SUNY Empire State College students, are you ready to let your light shine?

By Brianna Phillips ’17

January 5, 2017

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson

If you are ready to strengthen and embrace your light then the SUNY Empire State College Leadership Institute is right for you.  This leadership program brings together students from various locations throughout the college, as well as faculty, alumni, and members of the community. 

As a participant in the 2016-2017 Student Leadership Institute, I learned to identify with, develop, and embrace the leader within myself.  With the support of advisors in the Leadership Institute, my coach, ESC alum, Kristen Holler, and all of the students involved, I found my light and let it shine.  

Only a select group of students will be chosen to participate in this all-inclusive leadership program. The Institute requires a one-year commitment beginning in Fall 1 2017 term.  The Institute members meet in a variety of ways - there are three in-person weekend meetings (the Fall Academic Conference, Winter Leadership Retreat, and the Spring Student Wellness Retreat), several online leadership development workshops and seminars, and monthly telephone meetings with your leadership coach.  Other experiences in the program include a volunteer commitment and creating a group social action project which is presented to the next year’s leadership members at their first meeting. 

With each opportunity, you will increase leadership skills and develop new skills that will help grow your resume and broaden your network.

The Leadership Institute is free for all students who are accepted into the program. It includes all hotel fees for the Fall Student Conference, the Winter Retreat, and the Student Wellness Retreat. Applications are being sought from students who want to engage in personal growth and who are willing to make a social commitment. To be considered, you must be a matriculated student of SUNY Empire State College, have a 2.0 cumulative GPA or higher and must have completed at least one term with the college before the Fall 1 2017 term.

To apply, you must complete the full application, along with one letter of reference and an essay. This essay should describe your interests, life experiences and goals, while also speaking to why you would like to participate in the Leadership Institute. The full application process and details can be found by visiting You will be contacted for a telephone interview once your completed application materials have been received and reviewed.

For questions, please email

Other News

Excelsior Scholarship – Message to Currently Enrolled Students, By Suzanne Lazar ’16; student, School for Graduate Studies SUNY Empire State College, editor, The Student Connection

Diversity and Inclusion Resources, By Suzanne Lazar ’16, SUNY Empire State College; student, the School for Graduate Studies; editor, The Student Connection

Creative Corner

Social Corner

Article Contributors

Suzanne Lazar

Brianna Phillips

Take the Next Step

Ready to advance your education and career? There’s no time like the present. Apply now, or learn more about SUNY Empire at one of our information sessions.