Inclusive leadership honored

4.25.2013 Article, Diversity, Global, Leadership, School News

“To be an inclusive leader, one has to challenge your assumptions and leave your comfort zones behind,” says Melanie Lankau, senior associate dean of MBA programs and diversity. It’s a mission the Wake Forest University School of Business takes seriously – and so do our students.

Seventeen MBA students earned their Certificate in Inclusive Leadership Skills, the first group to complete the extracurricular, faculty-certified program.  The second year students were celebrated at an awards reception on April 25. 

Melanie Lankau hosted the event and congratulated participants for their extraordinary efforts to complete the required work to earn the certificate.  “Thanks for being the first group of students to complete our inaugural program, and for setting the bar so high,” said Lankau.  “You have all demonstrated a strong curiosity to better yourself and that commitment will ultimately make you better leaders.”

To earn the certificate, students must attend an orientation session, complete two assessments and debriefs on cultural competence, attend a minimum of four workshops, participate in four campus or community events on diversity or global topics, complete an international trip or community immersion experience, and prepare a culminating reflection essay. 

Students earning the certificate are:

Roopali Bahal

Carling Boyles

Walt Elder

Jeanelle Feimster

Amy Garner

Andreas Hellwich

Brennan Lewis

Bret Maffett

Joe Mercaurelle

Grier May

Venkata Raman Perivela

Sathya Rmachandran

Mayank Singh

Martha Spears

Seth Taylor

Alex Thomas

Lauren Williams

Brennan Lewis’ essay won the Outstanding Essay award and $1,000. The award is dedicated to the memory of School of Business colleague Erica Holloman who demonstrated a passion for multicultural education.

While Lankau congratulated the students for their hard work and success, she also thanked the faculty and staff who supported the program with their time and talent, mentioning Terry Baker, Janice Branch, Holly Brower, Lisa Bryant, Matt Imboden, Tiffany Johnson, and Amy Wallis. 

Lankau and the program team look forward to next year’s crop of inclusive leaders, which currently includes 23 first-year MBAs who are enrolled in the program.