After a busy and successful inaugural year, the Buccino Leadership Institute welcomed a new cohort of 88 competitively selected leadership students from the Class of 2023.
Executive Director Dr. Bryan Price said, "We are extremely excited to bring in this fantastic group of young leaders. It's kind of amazing to think our family just doubled in size overnight."
The new students have a lot to look forward to, according to Price. The theme for first-year leadership students is still "Leading Yourself," and programming includes a mix of in-class and out-of-classroom experiences geared towards increasing student awareness and understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Other activities include a trip to the National 9/11 Museum and Memorial, five sessions with their own professional leadership coach, and industry-leading personal assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and the Eqi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment.
Finally, first-year students get the opportunity to flex their leadership muscles by participating in a number of interdisciplinary team projects and student-led initiatives, including the Seton Hall Undergraduate Leadership podcast, the Strategic Communications team, and the Development initiative.
For some of the new leadership students, the Buccino Leadership Institute was the deciding factor for why they chose to attend Seton Hall.
It certainly was for Sophia Dinman (Loudon, VA), a freshman from the College of Arts and Sciences. "When I visited the Open House and heard about the opportunities that the leadership program offered undergraduate students, I knew that I could not pass up the chance to develop my skills as a leader. It was ultimately the deciding factor in my decision to enroll at Seton Hall."
Each of the six participating schools and colleges in the Buccino Leadership Institute enjoy their own selection criteria for students within their cohorts. Similar to last year, the accomplishments and academic pedigree of the new class of leadership students is extremely impressive.
The average GPA for incoming leadership students was 3.89, and average SATs and ACTs were 1349 and 30, respectively. All of these averages have increased since last year. The new cohort features high school valedictorians, National Honor Society members, team captains, student council members, and leaders in their community and faith-based groups. In keeping with the Institute's interdisciplinary tradition, the new students come from a variety of disciplines and majors, each bringing a different perspective and lens through which to view leadership in today's world.
New students were welcomed with a raucous kickoff on August 30th. The event included remarks from Interim Provost Dr. Karen Boroff, photo ops with the Pirate, and a faux fashion show to provide comical examples of what business formal and business casual attire looks like (and what they shouldn't look like).
The following week, students were treated with a visit from President Nyre, who spoke about the important roles they and other students would play in the strategic direction and success of Seton Hall.
In the run-up to the cohort's trip to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial on October 4th, the students completed an exercise that helped them identify their values. In another emotional class, students and faculty shared the crucible moments which have defined their lives.
In addition to bringing in 78 freshmen students, the Institute also welcomes 10 sophomores into the program. The decision to bring sophomores into the Institute was based on the desire to replace students who left the program for a variety of reasons (transfer, could not meet academic standards, etc.) and to provide a mechanism to inject high-caliber talent into the team.
Because of the sequential nature of the leadership program, the new sophomores will have to perform double-duty, completing both freshman and sophomore requirements this year. That didn't stop a number of sophomores from applying to be in the program.
"We are really excited about our new freshmen students, and the new sophomores will make us even stronger," said Price. "We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of sophomores who had heard about our program and wanted to join our team, even if it did mean more work for them in the long-run. We are stronger for it."
The sophomore class is primed for another fruitful year. This year's theme is "Leading Others." In addition to completing their sessions with their professional leadership coach, the students will be visiting the Gettysburg National Military Park as a cohort.
They will also take the DISC behavioral assessment and participate in another round of interdisciplinary projects. This time, however, they will be pitching their own ideas for semester-long projects, then hire their own teams in order to see their visions become reality.
"We are really embarking on some novel leadership development practices," said Price. "I don't think there is anything like this in the country. For students to pitch their own ideas, and then 'hire' their own interdisciplinary teams to translate vision into reality is going to be awesome to watch. I can't wait to see what we learn."