Leadership Development

Leadership Development

Expand Your Leadership Skills

The Leadership Development Program provides opportunities for students to expand their leadership skills and sense of civic responsibility. Our programs, like the LEAD Team, enhance the Canisius experience by preparing students for lifelong leadership roles.


  • Place the Jesuit principles of Canisius College into the context of lifelong leadership.
  • Offer a variety of training programs that enhance leadership skills.
  • Provide a varied program that responds to the diverse needs of all participants.
  • Assist students in developing their own personal leadership style.
  • Engage students in reflective discussion/exercises about their own leadership experiences in regards to their values, morals, ethics, and beliefs.
  • Train students to facilitate leadership development programs for their peers.
  • Facilitate interaction between student leaders and community members to foster the concept of leadership as service beyond self.
  • Explore the Social Change model as a foundation of leadership development.
  • Empower students to become advocates for and agents of change.

Programs & Activities

Sponsored by Leadership Development

Canisius Leadership Institute

The Canisius Leadership Institute (CLI) is a comprehensive leadership development program based on the Social Change Model of leadership development. Through a multifaceted approach to learning leadership, students within the institute will hone and perfect various leadership skills and attributes.

For the purposes of the CLI and the entire Canisius College Leadership Development office, the definition of leadership is: Leadership is the relational and ethical process of developing a vision, articulating that vision, empowering people to actively pursue that vision with confidence and integrity, and inspiring them to become advocates for an agents of change.

The CLI is comprised of four certification levels:
  • Emerging Leaders -these are students who are just beginning their leadership experience. These leaders are new to role of leadership, and are prone to make the most mistakes. Some good skills for this level would be time management, organization...etc.
  • Established Leaders - these students have gone through one or two leadership roles. They have made their initial mistakes, and hopefully learned from them. They are now beginning to think globally about their leadership positions, focusing on not only their organization but the campus community as well.
  • Experienced Leaders - these are students who are veteran leaders, and are beginning to think about sharing their experiences with potential leaders. These students begin to reflect on their leadership experiences, and evaluate themselves as effective leaders.
  • Capstone Leaders - This is the highest level of leadership. These leaders have truly evaluated who they are as leaders, and have grown into effective role models for up and coming leaders. They think globally about not only the campus community, but the surrounding community as well. These leaders begin to evaluate how they will fit in the world, and start to create their visions of change.
Empire Creativity Competition

The Empire Creativity Competition presents teams of students with an opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges and a chance to win cash prizes. Ideas may be at any stage of development from creation of concepts or ideas to an established business. The 2007 Canisius College team team competed against 120 teams nationally to place in the final 10.

The Empire Creativity Competition is sponsored by the Canisius Entrepreneurs Organization (CEO), the office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development, the Entrepreneurship Major in the Department of Management and Marketing, and the Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

Leadership Retreat

Learn to lead and inspire others at the Student Leadership Retreat.  Topics explored include ethics, beliefs and values, personal leadership philosophies, and spirituality.  All Canisius College undergraduate students are encouraged to participate in this enlightening retreat experience.

Leadership Series

The Leadership Series offers student leaders and the Canisius community a unique opportunity to learn leadership lessons and gain inspiration through proven leaders in our society as well as those with an important message.  Funding for the Leadership Series comes from the William H. Fitzpatrick Institute of Public Affairs and Leadership.

Student Leadership Conference

This annual student leadership conference is designed to introduce Canisius students to the different aspects of leadership while allowing current student leaders the chance to hone their leadership skills. This conference is open to ALL Canisius students. All student organizations are required to send at least two Executive Board members to this conference.


LEAD Team (Leaders Educating and Developing) facilitators work closely with Campus Programming & Leadership Development (CPLD) to assist in the development, coordination, promotion, and implementation of workshops designed to promote leadership skills and ideals. LEAD Team members are trained to serve as facilitators of team-building exercises and leadership development workshops. All members plan, present, and evaluate leadership workshops for their peers.

Leadership Awards Banquet

The Leadership Awards Banquet began in 2002 as a way for Canisius to honor and recognize the many outstanding student leaders at Canisius College. This banquet provides an opportunity for students from various leadership positions throughout the campus to come together to celebrate each other’s outstanding leadership abilities and allows for the visualization of the institution’s mission and reminds attendees that Canisius College truly is a place where leaders are made.

Leadership Library

Want some insight on how to become a better leader? Then check out the Leadership Library located in the Office of Campus Programming and Leadership Development. The Leadership Library is a comprehensive collection of books, articles, videos, toys, and more all available to Canisius College students to check out and use!

GLBTQ Resource Library

The GLBTQ resource library is to provide material to the community to help promote education, understanding, and a safe positive environment for all individuals at Canisius College. This library includes a variety of books, DVDs, and other informational materials that are available to students, faculty, and staff to educate themselves about issues faced by many people in the GLBTQ community. The Canisius community can find information regarding coming out, religion and spirituality, homophobia, and several other topics. The resource library is just one of the many services offered to students who are GLBTQ and their allies and can be located in the Office of Campus Programming and Leadership Development.

High School Leadership Workshop

The High School Leadership Workshop takes place annually during the summer months.  Workshop sessions enlist student’s active participation rather than lecturing or one-sided presentations.  The agenda for the day includes individual and group exercises that focus on the skills necessary for problem solving, communication skill building, strategies of motivation, and goal setting techniques.  This program is open to high school students from Western New York who are nominated to attend by their Guidance Counselor.

For information on any of the programs listed above, please contact the office of Campus Programming & Leadership Development at 716-888-2190, email us at,  or stop in to see us in the tunnel level of the Richard E. Winter ’42 Student Center, room 003.