino, Maria Gillen, Sahaj Gupta, Heanderlynn Henry, Jeannette LaPoint, Amanda Levy, Sandra Liranzo, Brittany Mathias, Kyra Nolte, Nicole Pagano, Keturah Passler, Christopher Perez, Amna Rauf, Danielle Roma, Alison Simmons, Luisanna Sosa, Isabella Spatola, Dana Stuono, Caroline Tenesaca, Emily Vanderpool, Annette Vera, Melissa Waters, Brian Williams, Erica Yu



The Emerging Leaders Program is a two-semester commitment to allow you to get the full benefits of the program without overwhelming you with requirements. The requirements are:

  • Attend one leadership retreat per semester
  • Participate in your choice of a variety of workshops, each addressing on or more of the Five Dimensions of Leadership, and presented by New Paltz faculty, staff, and administrators
  • Involvement in group service learning projects (about five hours per semester)
  • Completing individual community service projects (about five hours per semester)

2013-2014 Emerging Leaders Mentors

One leadership opportunity offered through The Office of Student Activities and Union Services is only available to graduates of the Emerging Leaders Program: EL Mentors. Emerging Leader Mentors work as liaisons between the Program Coordinators, the workshop facilitators and the current class of Emerging Leaders.

EL Mentor: Luisanna Sosa
Major: Political Science
Favorite Leadership Quotation: "A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Best part of Emerging Leaders: I enjoyed interacting with the faculty and learning to be more aware of my surroundings in an interactive manner.

EL Mentor: Dana Stuono
Major: Early Childhood and Childhood Education
Favorite Leadership Quote: "Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel.  If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish." - Sam Walton
Best part of Emerging Leaders: I liked going to the programs that helped me through the steps of being a leader.

Name: Emily Vanderpool
Major: Undeclared
Favorite Leadership Quote: "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong you want to right.  If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." - Steve Jobs
Best part of Emerging Leaders: Meeting new people and learning how to improve myself; not many programs give you that opportunity!

 If you have questions that aren't addressed above, please contact the Office of Student Activities and Union Services.