Learning to Lead...

Great leaders are not born, they're made.

Maine has a long tradition of great leaders in public service, business, the arts, education, engineering, the military, healthcare, athletics, and many other fields.  Are you next?

The interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor, open to students from any UMaine academic major, provides students with in-depth knowledge of leadership theory, ethics, skills, and context-based issues, as well as practical, experiential training applicable to nearly any area of study or social setting. The minor prepares students for diverse, real-life experiences as citizen leaders in local, state, national, and global communities.

“I’m so glad I chose to minor in Leadership Studies; it helped me become a better person and a better leader. In my third year on the UMaine women’s basketball team, I was named a captain. It was a great honor, but it also carried a big responsibility. Leadership Studies has helped me better understand what it takes to be a great leader. Leadership Studies isn’t just about leadership; it is much more than that. It is also about the little things that change the big picture. It is about understanding relationships and friendships and the opportunity to become the best version of yourself. Without my minor in Leadership Studies, I wouldn’t be the person and the leader that I have become today.

This program is special, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about leadership and relationships– to become a better person and a better leader in this world. It enriched my knowledge, changed my perspective, and improved my abilities! “

-Dor Saar ’21 (B.S. Management, minor in Leadership Studies). America East All Conference Team; America East All-Academic Team; America East 2018 Rookie of the Year

“Prior to my arrival at UMaine, I had never thought of leadership as a discipline that could be studied and improved through college courses. What UMaine is doing in the field of Leadership Studies is much more than lecturing and assigning readings. LDR courses stimulate critical and ethical thinking to explore what it is to be a good person, a good follower, a good leader, and how to get results. Enrolling in Leadership Studies was one of the best decisions that I made over the course of my undergraduate career.

My understanding of leadership and ethics did not develop in the classroom alone; the LDR program allowed me to travel to Washington D.C. in the Summer after my Sophomore year, where I built bonds with other UMaine students, had one-on-one interactions with each member of Maine’s Congressional delegation, and talked about leadership with members of every facet of D.C.’s professional class in and outside of the government. Without UMaine’s LDR program, I never would have had this incredible experience.

Four years on, I am commissioning as a Field Artillery Second Lieutenant in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. LDR has played an integral role in preparing me to be a leader of soldiers. Some of the most important lessons I have learned since beginning LDR, that apply in and outside of the Army are:

  1. When in charge, be in charge
  2. If it feels wrong, you can bet that it is
  3. Leaders eat last”

-Declan Downey, ’21 (B.A. Political Science, minors in Leadership Studies and Sociology)

“I first heard about the Leadership Studies minor while participating in the Maine National Education for Women’s Leadership program during my sophomore year. Initially, I was hesitant about participating in the residential leadership training program because I was a Biochemistry major and I didn’t understand if, or where, science fit in with leadership development. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and shortly after the program, I began taking classes to pursue my minor in Leadership Studies.
Leadership Studies has been an amazing experience. I have not only learned how to be a more effective leader, but I have also acquired the tools to foster team relationships, handle conflict, and understand myself and others. I have learned about the different types of leaders and that developing yourself as a leader is just as important as cultivating the leadership skills of those around you. Using several case studies, my classmates and I have analyzed different leadership styles and have discussed the ethics behind decision-making in tough situations. Along the way, my professors have encouraged me and challenged me to think critically about what leadership is, why it matters, and how it pertains to my life personally. I realized that there is most definitely a place for leadership in science and that these leadership skills are also useful in any other discipline. 
Pursuing this minor has without a doubt shaped my decisions about my future. This fall, I will be attending Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for the PhD track in Toxicology, Physiology, and Molecular Mechanisms. After earning my graduate degree, I hope to find a career at the intersection between public health policy and scientific research. I have no doubt that the skills I have gained in leadership studies will help me reach my goals and succeed in life.”
-Emily Illingworth ’17 (B.A. Biochemistry, minor in Leadership Studies)

” I stayed at UMaine an additional year to complete the Leadership Studies minor, and it was the best decision I made in my collegiate career. The minor allows students to gain a working knowledge of the fundamentals of leadership, and apply that knowledge in a real context through engaging courses, practicums, and internships, no matter what field of study you are majoring in. I felt so compelled by my experience in my Leadership courses that I wrote my senior capstone project about the impact of gender on leadership effectiveness. This coursework will challenge you to shake your preconceived notions of what makes a good leader, and help you realize that everyone has the potential to lead. I would recommend the Leadership Studies minor to anyone who has considered themselves a leader, would like to become a leader, or would simply like to learn more about themselves and the world around them. I feel confident and ready to navigate the workforce with the knowledge I’ve gained through completing this coursework.”

–Victoria Mason ’15 (B.A. Psychology, minor in Leadership Studies)