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NACCAP Grant Funds Leadership Development Initiative for Women

News Oct. 1, 2015

A $5,000 research grant funded by the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals (NACCAP) has united 28 female higher education professionals and seven undergraduate students from three neighboring peer institutions: Calvin College, Cornerstone University and Kuyper College.

Selected through an application process this past spring, members of LEAD, a women’s leadership development initiative, will gather monthly on the campus of Cornerstone University to dialogue about topics such as experiential leadership, emotional intelligence, vision casting and recommendations for networking within the field of higher education.

The year-long program aims to equip women committed to both professional and personal leadership growth with knowledge of research-based leadership practices and understanding of self. Incorporating and building upon each individual’s leadership aspirations, seminar-style sessions will challenge participants to consider opportunities to implement sustainable change within their respective workplace environments, realizing the support and presence of a growing professional network.

During the initial meeting in September, the schedule featured small group conversation centered on “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg and a presentation from Carolyn Clayton, a long-term higher education professional currently in administration at GVSU, on the value of moving towards a strengths-based perspective of leadership and living. The LEAD Planning Committee will utilize remaining grant funds to host additional local and regional speakers at upcoming meetings and cover resource costs for group participants.

Jennifer Reil, assistant director of admissions at Cornerstone and contributor to the LEAD Planning Committee, noted the importance of recognizing leadership development as an ongoing journey.

“Empowerment is the key to being a great leader, and LEAD aims to help women be empowered for leadership and develop the skills needed to empower others for the same.”

For additional information on NACCAP research grants, visit

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