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MEDIA CONTACT: Christine Dardet

FAU to Host Student Leadership Conference

More than 500 FAU Students Expected to Attend

BOCA RATON, FL (September 23, 2011) – Florida Atlantic University’s Division of Student Affairs will host a one-day Student Leadership Conference titled “Inspire. Encourage. Lead.” on Saturday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in FAU’s Student Union, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. More than 500 FAU students, as well as 50 students from other universities in the region, are expected to attend. 

“The FAU Student Leadership Conference provides an opportunity for students to engage in active learning about exemplary leadership practices,” said Corey King, Ph.D., associate vice president and dean of students at FAU.  “Leadership presentations will be given by some of FAU’s best faculty. In addition, students will have the unique opportunity to interact with faculty beyond the classroom, which is invaluable as FAU strives to develop 21st century leaders.”

The conference has been designed to help broaden students’ leadership perspectives and knowledge of skills needed to be successful. Based on The Leadership Challenge™, a research-based, time-tested model used by schools and educational organizations, the conference will include several breakout sections led by Faculty OWL Leaders, opportunities for students to interact with each other and FAU faculty and staff, as well as two keynote speakers. 

Gary Morgan, founder of the Student Leadership Excellence Academy, will deliver the opening keynote address. He will give a general overview of The Leadership Challenge followed by a facilitated discussion to guide students in their understanding throughout the day and application to their careers. Jennifer Espinola, director of the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement and co-director of the Leadership Studies program at the University of South Florida, will give the closing keynote speech in which she will debrief the experiential activities offered at the conference to provide students with a clear-cut and practical utilization of their newfound skills.

            New to the conference this year is the Faculty OWL Leader Program, which is designed to engage and involve faculty members in the development of students as future exemplary leaders within and beyond the campus community. The Faculty OWL Leaders will conduct several breakout sessions during the conference.

The 2011-2012 Faculty OWL Leaders are Patricia Darlington, Ph.D., associate professor of intercultural communication in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters; Charles Dukes, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Education; Barbara Ganson, Ph.D., associate professor of history in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters; Myrium Ruthenberg, Ph.D., associate professor of Italian and comparative literature in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters;  Allen Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing in the College of Business; and Justin White, Ph.D., assistant professor of linguistics and Spanish and director of the Spanish Basic Language Program in the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. The six faculty representatives were selected based on their expressed passion for leadership development and outstanding communication skills. 

In addition to the conference, Faculty OWL Leaders will participate in FAU’s Student Leadership Institutes (SLI) and Reading Circles to help develop exemplary student leaders within and beyond the campus community.

SLI is designed to challenge FAU students interested in being a seasoned leader who want to inspire their organization to grow or for up-and-coming leaders who are looking to discover their personal passion. “Leadership Reading Circles” will be conducted four to five times throughout the semester, and will allow students to meet and discuss roles of leadership, but outside of a classroom setting. 


Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. In commemoration of its origin, FAU is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2011. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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