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Projects with Promise

Vol. 25 No. 1

Graduate Scholars Leadership, Engagement, And Development: Initial Design, Implementation, and Lessons Learned

  • Julie Coffield
  • Jasmine Choi
  • Ikseon Choi
  • Brandy B. Walker
  • Katherine Walters
  • Janette R. Hill
  • Sejin Kim
  • Janet E. Rechtman
  • K. Paige Carmichael
  • Ramana Pidaparti
  • Meredith Welch-Devine
February 9, 2020


The fast-paced advances in technology and scientific knowledge in the 21st century call for learners to possess professional skills that complement their technical skills to make meaningful contributions in communities. This article introduces a cross-disciplinary leadership training program, Graduate Scholars Leadership, Engagement, and Development (GS LEAD), that was designed and implemented to train students in professional skills including problem-solving, interdisciplinary teamwork, leadership, communication, and engagement. This training program provided learning opportunities for incoming graduate students to work beyond their laboratories, across disciplines, and into communities to identify real-world problems and design sustainable solutions. The design and implementation of the program, the findings of participating students’ development in Program Year 1, and suggestions for future program design are discussed.