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Institute for students help to develop leadership skills

The Leadership Institute specializes in helping students become successful and feel confident in their own abilities to lead teams, including managing projects and sharpening public speaking skills. 

The main purpose of the Leadership Institute is to build on the leadership resources at TWU by providing a program that “focuses on a transformative experience for students who wish to receive creative and responsive leadership preparation.”  The Leadership Institute offers a variety of interactive and engaging opportunities for student leadership development including speakers/mentors series, seminars, service opportunities and leadership conferences.

There are many opportunities available through the Leadership Institute such as supporting local and national projects, seminars and charities. This organization has a wide range of partnerships that help provide students with exclusive scholarships to allow them to attend the mentioned opportunities. The institute pairs with the American Association of University Women Denton Chapter, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Doswell Foundation, TWU Alumni Association, Institute for Women’s Health, International Leadership Association and Leadershape. By going through the Leadership Institute, you can attend the Leadershape Conference and possibly receive the Leadership Certificate. 

The Leadership Institute has both student leaders and staff leaders. Executive Director of the Leadership Institute Major General (Ret.) Mary Saunders has an extensive leadership record: TWU Distinguished Alumni in 1998, TWU Woman of Distinction in 2000 and the Texas Woman’s Hall of Fame induction class of 2012. Associate Director Judy Elias has 25 years of experience in university management positions, including student life and programming and implementation. 

There are currently 45 student members in the Leadership Institute, ranging from the spring class of 2017 to the spring class of 2020. Every member has a unique background and different majors ranging from Nursing to English to Political Science. 

If a student does become part of the Leadership Institute, they have the opportunity to join Omicron Delta Kappa, which is a national leadership honor society. To be considered for O△K, a student must be a junior or senior, a TWU Leadership Institute member, ranked in the top 35 percent of students and must demonstrate leadership skills. 

In the Leadership Institute website, accessed through the TWU main website, you can find information about how to become a member. A student must be an undergraduate at TWU and have 30 credit hours, a GPA of 3.0 and leadership experience. These applications are available through September for the fall semester and January for the spring semester when recruitment takes place. 

If a student meets the requirements, they can send a completed Leadership Institute Membership Application, resume, letter of recommendation, current transcript and personal statement of their leadership philosophy to Stoddard Hall Room 103 or email to Judy Elias at


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