Student Life: LEADS at Spelman

LEADS, the Spelman Anchor for Leadership

Setting the Example

From the beginning, Kim Davis, C’81, exemplified the leadership model the program would foster. Davis, a JPMorgan Chase executive took a leave of absence to work with Pamela Carlton, an independent consultant in leadership development. Davis and Carlton were the center’s first co-directors.  They began what is now the anchor program of LEADS, the annual Women of Color Conference, which showcases Spelman’s interest in having a leadership voice for all women.

“They hit the ground running through their networks in bringing leadership development opportunities to Spelman,” said Dr. Smith, who took the helm in 2004.

LEADS help students develop the skills needed to become authentic, ethical leaders both nationally and globally through its leadership-specific programs. The co-curricular programs, meaning there are no academic credits for students’ participation, have involved more than 700 students since LEADS’ inception.

A Focus on Service

Through the Bonner Office of Community Service and Student Development programs, the center focuses on service.  In addition, LEADS hosts a variety of public programs designed to bring together dynamic leaders from around the world to share experiences and discuss issues critical to leadership roles.  There is also a research component to the center that includes Spelman’s Independent Scholars.    

In addition, LEADS fully embraces Spelman’s global mission. “We try to integrate a global perspective into all that we do,” said Dr. Smith. “Whether it’s bringing in leaders of global brands or taking students abroad for global experiences, we are intentional about exposing our students to 21st century leadership models.”

Spelman College Leadership and Women of Color Conference Highlights