MONTEVALLO—Three University of Montevallo students have been selected to participate in the 2012 Leading Edge Institute (LEI), a leadership development program designed specifically for Alabama college women. Tavi Juarez of Helena, Madeline Mechum of Hoover and Rachel Swokowski of Enterprise attended the Summer Institute held recently at Judson College in Marion. They were joined by Jenny Bell, director of student life at UM.
Dr. Steven Parker, associate professor of sociology at Montevallo, served as a faculty member for LEI’s Summer Institute, presenting on gender inequality issues. Dr. Laurel Hitchcock, assistant professor of social work and director of the social work program at UM, has worked with the Montevallo students to provide course credit on women and leadership.
At LEI, students from all over Alabama come together to engage in mentoring relationships and leadership skill building within the context of major issues facing Alabama. The program uses a service-learning-based curriculum rooted in the social change model of leadership development. The three-phase program begins with the intensive weeklong Summer Institute followed by a fall leadership action project and ends with Winter Summit and graduation.