At the Helm

Martha Asselin, director of the new Center for Leadership and Service. (Photo by Mark Schmidt) 

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 17, 2017) – Learn to lead. Be a leader. Serve through leadership.

That’s the motto of the University’s new Center for Leadership and Service, headed by inaugural director Martha Asselin.

The new center offers leadership development programs to students grounded in the social change model that focuses on individual, group and community leadership. “We look forward to having the center providing co-curricular experiences that complement students’ personal endeavors and academic experiences,” said Asselin.

“I have every confidence that Dr. Asselin will provide the innovative, passionate and visionary leadership required to establish the new Center for Leadership and Service as a central resource for our students’ continued development. I am excited to see the immediate impact the center’s work will have on preparing our students to lead on campus, in our community, and around the world,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Christakis.

One of the first areas of focus for the center’s work will be working with the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership to support the development of the newly approved minor in leadership, which is accepting students for the fall semester. The minor is open to students in any major.

“Our hope is to leverage the resources of the center and the expertise of our faculty across the University to create a signature program that prepares promising leaders of tomorrow,” Asselin said.

Asselin is excited to return to UAlbany, where she earned a master’s degree in 1987 and a doctoral degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies in 2012. In returning to campus, she’ll be once again working with her dissertation chair, Jason E. Lane, who now serves as the Chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership.

“Our Department is thrilled to be working with Dr. Asselin and the new center to provide a cutting-edge leadership development experience that brings together the academic expertise of faculty with the experiential learning being made available via the new center,” said Lane.

Well versed in public higher education and the State University of New York system with over 30 years of leadership experience, Asselin served Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) as acting president for 17 months. Prior to that, she spent many years working in Student Affairs at SCCC, working her way up to vice president.

In addition to providing support for the leadership minor, the center will introduce a non-credit bearing Leadership Certificate program, which will include seminars, hands-on learning, soft skill development and hard skill refinement for the purpose of preparing students for a lifetime of leadership and service.

Working in collaboration with Sheri Stevens, director of the Community and Public Service Program in the School of Social Welfare, the new center will be a clearinghouse for service opportunities. By partnering with offices such as Career and Professional Development and the UAlbany Alumni Association, the center will open connections to alumni and community leaders will become connected to the center.

Asselin plans to introduce a Leadership Speaker Series along with multiple workshops and activities. The center will also house the University’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.

“Ultimately, our goal is to empower UAlbany students to become world-class social change agents,” she said. “The center will cultivate learners for higher orders of thinking, acting, and living.”

For more information about the Center for Leadership and Service, contact Martha Asselin or Beth Conrad through Leadership@albany.edu.

Those interested in the academic minor in leadership should contact the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership at EPL@albany.edu.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.