Turk File

At urging of former student, UL offers leadership minor

by Leslie Turk

"[I]t is very unusual for a student to take the initiative to come up with an idea for a course of study and take on the project of developing it," says Dr. Jordan Kellman.

UL Lafayette is helping students learn about leadership by offering a new academic minor that was the brainchild of Ashley Mudd, a former Student Government Association president. Mudd helped create the 18-hour concentration in leadership, said Dr. Jordan Kellman, an associate professor of history and dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Former UL SGA President Ashley Mudd came up with the idea of a leadership minor at the university and helped develop it.

"It's very common for us to consult with students and to respond to student demand for courses for minors and even majors," Kellman said in a prepared announcement. "But it is very unusual for a student to take the initiative to come up with an idea for a course of study and take on the project of developing it."

Mudd, who graduated in spring 2013, said the idea for the minor emerged in a brainstorming session for Student Leadership Council, an organization made up of leaders from student groups across campus.

"We wanted to create an interdisciplinary program that would focus on developing well-rounded students who are able to effectively communicate," said Mudd.

The leadership minor, which will be available for the Spring 2014 semester, includes two required courses: "Leadership Communication" and "Professional Ethics," a philosophy course. To complete the additional 12 academic hours required for the new minor, students may choose from electives in disciplines such as communication, management, educational foundations and leadership, philosophy, sociology, psychology and political science.

UL Lafayette students can choose from 90 minors. They select a minor area of concentration with help from their academic advisors. While many curriculums require a minor, some students may choose to enroll in a minor simply to learn more about an area of personal interest.

Kellman said students may also select a minor to complement their career aims. "Students are more and more interested in minors as the job market becomes more competitive. They see having a minor as a leg up in the job market. It's an important feature of their résumé and they feel it's an advantage in a large pool of job applicants."

Students can learn more about the new minor later this month when UL Lafayette's Office of Student Engagement and Leadership will hold two informational sessions: Monday, Jan. 27, and Tuesday, Jan. 28. The sessions will be held from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Evangeline Room at Lafayette Hall on Hebrard Boulevard near Cypress Lake.