The Leadership area provides students the theoretical foundations and practical skills to develop into effective leaders. Leadership students will:

  • Develop a set of authentic leadership skills and tools through practice
  • Practice team leadership through active group participation
  • Describe how ethics, morals, and values relate to cross-boundary leadership challenges 
  • Practice public speaking and networking
  • Share stories of personal ambitions, experiences, insights, and challenges
  • Practice curiosity, interpersonal openness, and reflection
  • Find your leadership purpose, lead effectively, and take a turn towards a more meaningful life
  • Learn how to inspire and empower others to become visionary leaders, doers, and thinkers

Introductory Seminar (Fall)

HON 321 - Exploring Leadership

This course provides basic concepts of leadership and the essential skills required to become an effective leader. The course includes the study of leadership as well as the application of leadership theories, concepts, and skills. The student will be provided the opportunity for personal development through exercises in communication and leadership effectiveness. Objectives of the course are to understand leadership, know your own style and have a plan for developing your leadership. This course will examine what we know about the leadership practices that lead to effective team and organizational performance.


Experiential Seminar (Spring)

Experiential seminar offerings may vary from year to year. The following are examples of seminars that have previously been offered to students in the Leadership area. 

Leadership in Practice
AREA(S): Leadership

This seminar will ask students in the leadership area to continue their leadership development through reflective practice. Each student is required to be engaged throughout the semester in an approved leadership role or activity. Students will work individually, with one another, and with the seminar instructors through readings, reflective writings, and regular meetings. This leadership experience will build off of the previous semester’s study of leadership and help students to develop new leadership skills.

American Women at War
AREA(S): Leadership; Global Studies

This course invites students to engage a series of issues about the role of women in the United States military. This course will examine the contributions and experiences of women who have served during times of war to include the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War(s). Also included in the scope of this course is an examination of how women in military service, both past and present, are an instrument for societal change in America, specifically in promoting the cause of women's rights. Students will study an extensive collection of primary and secondary sources, as well as have an opportunity to hear firsthand from women veteran speakers. A visit to the American Women's Military Memorial at Arlington Cemetery is also on the agenda.

Global Challenges and the Future of Work in the 21st Century: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years
AREA(S): Creativity; Global Studies; Leadership; Research; Service

In this presidential election cycle, candidates extol the virtues of education, economic growth, and job creation as keys to the future. But what does a quality education look like in the twenty-first century? Where can we squeeze out additional profits amid calls for sustainable environmental practices? What will the jobs of the future look like? Are we prepared for the next global or international economy? Emerson once wrote: “Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.” Is this all the reassurance we need?

In this class you will engage in self-directed study of the future of work, the future of education, and the future global economy. We will study the past, present, and future of great global challenges; the importance of service, civic engagement and leadership; and the need for creativity in making a difference in the world.

Creativity, Collaboration, Communications, and Problem Solving in Multidisciplinary Teams
AREA(S): Creativity; Leadership; Service

Creativity, collaboration, and communication across disciplines are the building blocks of multidisciplinary innovation. Students in this class will learn techniques and skills necessary to work in multidisciplinary teams. Through team-based experiences and exercises, students will develop their skills and advance their abilities to solve diverse time and material constrained problems. Students will learn elements of creative problem solving through exercises in team building, group presentation and creative expression, and design process. Students will practice concepts of team communications and the mechanisms of creative processes as applied to problem solving in multidisciplinary teams. In-class exercises designed to challenge students across a wide range of areas including technical, mechanical, structural architectural design, theatrical, literary and fine arts, scientific exploration and improvisation provide a framework for both faculty-led and peer-based instruction.

Reimagining Honors: Empowering Learners & Leaders in the 21st Century
AREA(S): Creativity; Leadership; Service

The Honors movement in America is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. What will Honors look like over the next fifty years? This class will investigate the past, present, and future of Honors education nationally and at JMU. Students will work in project groups that will provide opportunities to further develop their Creativity, Leadership, and Service skills. They will investigate the theories and models that provide a foundation for Honors. They will study how Honors is conceptualized and realized on other campuses and at JMU. This is an experiential course. Students can expect to work on projects that go beyond the boundaries of the classroom and engage in field trips and/or site visits.

Global Citizenship in a Service-Learning Context
AREA(S): Creativity; Global Studies; Leadership; Research; Service

This course focuses on the concept of “global citizenship” in the context of an international service-learning trip.  Students will travel to the Dominican Republic (DR) and engage in an intensive service-learning project over spring break.  The course seeks to address definitions and issues of global citizenship, development and service, using the service-learning experience as an aid to learning within the course.  Students will also experience/learn about contemporary social, political, cultural and economic conditions within the DR, through service learning, structured outings, cultural events, guest speakers, coursework and course readings and assignments.  Ongoing structured reflection will provide a way for all participants to discover, articulate, integrate and act on what they learn from their experiences.  Students will work with both American and Dominican professionals.

James Madison University Undergraduate Research Journal
AREA(S): Creativity; Global Studies; Leadership; Research; Service

Students collaborate to publish the online undergraduate research journal JMURJ. Students taking the course serve as editorial board members, who act in a number of capacities: outreach, acquisitions, and marketing; editing in all its forms, from comprehensive editing to copyediting and proofreading; and publication and design. Editorial board members gain experience in defining and publishing a growing university-wide academic research journal; collaborating with a diverse group of enthusiastic, skilled editorial board members; and working with people and texts from various fields.

Back to Top