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A Collage of the Works We Studied in the Fall of 2020

Introduction

In a previous post I explained how I spent the past semester (Fall 2020) treating the humanities educator (namely, me) as a leadership trainer. I was the protagonist of the story, doing whatever I could to inspire a new generation of talented students to take their leadership training more seriously. For this post the students are going to tell the story in their own words (approximately seven thousand of them), taken from their responses to questionnaires circulated at the end of the spring semester and this fall semester (here is the course content for Spring 2020 and here it is for Fall 2020). Thirteen students shared their responses out of approximately 130 students across four courses, so about a 10% response rate. This is obviously a small sample, but the statements are consistent with what students report in their weekly journals and what they say in class. The results I believe can give future students a glimpse into the kind of story they might tell for themselves. They can also help educators both (1) determine whether their courses on leadership and the humanities are accomplishing all that they would like them to and (2) frame their courses for future students in language that is likely to resonate with them. I will present the responses in total as an appendix, but here I’m going to share the main themes with supporting quotes.

To be clear, I don’t mean to claim that all students benefit from this course or benefit in the same way. I’m certain that some leave the course no more interested in developing their leadership than when they began because they tell me this, too. But my overall sense is that many students come away with a deep appreciation for the study of the humanities for leadership development. Their stories demonstrate the potential for profound intellectual, psychological, and practical development. Indeed, half of the spring semester and all of the fall semester were conducted online, with most students at home with limited face-to-face interaction with members outside of their families. a fortiori, then, I would expect the development potential to be even greater for students who can move freely among the domains of leadership, namely, the home, the workplace, the student group, the dormitory, the online community, the campus, and all of our public and civic spaces.

Theme One: Appreciation

Leadership by Everyone

In their study of the humanities students develop a very broad command of technical terminology that helps them analyze the leadership they read about as well as their own. As you will see from the full quotations (see the Appendix), this technical vocabulary may take the form of character names, character types, story lines, behaviors, traits, metaphors, and emotions. Some of these terms are drawn from different cultures (like ancient Greece), some come from contemporary psychology, some come from the works themselves, and some we just make up for convenience. While each student develops a particular appreciation for leadership, by far the most common appreciation is that leadership may take many forms and anyone is capable of showing it, regardless of whether they hold a leadership role or have otherwise been marked out as a “leader” (e.g., someone who is fearless, decisive, charismatic, and self-assertive). The upshot of this appreciation is freedom, the freedom to recognize and realize leadership potential in themselves previously unnoticed.

  • “Through the study of humanities, I was able to realize our immense leadership potential. I say ‘our’ because while studying I realized that we, humans, all have the same potential that can be accomplished in ways unique to our lives, experiences, and goals.”–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023
  • “I must confess that before this class, I had a myopic view of leadership. I thought leaders were just Presidents or Politicians taking hold of public offices. But in class, we focused on Xenophon’s definition- {“To know how to ensure that others have what they need and become what they need to be.”–Xenophon (The Education of Cyrus 1.6.7)} That definition was mind-blowing. It was like an evidence that everyone could lead, whether you are an insider or outsider….I think one thing that stood out of all I learnt was that I do not have to be in a position of physical leadership to lead i.e. I could just be a floor member and still give others what they need…and show leadership.”–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)
  • “Throughout the course, we see that leadership takes varying forms and there is no set way of being a leader. I have seen students inspire their classmates to draw, to study and report on subjects they wouldn’t otherwise know about, and educate others on numerous topics.”–Naheim Banks
  • “I learned that anyone can be a leader. There is no specific criteria for a leader. Someone is not necessarily born a leader, but anyone can step up and guide and lead if they feel like they need to.”–Anonymous
  • “I believed leadership pretty much either came to you or didn’t – either you had an innate ability to lead or you weren’t cut out for it. Based on the definition of leadership we used, my understanding changed and my perspective has shifted to be able to identify leadership in different formats than before.”–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)
  • “This new idea of leadership that I have gained from this class has enabled me to see the importance of more persons discovering that they can be a leader and show leadership in more than one way; big or small.”–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)
  • “This showed us that there isn’t one particular way to lead, it can literally be shown through anything. This course has shown me that I have the ability to lead in so many ways and that the ones around me probably didn’t know how to lead properly as well.”–Anonymous

Conversely, students also realize that sometimes people in leadership roles do not show leadership. A moment’s reflection will reveal to you examples and occasions where a fearless, charismatic, self-assertive person, for example, was quite inadequate at meeting the needs of others. There is freedom associated with this realization, too, because it makes students more careful critics of the so-called leaders they see holding or seeking leadership roles.

  • “I can now better recognize and judge leadership and behavior by understanding what a bad example of leadership is.”–Ollie Mason, class of 2024

The Educator as Leadership Trainer

Students also appreciate the role that the educator can play in their leadership development. In their eyes, the educator is someone who poses questions about leadership they had never considered; someone who adds clarity and depth to their existing understanding of leadership; someone who challenges them to take what they have learned about leadership and discover opportunities to lead; and someone who creates an environment in which they may share their views and experiment with new leadership activity.

  • “[Dr. Sandridge’s] class interactions and insight facilitate understanding and comfort. There was never a lesson in class that I was left confused. There was also never a time I did not know how to take the piece we had just read, seen, or listened to and use it to develop my leadership abilities. Whether it was how to act or a new way to think about something Dr. Sandrigde effectively trained the class on how to do both.”–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023
  • “I am so happy that professor Sandridge implemented so many avenues of learning because it made the process extremely engaging and understandable.”–Anonymous
  • Dr. S constantly reminded us that we can and should seek ways to bring our studies into the ‘real-world’.”–Anonymous
  • “Do I think Dr. Sandridge is a leadership trainer? Definitely yes! During the course, some of us where challenged to be good mentors and make better decisions that would help others.”–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)
  • “When [Dr. Sandridge] speaks about philanthrōpia (love of humanity) it reinforced my own leadership and political philosophy because I think that everyone should lead and govern to help the most marginalized.”–Naheim Banks
  • [Dr. Sandridge] exposed us to different forms of leaderships and different types of leaders. I would not have taken it upon myself to learn about these people and what they have done.”–Anonymous
  • “[T]he way that Dr. Sandridge interacts with the content and the students creates leaders.”–Alexa, Class of 2024

Theme Two: Behavioral Change

Beyond an appreciation for leadership and the educator’s role, students report changes to the frequency and quality of several leadership behaviors. Two of the most common changes students report are practicing self-awareness (or self-study) more often and emotional self-regulation. These two changes often seem to take place in tandem: students compare themselves to the characters they study (and often other classmates) and then make decisions about who they want to be.

  • “Humanities is one of the many ways to learn new behaviors. With new behaviors, it is almost as if you are creating a new self. By observing and discussing others it becomes easy to see what in yourself you would like to change, keep, or improve…One thing I was able to recognize in myself is patience and kindness.”–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023
  • “By hearing about other peoples’ stories, you become encouraged to let out your skills and become your true self.”–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)
  • “This class made me realize that I was not the best leader, but I now know how to analyze my leadership and others.”–Anonymous
  • “I, for one, noticed that I often practice praotēs (gentleness). As someone in student government at Howard, being a leader comes with criticism and it should be welcomed. I have learned that when others criticize certain works, it helps develop character and become more and more educated in the issues plaguing communities.”–Naheim Banks
  • “I preform the skill of cultivating self regulation more often at home by making a routine for myself. I now have a consistent sleeping eating schedule, as a result I feel more alert throughout the day.”–Anonymous

Beyond greater self-awareness and self-regulation, student report performing a range of behaviors more often and better. Specifically, many speak of some version of taking more initiative or being more ambitious. On some occasions students can tell that others see a change in them.

  • “I try to step up more. Before I wouldn’t offer my help unless no one else wanted to, but know I try to get things done at home before being told. I also, try to step up and make more decisions instead of just going with the flow.”–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)
  • “There isn’t anything particular in my life plan that was altered [during this course] but it just made me more of a go getter. Learning the information in this course has helped me gain the courage to take that extra step in areas that I may have had anxiety in. I learned that you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because change is constant.”–Anonymous
  • “I do believe that others noticed my drive and passion this semester while completing an internship and becoming more selective about the organizations I am a part of which directly align with my personal and professional goals.”–Anonymous 
  • “I made an effort to be noticed in my taking initiative around the house by doing more chores and more often. I was successful in some cases.”–Anonymous
  • “As of now I have always been noticed by leading by example but my goal is to step more out of my shell. Everything is a process but I can definitely say it has been successful.”–Anonymous

Others speak of calling attention to problems with clear and compelling language, challenging the ignorance or bad behavior of others, setting a good example, being encouraging, being better at perspective taking or relating to others, and having better judgment.

  • “I believe that leadership behaviours such as using careful, clear and compelling language within my clubs along with encouraging and inspiring others like my peers and children of a younger age group are some of the areas in which my leadership behaviour has improved. I have also found that I exhibit leadership behaviours such as modelling good behaviour even in an online setting such as social media and finding a good mentor and avoiding a bad one within my organization and peer group are ones that I have been performing more frequently.”–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)
  • “Since I am going to be the only senior on my team next year and I am trying to become a better leader overall, I have been modeling good behavior, calling out bad behavior or misunderstanding in others, finding a good mentor (and avoiding a bad one), encouraging and inspiring others, networking, cultivating gratitude, listening to and understanding others, managing your emotional states and responses. No matter what task I take on, I try to apply these and many others. My goal is to grow mentally every day. You may think that some situations where you apply leadership behavior may be small, but always remember that you have to start somewhere and the little things matter.”–Anonymous
  • “The course had helped me improve my dikaiosunē (ability to judge well) and phronēsis (forethought) about leadership.”–Naheim Banks
  • “As one progresses more in their study of the humanities and especially as it pertains to leadership, they become more comfortable and relatable to others which helps them to make better decisions and predict how things are going to happen.”–Alexa, Class of 2024
  • “The study of humanities can definitely improve foresight. As you study and analyze character behavior you begin to notice the commonalities which can help with predicting another behavior.”–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

For more on how students report increases in the frequency and quality of their leadership behaviors see “The study of the humanities seems to increase the frequency and quality of certain behavior (maybe a lot)”.

Sometimes students identify so closely with the character that we study that the change in behavior (or in identity) may be even more comprehensive or systematic.

  • “By studying Moana and Lysistrata I recognized a sort of inherently juvenile or mischieveous sort of leadership, one where you think outside the box and refuse to conform to standards, which I recognized in myself, and helped me understand that yes I’m quite eccentric and childish (in attitude, not maturity), but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of being a leader.”–Ollie Mason, Class of 2024
  • “Larry Kramer’s the Normal Heart contributed significantly to my development as a leader. I saw a serious issue running rampant in a community. Not many would choose to speak out but Ned weeks did. Although his approach appeared pushy, it was what the situation required. I see him as a pioneer, a leader, and a activist. He was not afraid to be ostracized because the situation at hand weighed more than any possible backlash.”–Lily Essilfie
  • “I believe that one character I try to emulate the most is Athena because I try my best to put things into perspective for others and encourage and activate their menos so that they are able to achieve their full potential. Mentorship has become so important to me and I would honestly strive to be a mentor for others in any little way. As a result, I reach out to persons and try to create success for them because I believe I would want that same motivation in return.”–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

Theme Three: Mentorship

In this course students notice how leadership is part of many of their relationships: “We often analyzed the relationships between mentor and mentees, friends, love interests, and even the relationship between leaders and those they serve. I think that by doing so, we are able to see the different types of relationships that leadership can help cultivate as we learn from others and are constantly influenced by those we interact with” (Naheim Banks). Students appreciate the opportunity to build relationships  with each other through class discussion, and in the course we talk about finding good collaborators and even starting new organizations with like-minded individual. But by far the relationship they seem most interested in is mentorship, both finding a mentor and becoming a mentor. Again, this may be an effect of COVID, that there just aren’t as many other kinds of relationship to be building. But my sense is that students crave both a deeper understanding of all that goes into mentorship and an opportunity to make intimate and life-changing connections with others. Students report things like more frequently asking others to be their mentors and finding ways to mentor friends, cousins, siblings, and sometimes even parents. When I first began teaching this course over a decade ago, mentorship really wasn’t much of a consideration for me, but over time student interest in it has only grown. Side note: the fact that mentorship is one of the few forms of leadership training that’s hard to monetize may explain why it is vanishing but still longed for (whereas you can pay someone to be a coach, trainer, advisor, teacher, it’s hard to pay someone to mentor you in the true sense of the word). 

  • “I…know that I want to find a mentor. After being in this course, I recognized the importance of having a mentor. They prepare you for your different positions and your career path.”–Lily Essilfie
  • “Throughout this course, one major theme I saw was the importance of mentorship. Mentors are very useful in creating a crew, giving aidos, igniting menos and a lot of other things. During the course of this semester, I have unconsciously learnt to treasure my mentors more, be it my pastor or teacher etc.”–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)
  • “I can now seek out a mentor or mentors for myself and also be an effective mentor to others. I think that each chapter where we discussed mentors and mentoring helped to develop my sense of it. For example, we learned about different types of mentors like Athena as opposed to a mentor like Odysseus.”–Alexa, Class of 2024
  • “I was able to better understand the people around me and form deeper relationships, like with my friend Osu, who’s basically a little sibling to me, and because of what I’ve learned in this course, I’ve been able to improve my relationship with them as a mentor.”–Ollie Mason
  • “My relationship with my niece has altered because I have tried to be more a mentor for her and as a result, our bond is better, and she values my guidance more.”–Anonymous

Theme Four: Decisions

Editing Your Life’s Plan

As we progress through the course, students are encouraged to find “self-ful” leadership (a made-up technical term), something we contrast with selfless leadership (simply meeting the needs of others for its own sake) and selfish leadership (seeking leadership opportunities primarily for personal benefits like wealth, power, and prestige). We talk about identifying the range of leadership behavior we are good at; we talk about the kinds of situations where our version of leadership is needed and appreciated; we talk about who are the kinds of people we are good at collaborating with and whom we enjoy collaborating with; and we talk about activating motivations within ourselves that are not in conflict, but in fact consistent with, addressing the needs of others. When students come to have a more complete picture of where their leadership likely fits in the world, they see an opportunity to make edits, as it were, to their life’s plan, in the form of changing jobs, seeking new leadership roles, joining different students groups, starting different student groups, changing their major, or rethinking their careers.

  • “While taking this course, I would say that my future goals were expanded in terms of me wanting to form a non-profit for global young leaders as well as an immediate goal to create a student organization on campus that would encourage and really foster global leaders as said within the school’s vision statement. Additionally, I actually decided that I would take up more leadership roles within the school community and signed up to be a resident assistant after taking this course and feeling the need to activate the menos in other students to become leaders in some way as well. I also found myself researching leadership within the media and thinking of ways to link my passion for mathematics to foster leadership in students who either share that same passion or who may even be struggling with the subject.”–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)
  • “I wanted to go to medical school before this course, and I am now rethinking what I want to do after Howard. I’ve also been taking initiative by looking into starting an internship in my field.”–Anonymous
  • “I decided to leave a student organization during the course of this semester because I felt like the work being done was not effective or student-centered. I realized the leadership and mentorship that was being exhibited were negative, as the President had groomed me since my Freshman year to value titles at Howard and ‘ladder-climbing’ over care and passion for student needs.”–Anonymous

A Habit of Developing Leadership through the Study of the Humanities

In addition to specific decisions and resolutions, students report finding in themselves a new habit of looking more closely at literature, film, music, and biography. Often they have plans for continuing this habit through the study of specific figures and works.

  • “Studying humanities is a habit I am keeping from this course. I am no longer looking at books, movies, podcasts, and more as just education or entertainment. There is a more specific comment to grasp now or in other words an important question to ask. How can this piece help or teach me and others how to be a leader?”–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023
  • “Whether I want to or not, I know that in the next set of humanities classes I take, I will be looking out for who is giving menos [mental activation] or aidos [positive shame], who is being a good leader, who is being a bad one, whether someone is a lover of humanity, if one can represent his/her community well etc. And in the course of doing so, I’ll make new decisions on how to act right.”–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)
  • “I am in the process of reading Stacey Abrams’ autobiography and plan to apply for different leadership trainings and programs in my career field.”–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)
  • “I plan to read more about historical figures, from Alexander the Great to Michelle Obama.”–Anonymous
  • “I want to learn more and improve my awareness of issues. Therefore, I want to start reading more books about the history of African and afro descendant people. I want to read more books on former world leaders and get into politics.”–Lily Essilfie

See also James Allen’s “Over a Decade Later, A Student Reflects on the Relevance of His Training Today”.

Next Steps

Coupled with my piece on the humanities educator, this study demonstrates the possibility for profound and multifaceted leadership development from a single course of study under the right conditions and mindset on the part of the educator. Students spend as much as forty-five hours in class time (though few reach that many) and perhaps twice that much outside of class (=reading about 300-400 pages of text, writing in journals for about 12,000 words, and otherwise reflecting on their leadership), for a total of between 100-150 hours, or about as long as it would take to watch all seven seasons of The West Wing (I dare you to pose the same questions about leadership development to a fan of The West Wing that I have posed to my students and compare the results). Overall, I believe that for the students who get the most out of this class this is an exceptional way to grow toward self-ful leadership. In truth, I cannot think of a better way to develop leadership in this period of time under these conditions for individuals in this age group. To flip the scenario, try to imagine how someone could come this far in their leadership journey in 100+ hours. They might learn particular aspects of leadership in a shorter period of time and they might be able to perform certain leadership behaviors (like public speaking) better. But they would not have the big picture appreciation and practice that comes with analyzing and reflecting on a story of leadership development, its characters, their emotions, their language, their behavior, their moral dilemmas, or their psychological conditions–all in a precise and memorable technical vocabulary.

What has been left out of this story, however, is the question of why only some students thrive in this environment and come out with a full understanding of the power of their study. As one student, Macy Gordon says, “Humanities is one of the many ways to learn new behaviors. With new behaviors, it is almost as if you are creating a new self.” What prior training, what prior experiences, what mindset or attitude, what personal circumstances (home environment, support system), what career stage, and what personal dynamics within the classroom empower a student to make a statement like that?

Probably a lot factors into the answers to these questions. For example, most of my students don’t even know that they are signing up for a leadership course because the course is a themes course offered by the Classics Department under the non-specific title “Ideas in Antiquity”. It is also a taken not as a part of any major or minor but as a general education course, which students often take less seriously than the courses in their major. Often students overload on their courses and may find that they just don’t have the time to prioritize this one. They may be at a stage in their undergraduate tenure where they are either very eager to explore and have their minds exploded with new ideas; or they may have decided that their entire focus must be on graduating as quickly and easily as possible. While this is not typically the case at Howard University, which takes its mission for developing leadership seriously at many levels and has done so traditionally, it may be that some students just don’t find the topic of leadership as interesting as other subjects; their life’s narrative may at this time may be limited to having a successful (=lucrative, prestigious, intellectually-stimulating) career. Sometimes I find that it is none of these factors but rather just that some cohorts of students really gel with one another very early on: they like each other, they develop a rapport, and they come to challenge each other in their leadership development. In such situations they learn more from one another than I could ever teach them. I am more like the Dungeon Master setting challenges and letting them work with one another to figure them out in their own original way.

Appendix: Full Student Responses

Below I provide the full answers to the two questionnaires from which I drew the quotations above. In the questionnaire I did this past fall (2020) there were eight statements. Respondents were asked to provide supporting evidence for the statements they agreed with using examples from our course. If they did not agree with the statement, or could not think of any supporting information, they were instructed to leave the section blank. As such, this study does not account for why any students would have disagreed with the general claim that the study of the humanities can inform leadership development. In the second questionnaire (from spring 2020) students were asked a series of questions pertaining to the different ways their leadership could develop, namely, through appreciation, behavior, relationships, decisions, and reputation.

Questionnaire One (Fall 2020)

Statement One

The study of the humanities (e.g., literature, film, history, art) improves a person’s appreciation of leadership, what it is, how it works, and what forms it takes and the study of the humanities helps someone recognize (hidden) leadership potential in themselves. In your answer specify the leadership potential you were able to recognize.

By studying Moana and Lysistrata I recognized a sort of inherently juvenile or mischieveous sort of leadership, one where you think outside the box and refuse to conform to standards, which I recognized in myself, and helped me understand that yes I’m quite eccentric and childish (in attitude, not maturity), but that doesn’t mean I’m not capable of being a leader.–Ollie Mason, Class of 2024

Humanities is much less robotic than Science and it deals more with people. So, yes, I agree that the study of humanities improves our appreciation of leadership. We dealt with relatable examples of people and learnt more about how they led. Sometimes, the authors or people we study, might not know they are actually showing leadership, but humanities brings them to the spotlight and uses them as specimens for studying how to be leaders. I think one thing that stood out of all I learnt was that I do not have to be in a position of physical leadership to lead i.e. I could just be a floor member and still give others what they need…and show leadership.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

I feel that this course has helped me to realize the hidden leadership potential that I had in the way that I can now seek out a mentor or mentors for myself and also be an effective mentor to others. I think that each chapter where we discussed mentors and mentoring helped to develop my sense of it. For example, we learned about different types of mentors like Athena as opposed to a mentor like Odysseus.–Alexa, Class of 2024

Oftentimes, it appears the leadership only takes the form of politicians and those in government. However, by studying humanities and the various stories and authors ranging from those in the LGBTQ+ community, to artists, to curators/historians, and authors, we see that leadership isn’t so black and white. Throughout the course, we see that leadership takes varying forms and there is no set way of being a leader. I have seen students inspire their classmates to draw, to study and report on subjects they wouldn’t otherwise know about, and educate others on numerous topics.–Naheim Banks

Through the study of humanities, I was able to realize our immense leadership potential. I say “our” because while studying I realized that we, humans, all have the same potential that can be accomplished in ways unique to our lives, experiences, and goals. One thing I was able to recognize in myself is patience and kindness. Both can be used in the face of trials and tribulations which facilitates growth.  After reading Lysistrata I noticed the similarities between me and Lysistrata. Her kindness, persistence, and patience is something I strive for in conversation as well, especially in a debate.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

I learned that anyone can be a leader. There is no specific criteria for a leader. Someone is not necessarily born a leader, but anyone can step up and guide and lead if they feel like they need to. Stories such as Binti’s showed me this.–Anonymous

Statement Two

The study of the humanities improves one’s judgement, or foresight, about matters of leadership.

By learning about the play “The Normal Heart” and the story, “El Muerto,” I can now better recognize and judge leadership and behavior by understanding what a bad example of leadership is.–Ollie Mason, class of 2024

Like we always say in class, a lover of diversity will not have a hard time being a leader…Some courses under humanities deal with other cultures. So indirectly, we get to learn to have a more accurate judgement about people and other things…since our knowledge has now expanded beyond what our native culture limits us to.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

As one progresses more in their study of the humanities and especially as it pertains to leadership, they become more comfortable and relatable to others which helps them to make better decisions and predict how things are going to happen. For example, Ned Weeks became a somewhat predictable character because you could tell that his personality and selfishness spearheaded his decision making and judgement.–Alexa, Class of 2024

The course had helped me improve my dikaiosunē (ability to judge well) and phronēsis (forethought) about leadership. When we break down actions of leadership and compare and contrast the leadership behaviors of Cyrus, Ned Weeks, T’Challa (Black Panther), Lysistrata, etc., we see multiple different ways to make decisions when placed in leadership decisions and understand why leaders make the decisions they do in relation to those they lead.–Naheim Banks

The study of humanities can definitely improve foresight. As you study and analyze character behavior you begin to notice the commonalities which can help with predicting another behavior. When it comes to differences, I believe that what pushes us to be more understanding and open. Through discussion of differences which could often be a character’s rage, anguish, or pain we can become more involved with reality. The world is not perfect and neither are we so hearing each other’s stories in class, watching movies, and reading really help eliminate any potential shock or unnecessary reactions. After this, we can and have had useful conversations that lead to personal and universal development.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

I would assume, but I feel like one doesn’t know how to lead properly until they are in the situation. By learning about others and how their situations played out, you could pick up on what to do or what not to do.–Anonymous

Statement Three

The study of the humanities helps someone increase the frequency of their leadership behavior and helps someone improve the quality of their leadership behavior. In your answer please specify which leadership behaviors you have in mind.

I can’t attest to this really because I haven’t had the opportunity to engage in leadership since beginning the course.–Ollie Mason

Studying humanities gives menos [Ancient Greek for “mental activation”]. i.e. By hearing about other peoples’ stories, you become encouraged to let out your skills and become your true self.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

The leadership behaviors that I have in mind and that I will be using more frequently are: patience, relatability, and courage. Studying characters like Cyrus and Binti contributed the most to these behaviors.–Alexa, Class of 2024

Knowing and understanding the leadership behaviors you as a student exhibit can help you increase the frequency and quality of leadership behaviors. I, for one, noticed that I often practice praotēs (gentleness). As someone in student government at Howard, being a leader comes with criticism and it should be welcomed. I have learned that when others criticize certain works, it helps develop character and become more and more educated in the issues plaguing communities.–Naheim Banks

Humanities has taught me that almost every behavior is leadership behavior because any behavior can lead to growth. However, the first behaviors I think of include being understanding and ever-growing. I believe in every situation understanding those and the ideals involved as well as how you may aid in their / its development is the most important ability of a leader.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

Statement Four

The study of the humanities improves someone’s ability to form relationships that make their leadership more effective.

Because the whole course was devoted to learning about humanity and its behaviors, I was able to better understand the people around me and form deeper relationships, like with my friend Osu, who’s basically a little sibling to me, and because of what I’ve learned in this course, I’ve been able to improve my relationship with them as a mentor.–Ollie Mason

Throughout this course, one major theme I saw was the importance of mentorship. Mentors are very useful in creating a crew, giving aidos, igniting menos and a lot of other things. During the course of this semester, I have unconsciously learnt to treasure my mentors more, be it my pastor or teacher etc. So, yes I agree.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

We often analyzed the relationships between mentor and mentees, friends, love interests, and even the relationship between leaders and those they serve. I think that by doing so, we are able to see the different types of relationships that leadership can help cultivate as we learn from others and are constantly influenced by those we interact with. The perfect example of that would be Black Panther. We see the title character interact with friends, family, his ancestors, and even villains and foreigners and how much they influence his decision making throughout the movie. T’Challa struggles with tradition while trying to be a kind man while also trying to become his own type of king.–Naheim Banks

The study of humanities definitely improved my ability to form relationships and overall my leadership abilities. It was an amazing experience to commune weekly with other students and discuss the specificities of leadership. I recall discussing how our names can affect our leadership and which names seem more like a leader. It was interesting to hear how others related to their names and what names they thought seemed more strong. After that lesson on names, I began using my name as an empowering tool like Moana. Asserting your name to others and yourself can certainly boost your confidence or make you seem more confident.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

I learned how to approach situations as a leader. The stories of Lysistrata and Philocetes for example. In Lysistrata, I saw how she was able to persuade her audience and how Neoptolemus changed his course of action after meeting his target, etc.–Anonymous

Statement Five

The study of the humanities helps one make better decisions about leadership in terms of what their priorities are, what they might want to study, what they might want to major in, or what career path they should choose.

The studies of humanities, specifically this course, exposes people to behaviors and patterns in humanity that they might have not previously understood, like when we studied Ida B. Wells and Black panther, which helps them understand what sorts of behaviors and patterns they want to engage in as part of their major or career. In my case, however, I already have a pretty solid understanding of what I want to do, so I didn’t need more help in this area.–Ollie Mason

If I remember clearly, this was one of the first things we talked about in class- decisions a leader has to make. Also over the course of our study, we saw people that made different kinds of decisions. We saw Benjamin Otalara, who decided to ignore his mentor, and the horrible after-effect…so, yes ,I agree. Study of the humanities, directly or indirectly, does help us make better decisions (since we get to see decisions others made and the consequence).–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

As stated before, there are multiple ways one can be a leader. By understanding your role in the world and in your home, school, and/or community, it can help you choose a career path where you want to help others become what they need to be and ensure that others have what they need when it comes to policy, history, art, law, medicine, etc. In Lysistrata it was gender discrimination/sexism. In The Normal Heart it was medicine/health. In Black Panther it was technology and social resources. We can see various priorities for the leaders in these works and how they apply it to others.–Naheim Banks

I think a good major would be political science. Humanities and political science contrast in their approach. The contrast may be seen as subjective, being humanities, and literal, being political science. The comparative studies can lead to an all-around understanding of people and their interactions which can help in any job.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

Statement Six

The study of the humanities can help someone improve their reputation for leadership.

Not necessarily, but it can help give them the tools to be a better leader, thus improving their reputation–Ollie Mason

This question reminds me of how T’challa contrasted Njadaka. T’challa was loved by the people and had a good reputation, so people easily listened to him, unlike Njadaka. Having a good reputation was a theme that we saw throughout the course. We also saw the effects….We were also made to understand that we might not be able to correct people’s previous perception about us, but we could determine not to repeat our mistakes.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

Humanities is one of the many ways to learn new behaviors. With new behaviors, it is almost as if you are creating a new self. By observing and discussing others it becomes easy to see what in yourself you would like to change, keep, or improve. The changes and/or newfound confidence in all that you do can cause a better reputation. Another way to do this is by making new connections and humanities teaches us to put ourselves out there because you never know what good may come.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

I guess it can be a form of qualification. If one studied leadership, then I would assume they could be a decent leader.–Anonymous

Statement Seven

This course has established a habit in me to study the humanities to inform my leadership development.

Not necessarily to inform leadership development, but just in general. I’ve realized that this sort of humanities study helps me understand the world around me better in general, and so I’ll probably continue studying and learning from works like the ones we studied in this course.–Ollie Mason

Yes! Whether I want to or not, I know that in the next set of humanities classes I take, I will be looking out for who is giving menos [mental activation] or aidos [positive shame], who is being a good leader, who is being a bad one, whether someone is a lover of humanity, if one can represent his/her community well etc. And in the course of doing so, I’ll make new decisions on how to act right.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

I think that studying the humanities in this course has helped me grow and develop as a leader, but also to inform my leadership development by studying other leaders and their strength and weaknesses and the mistakes they elaborate on throughout their journeys. We see leaders talk about the mistakes they made in The Normal Heart as well as Black Panther and Moana when their leadership evolves. In Ned Weeks case it was his temper and aggression. In Black Panther, T’Challa decided to help others outside of Wakanda. In Moana, she realizes that her calling is inside her and she doesn’t have to chose between her people and her passion for the ocean/voyaging.

Studying humanities is a habit I am keeping from this course. I am no longer looking at books, movies, podcasts, and more as just education or entertainment. There is a more specific comment to grasp now or in other words an important question to ask. How can this piece help or teach me and others how to be a leader?–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

As interesting as I found this course, I do not think so, as least for my leadership development. I am perfectly okay not being a leader.–Anonymous

Statement Eight

The instructor for this course (Dr. Sandridge) is a kind of leadership trainer.

Well he’s a teacher, teaching us leadership, so yea lol.–Ollie Mason

Hmm… I must confess that before this class, I had a myopic view of leadership. I thought leaders were just Presidents or Politicians taking hold of public offices. But in class, we focused on Xenophon’s definition- {“To know how to ensure that others have what they need and become what they need to be.”–Xenophon (The Education of Cyrus 1.6.7)} That definition was mind-blowing. It was like an evidence that everyone could lead, whether you are an insider or outsider. So…Do I think Dr. Sandridge is a leadership trainer? Definitely yes! During the course, some of us where challenged to be good mentors and make better decisions that would help others.–Chisom E.V., Econ major (2024)

I definitely agree with this. Trainers test you in one way or another in order to help you learn more about yourself, others, and how to handle an array of situations or challenges. In leadership, there are many things to learn about but the way that this course functions and the way that Dr. Sandridge interacts with the content and the students creates leaders.–Alexa, Class of 2024

Dr. Sandridge has helped me delve into my own leadership and political philosophy through the way he teaches this course. When he speaks about philanthrōpia (love of humanity) it reinforced my own leadership and political philosophy because I think that everyone should lead and govern to help the most marginalized. By diving into my own leadership behaviors and those of others, it has helped me determine that type of leader I want to be in the future.–Naheim Banks

Dr. Sandridge is most certainly a leadership trainer. His class interactions and insight sight facilitate understanding and comfort. There was never a lesson in class that I was left confused. There was also never a time I did not know how to take the piece we had just read, seen, or listened to and use it to develop my leadership abilities. Whether it was how to act or a new way to think about something Dr. Sandridge effectively trained the class on how to do both.–Macy Gordon, Major: Environmental Studies, Minor: Political Science, Grad year: 2023

Yes, he exposed us to different forms of leaderships and different types of leaders. I would not have taken it upon myself to learn about these people and what they have done.–Anonymous

Questionnaire Two (Spring 2020)

Students were asked to respond to the questions on this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5R5yWPT0FrQZpHXzPp1wMR3XHZkCmmkPhb4WRGkxT5qnSqA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Leadership Development through Appreciation

What did you believe leadership was before you took this class? How did your understanding of leadership change as a result of this class? How did this class change the way you see your own leadership and the leadership of those around you?

Before the course, I did not view leadership as a constant, iterating process. I viewed leaders as those who were made by a catalytic event which they could not ignore, rather than a process that can begin as early as childhood. After taking the course, I am less likely to be wary of referring to myself as a leader, because it does not mean that I have completely “made it”, but can mean that I am in the process and consciously practice leadership.–Anonymous

I thought leadership was just someone who was in charge, but now I see it as more than just I’m in charge so you have to listen. You are not just responsible for yourself so it is essential to take the voice and the needs of others into consideration.–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)

Before this course, I believed that leadership was simply the act of telling others what to do. As a result of the class, I now understand that leaders tend to the needs of their followers. This class made me realize that I was not the best leader, but I now know how to analyze my leadership and others.–Anonymous

I believed leadership pretty much either came to you or didn’t – either you had an innate ability to lead or you weren’t cut out for it. Based on the definition of leadership we used, my understanding changed and my perspective has shifted to be able to identify leadership in different formats than before.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

Before I took this class, I considered leadership to be the action of guiding and motivating a group of people to achieve a common goal. However, I have grown to realize that while leadership can entail these attributes, it is much more than one person leading another. As a result of this class, I saw leadership present itself in numerous ways which changed my understanding of leadership to reflect that of a mentee/mentor relationship as well as different leadership qualities and behaviours such as acting with outrage positively and much more. I was able to activate my own leadership abilities outside the classroom as well by putting things into perspective for others, speaking up and calling to action. I found myself observing the leadership persons showed around me and even examine those in the media who already held leadership roles and in some way or the other were using their leadership both positively and negatively. This new idea of leadership that I have gained from this class has enabled me to see the importance of more persons discovering that they can be a leader and show leadership in more than one way; big or small.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

By playing basketball I always believed leadership revolved around the person stepping up or the individual who decides to lead by example. In the course I was able to learn how there are so many ways to lead someone. Professor Sandridge provided us with a quote that states “ My child, have you forgotten those things that you and I once engaged in dialogue over, how it was adequate and respectable for a man if he were able to see to it that he become both certifiably respectable and good and that he and his household be self-sufficient? But, though this is a great deed, to know how to provide for other humans [i.e., “to lead”] in such a way that they will have all the necessities in abundance and that they will all be what sort they need to be, this seemed clearly to us at that time to be most admirable” (Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus 1.6.7). This quote provided a deep discussion for our class because it brought up a lot of unanswered questions. This showed us that there isn’t one particular way to lead, it can literally be shown through anything. This course has shown me that I have the ability to lead in so many ways and that the ones around me probably didn’t know how to lead properly as well.–Anonymous

Leadership Development through Behavior

What leadership behaviors do you now perform *better* and *more frequently* as a result of taking this class? Please be specific about the places where you perform these behaviors, e.g., at work, online, within your family, within study groups, other organizations you belong to. To jog your memory, you may refer to this list of behaviors from our course (or you may discuss additional ones): https://scalar.usc.edu/works/ideas-in-antiquity–leadership-in-the-ancient-world-from-telemachus-to-tchalla/index

I can better perform mentorship, specifically seeking mentorship. Nowadays, mentorship is a casual word which is used by many, but this course has reminded me of the guidance and deep effect a mentor may have upon another. So far, I have performed this behavior in work/professional domains.–Anonymous

I try to step up more. Before I wouldn’t offer my help unless no one else wanted to, but know I try to get things done at home before being told. I also, try to step up and make more decisions instead of just going with the flow.–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)

I preform the skill of cultivating self regulation more often at home by making a routine for myself. I now have a consistent sleeping eating schedule, as a result I feel more alert throughout the day.–Anonymous

I offer help more because of this course, whenever possible.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

I believe that leadership behaviours such as using careful, clear and compelling language within my clubs along with encouraging and inspiring others like my peers and children of a younger age group are some of the areas in which my leadership behaviour has improved. I have also found that I exhibit leadership behaviours such as modelling good behaviour even in an online setting such as social media and finding a good mentor and avoiding a bad one within my organization and peer group are ones that I have been performing more frequently.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

Since I am going to be the only senior on my team next year and I am trying to become a better leader overall, I have been modeling good behavior, calling out bad behavior or misunderstanding in others, finding a good mentor (and avoiding a bad one), encouraging and inspiring others, networking, cultivating gratitude, listening to and understanding others, managing your emotional states and responses. No matter what task I take on, I try to apply these and many others. My goal is to grow mentally every day. You may think that some situations where you apply leadership behavior may be small, but always remember that you have to start somewhere and the little things matter.–Anonymous

Leadership Development through Relationships

How did your relationships with members in your organizations improve as a result of this course? What relationships did you initiate or alter as a result of taking this course? Consider specific situations where you were a collaborator, a mentor/mentee, coach, role model, or any other leadership role you may have held.

As a Team “Leader” in one of the organizations I belonged to, I became more aware of the title while taking this course. It became more central to my mission in this role to be effective not only in my explicit duties from an administrative standpoint, but also in creating a culture wherein my members are comfortable and supported; by maintaining a positive image and outlook, leading by example, ensuring the emotional well-being of my Team Members, offering opportunities for development, growth, and shared responsibility, etc.–Anonymous

I believe the relationship with my group paper in my social psychology class benefited from this course. I was able to form relationships with my group members and step up to make sure everything was in order.–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)

My relationship with my niece has altered because I have tried to be more a mentor for her and as a result, our bond is better, and she values my guidance more.–Anonymous

I hadn’t initiated any leadership positions that I hadn’t already undertaken.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

I believe that my relationships within members of my organization has improved after taking this course, specifically in calling out bad behaviour or even speaking publicly about an issue people should care about. With me voicing my opinions and now bringing to light instances that I did not feel were right along with standing up for the introverted persons among my step team, I was able to see a change in everyone’s attitude towards one another and our relationship was actually able to grow and become stronger. Those who never really wanted to speak out actually layed their feelings on the table because of the conversation i initiated and in the end, we were able to become more comfortable with each other, take constructive criticism and really become a team. As a result of this course, I found myself seeking mentorship within the Caribbean Students Association as I had never had a mentor before. However, with this came the opportunity for the roles to be switched where I actually went from being the mentee to the mentor and was guiding my own mentor to sign up for internships and really encouraging her to reach her full potential.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

When it comes to developing and maintaining relationships, this tends to be a complex area for me at times, but I definitely see myself improving. My relationships in all facets of my life have got extremely better due to effective communication. It gives others a sense of connection, support, enjoyment and motivation when you have good experiences and relationships with them. Positive and meaningful relationships require ongoing maintenance as well as a firm foundation to build off of. Communicating effectively with others will definitely be the start of building a solid foundation.–Anonymous

Leadership Development through Decisions

What changes to your “life’s plan” did you make as a result of this course? Consider whether you decided to pursue, start, or leave any of the following organizations: a job, student organization, internship, team, graduate program. Did you alter or reconsider your career choices while taking this course? If so, please explain.

I decided to leave a student organization during the course of this semester because I felt like the work being done was not effective or student-centered. I realized the leadership and mentorship that was being exhibited were negative, as the President had groomed me since my Freshman year to value titles at Howard and “ladder-climbing” over care and passion for student needs.–Anonymous

I am still not sure about my career choice;however, I do know that I want to find a mentor. After being in this course, I recognized the importance of having a mentor. They prepare you for your different positions and your career path.–Lily Essilfie

I wanted to go to medical school before this course, and I am now rethinking what I want to do after Howard. I’ve also been taking initiative by looking into starting an internship in my field.–Anonymous

N/a–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

While taking this course, I would say that my future goals were expanded in terms of me wanting to form a non-profit for global young leaders as well as an immediate goal to create a student organization on campus that would encourage and really foster global leaders as said within the school’s vison statement. Additionally, I actually decided that I would take up mire leadership roles within the school community and signed up to be a resident assistant after taking this course and feeling the need to activate the menos in other students to become leaders in some way as well. I also found myself researching leadership within the media and thinking of ways to link my passion for mathematics to foster leadership in students who either share that same passion or who may even be struggling with the subject.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

There isn’t anything particular in my life plan that was altered but it just made me more of a go getter. Learning the information in this course has helped me gain the courage to take that extra step in areas that I may have had anxiety in. I learned that you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable because change is constant. Professor Sandridge’s class definitely makes you think broader besides the curriculum taught.–Anonymous 

Leadership Development through Reputation

Did you make an effort to be noticed or recognized for your leadership as a result of taking this course? If so, what did you want to be noticed for? Were you successful?

I did not make an effort to be recognized in my work. I do believe that others noticed my drive and passion this semester while completing an internship and becoming more selective about the organizations I am a part of which directly align with my personal and professional goals.–Anonymous

No, I have not.–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)

I made an effort to be noticed in my taking initiative around the house by doing more chores and more often. I was successful in some cases.–Anonymous

Not as a result of taking this course, necessarily.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

I would not say that I directly made an effort to be recognised for leadership as a result of taking this course, but I would say that I have found myself speaking more on the different things I am doing to be a leader during this pandemic like calling and reaching out to others and I have been sharing it on social media. I don’t think I am too successful however because there is not much engagement from my followers or viewers on platforms such as instagram but I do believe that people are seeing and taking notice because some have messaged me to find out more and ask questions.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

Yes I wanted to display that I was working on becoming a better Jayla, so I can lead others effectively. As of now I have always been noticed by leading by example but my goal is to step more out of my shell. Everything is a process but I can definitely say it has been successful.–Anonymous

Leadership Development Practices

Our study of leadership in this course took place (1) in the classroom through lecture and both student and professor-led discussion; (2) in self-study (reading, reflecting, writing in your journal); (3) weekly check-ins with a group of classmates; (4) student-led projects for building a learning community outside of class (your midterm and final); and (5) various organizations that each student belongs to. How did each of these parts of the course contribute to your leadership development?

  1. Lectures are always insightful and reveal details that were overlooked and have deep meaning and connection. Lectures and discussion are also guided by weekly themes which make personal analysis focused—what behavior are they exhibiting and how can I recreate this in my life?
  2. Self-study is often a reprieve from the bustle of life due to the very intriguing texts that are chosen. One of my favorites was the Podcast interview and I would have liked to discuss another. Self-study reminds us that leadership traits are present in many (if not all) works, especially in the latter weeks due to their modern entertainment value and accessibility. Teaches us that these behaviors should be actively looked for, even casually, and that our lessons on leadership do not end when the course ends.
  3. Offers us an opportunity to compare thoughts with and learn from peers; often their ideas for how to model leadership were more accessible to my life and inspired me.
  4. Offers us a chance to practice leadership by designing and administering our own “mini-course”; also learned from “outsider peers” who did not have the whole context that we had been learning in.
  5. Participation in student organizations, class, work, sports, and other activities which are integral to college and campus life charged us to practice leadership in everyday life. Without this component, this class would be woefully theoretical. Dr. S constantly reminded us that we can and should seek ways to bring our studies into the “real-world”.–Anonymous

The classroom discussion helped to understand the reading if it was unclear and also hear other students viewpoints on what stuck out to them. The self-study help me to understand that leadership can be found in books or movies that you wouldn’t really expect. Therefore, I should analyze things more clearly and do not take it at face value. The weekly check-ins and group project helped me to establish relationships and ensure that I was staying on track.–Lily Essilfie (Criminology)

I believe that each of these parts contributed equally to my development as a leader by sways making me aware of what I am doing and what example I am setting.–Anonymous

The classroom setting worked for direction and ideas. Self-study was best for reflection on the past. Weekly check-ins were good for perspective on others’ progress. Student led projects were also quite interesting to hear other perspectives. The organizations I belong to heavily contribute to my leadership development due to conflicting ideas and opinions, different personalities, competition, people management, and goals to be met.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

I believe that the classroom setting contributed to my leadership development because student led discussion gave me a chance to engage and connect with my peers while professor-led discussion helped me connect with the professor from not only a role model point of view but gave a very realistic sense to engaging with leadership while reflecting.I noticed the difference in myself from the first class to the last as I was performing leadership qualities such as cultivating gratitute and concern for others while listening to and understanding others, that were not always my strong point previously. In addition, self-study gave me a chance to truly dive into the different aspect of leadership that were being tackled and helped me not only reflect but solidfy and gain my own understanding when exploring leadership. Student-led projects were also helpful because it was nothing like the classroom as everyone being very relaxed and I was able to realize at the end that we were in fact leaders and mentors \mentees to and with one another in our leadership check-ins. With that, I was also given the chance to lead within a separate community and activate our take on leadership while implementing what I had learnt in the course and that was beneficial because it put my leadership behaviours into play and sometimes challenged me as well. Lastly, I believe my leadership development were heavily evident in the different organizations i was apart of because I saw myself being a leadership coach to those who held leadership roles already , as well as performing my own leadership roles better while becoming more actively involved in the organizations as well by speaking out more often and managing my emotional states and responses.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

Each part of the course has definitely helped me grow. As a class we do so many engaging activities to help us understand the curriculum better. I am so happy that professor Sandridge implemented so many avenues of learning because it made the process extremely engaging and understandable.–Anonymous

Works Studied

In this course we studied the following examples of leadership: (1) Telemachus and Athena in the *Odyssey*; (2) Neoptolemus and Odysseus in Sophocles’ *Philoctetes*; (3) Cyrus in Xenophon’s *Education of Cyrus*; (4) Lysistrata in Aristophanes *Lysistrata*; (5) Plutarch’s *Virtues of Women*; (6) the writings of Ida B. Wells; (7) Jorge Luis Borges’ “El Muerto”; (8) Larry Kramer’s *The Normal Heart*; (9) Hannah Gadsby’s *Nanette*; (10) Disney’s *Moana*; and (11) Ryan Coogler’s *The Black Panther*. Which three(3) of these works contributed most to your leadership development (appreciation, behavior, relationships, decisions, reputation) in this course? Which of these characters, if any, have you consciously tried to emulate?

The most impactful examples of leadership we studied were Ida B. Wells, Ned Weeks of The Normal Heart, and Moana. Lysistrata is a close fourth. I appreciated these examples for their attempts to (and success in) empowering and uniting their people by raising an issue, many of which would rather be kept silent and hidden, and making concerted efforts to resolve the issue with and on behalf of their community rather than on their own. I believe community buy-in is especially important in leadership.–Anonymous

Larry Kramer’s the Normal Heart contributed significantly to my development as a leader. I saw a serious issue running rampant in a community. Not many would choose to speak out but Ned weeks did. Although his approach appeared pushy, it was what the situation required. I see him as a pioneer, a leader, and a activist. He was not afraid to be ostracized because the situation at hand weighed more than any possible backlash.–Lily Essilfie

The *Odyssey*, *Lysistrata*, and *The Black Panther* are the three works that contributed most to my leadership development due to characters doing the right thing and women leaders.–Anonymous

Cyrus, Ida B Wells, and Moana.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

The three works that contributed most to my leadership development would be the Odyssey, The Normal Heart and Moana. I believe that one character I try to emulate the most is Athena because I try my best to put things into perspective for others and encourage and activate their menos so that they are able to achieve their full potential. Mentorship has become so important to me and I would honestly strive to be a mentor for others in any little way. As a result, I reach out to persons and try to create success for them because I believe I would want that same motivation in return.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

I would choose Ida B. Wells, Disney’s *Moana* and Ryan Coogler’s *The Black Panther*. I chose these three because they all displayed determination, courage, ambition as well as the refusal to back down. All of the readings were great but these three definitely stood out to me.–Anonymous

Further Leadership Development

What plans do you have for developing as a leader in the future, including courses you might take or books you might read?

I plan to read more about historical figures, from Alexander the Great to Michelle Obama.–Anonymous

I want to learn more and improve me awareness of issues. Therefore, I want to start reading more books about the history of African and afro descendant people. I want to read more books on former world leaders and get into politics.–Lily Essilfie

I plan on finding a mentor when I get back on campus to help me further develop as a leader.–Anonymous

I am in the process of reading Stacey Abrams’ autobiography and plan to apply for different leadership trainings and programs in my career field.–Rhyan Lake (Political Science)

In terms of developing myself as a leader in the future, I plan to take courses like psychology to understand people better. I do plan on taking another classics course as well as I want to find a way to bridge classics and mathematics together. When I was younger, I was a fan of greek mythology and now after taking this course that helped me dive back into the ancient world, I believe that any books I plan to read in the future will be greek mythology based. I want to also practice my leadership as well so I am also planning on creating a blog to share my experiences with leadership on a social platform. A student organization to somehow raise awareness and foster leaders on the campus who may not have taken this course is also one of my plans for the near future.–Kenthia Roberts (Applied Mathematics)

Everyday I am just trying to grow as a person, so it is definitely a process but regarding books or courses I am not sure yet.–Anonymous

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