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SDS Student Employees Attend LeaderShape Institute

Seed Spotlight29 January 2020—In January 2020, two Department of Statistics and Data Science student employees, Kevin Nguyen (he/him) and Nova Rose Brown (they/them), attended the LeaderShape Institute, a  6-day program that covered self-discovery, skills that are applicable to not only the workplace but in personal life, and communication skills.

Hosted by the Cockrell School of Engineering, the LeaderShape Institute is a non-profit organization that provides a six-day, leadership program of dialogue and self-discovery in a supportive learning community open to all UT Austin students. Their mission statement states goals of transforming the world by increasing the number of people who lead with integrity and a healthy disregard for the impossible. Since its first institute in 1997, over 1,800 UT Austin students have participated in the interactive week-long program, gaining valuable skills and training in leading with integrity, the mission of LeaderShape.

Kevin Nguyen describes his experience:

“When I first heard about LeaderShape Institute through Dr. Kristin Harvey, I was hesitant at first as I realized the program was in the School of Engineering. I did not know what to expect nor had expected the many benefits and memories that came from the camp. As a psychology pre-med student, I was surprised with meeting so many diverse students from UT ranging from business to engineering. I felt completely outed at first as I could not relate to any of the engineering majors. At the camp, students were separated into teams and further into families where we were all able to share our thoughts and perspectives on certain controversial topics and demonstrate leadership with integrity and honesty. We were to participate in all activities and facilitate our own discussions within our family and miscellaneous activities based on a schedule set for each of us every day. But, as the camp progressed and we completed our daily agenda tasks, I was delighted to make new friends and connections everywhere in the camp. What started out as small-talk during the few days turned into friendships, and I highly recommend that anyone should attend the camp. Do not be discouraged to apply even if you are not an engineering major, and I highly recommend that you are prepared to be yourself always during the camp! The community in the camp all had unique personalities, and you are a part of that community as well.”

Nova Rose Brown describes their experience:

"The LeaderShape Institute’s 6-day intensive program taught me so much, both about myself and about being an effective person who leads with integrity. I feel loved by the amazing community that was cultivated during the camp, and I am so grateful for the gender and disability inclusion that I experienced while there! This is the first time since coming to UT that I feel truly a part of a Longhorn community; I am so proud of each and every one of the participants that I fostered bonds with at the institute. After attending this program, I feel so much more confident in my ability to speak and feel heard in front of a group of people, and I am excited to continue to grow my skills. I also feel incredibly motivated to take on social and institutional movements as LeaderShape helped show me that I have important things to say to the world. Thank you to Kristin Harvey and the Statistics and Data Sciences department for making me aware of this opportunity and to Alyson Bodner and Susan Higginbotham for putting together the amazing UT chapter of the Institute. My message to everyone reading this: fill your days with community, love, and happiness and please put your pronouns in your email signature (and disclose them when you introduce yourself)!”

For more information about the LeaderShape Institute, click here
For more information about the SEED program, click here


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