Emerging Leaders Program:
A Suite of Leadership Development Workshops

Students must attend two mandatory workshops and three optional workshops to complete the Emerging Leaders Workshop Suite.

The Emerging Leaders Program is a suite of workshops that help students develop their leadership. These workshops are 55-minutes long and cover a variety of topics. Our workshops are student-facilitated by members of the ACCE Team, a group of McGill student volunteers that help their peers develop their leadership and get involved on campus or in the community. Scheduling information is included below in the drop-down menu of each workshop description.

Students who fulfil the requirements of the Emerging Leaders Program receive a Certificate of Completion for their involvement. To earn this Certificate, students need to attend the two mandatory workshops: Exploring Leadership and Citizenship & Culture. In addition to attending these two workshops, students choose three additional workshop topics from the other six workshops offered. These workshops include Ethics, Power, Motivation, Communication, Being a change agent, and Conflict management. More information and workshop descriptions are listed below.

The Emerging Leaders workshops are offered twice a year, in September and January. Scheduling information is included below in the drop-down menu of each workshop description. All workshops are offered in the Brown Student Services Building, 3600 Rue McTavish. Registration for the workshops opens at the beginning of each semester.  If you would like to be notified when registration is open for the January 2019 workshops, please click here and leave us your contact info!

Students who have participated or who are currently involved in the Emerging Leaders Program can track their progress online. Sign into MyInvolvement and check your Co-Curricular Record to check how much of the program you have completed. 

If you have any questions, you can contact us at [at] (subject: Emerging%20Leaders%20Program)

Exploring Leadership

In this session, students explore the definition of leadership and consider important aspects of leadership. Different models and theories are also considered, and students begin to develop their personal philosophy of leadership.

Citizenship & Culture

This session challenges students to relate leadership to citizenship, and to consider how these ideas could be practiced while at university. Then, leadership and citizenship are both related to culture to help students appreciate the importance of context. Finally, the session concludes with a reflection piece so students self-analyze and determine how they can develop their leadership.


To analyze and discover how ethics and leadership intertwine, students in this workshop will examine different ethical standards and be challenged to apply those standards to a classic ethical dilemma. By critically reflecting upon their own beliefs and those of their peers, students will actively engage in debate on making moral decisions. The session concludes by exploring the application of ethics to leadership. 


This workshop helps students explore positional power and social influence, particularly as it relates to their individual identities. It encourages students to critically reflect on the power they may have and how to leverage it in everyday situations. The workshop also examines power struggles and encourages students to link power to everyday leadership. 


Opening with an energizing activity, this workshop will challenge students to examine their perceptions and definitions of motivation. Common themes will be explored as students discuss and discover how to find inspiration in daily life. The workshop concludes with an overview of techniques for cultivating motivation and a consideration of students’ individual needs in regards to motivation. 


In this session, students learn about effective methods for communication and challenge themselves to consider potential obstacles when communicating cross-culturally. Students will leave this session with a toolkit of useful communication strategies, including methods for active listening.

Being A Change Agent

Students participating in this workshop will begin by playing a game to explore themes related to individual influence, personal interpretations, communication, and change. The workshop will also help students consider the impact people have to inspire other and how they, as individuals, can harness the power of their passions to influence positive change in their communities.

Conflict Management

Through this highly interactive workshop, students will work across potential disputes to balance their positionality and needs with the potentially conflicting desires of others. Students will further learn about conflict management styles by reflecting both individually and with peers so they can better understand themselves and how they can collaborate more effectively with other people. 


Listed below are additional resources to help you learn more about the topics covered in our workshops. 

Exploring Leadership

While there are numerous approaches and definitions of leadership, in our workshop we explore four main theories: authentic leadership, servant leadership, transformational leadership, and the Social Change Model. To read more about each, click on the links below.

The workshop also features the First Follower video, which teaches values lessons about leadership and challenges traditional social understandings of who are leaders. Click here to watch First Follower: Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy on YouTube.

To learn more about leadership, we encourage you to check out Leadership for the Twenty-First Century (Rost, 1991). We have adopted Rost's definition of leadership in programming; "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes" (Rost, 1991). Leadership includes four essential elements: 

  • Leadership is a relationship based on influence
  • Leaders and followers are the people included in the relationship
  • Leaders and followers intend real changes
  • Leaders and followers develop mutual purposes


Here are some other resources on leadership that we recommend checking out: 

  • Astin, A.W., & Astin, H.S. (2000). Leadership reconsidered: Engaging higher education in social change. Battle Creek, MI: W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

  • Komives, S. R., Dugan, J. P., Owen, J. E., Slack, C., & Wagner, W. (2011). The handbook for student leadership development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

  • Northouse, P. G. (2015). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

  • Video series on leadership from The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Citizenship & Culture

Leadership that occurs in a wide range of environment requires the knowledge and understanding of context, which includes intercultural awareness and civic engagement. Leadership, taking place in our increasingly connected, diverse, and global societies necessitates a recognition of differences in cultures, identities, and experiences. Citizenship and culture, therefore, are critically linked with leadership in today’s 21st world.

According to Astin and Astin (2000) leadership and citizenship are not only connected, but they are also central components of the educational experience of university students who intend to inspire positive change in society. Included in the definition of citizenship is engagement. Especially in democratic society, citizenship emphasizes civic responsibility and involvement in political affairs, such as voting and advocating for important issues. Social justice is an important part of civic engagement and citizenship; members of society must constantly assess and critically examine governmental practices to determine if systems, practices, rights, etc. are just and fair for everyone in the country. Social justice work demands that citizens take an active role in advocating for the rights of fellow citizens to ensure not only equality, but equity. Thus, rather than being a static position, citizenship is the active process of analyzing and engaging in civic discourses to examine political practices and take action toward positive, meaningful, and transformational change.  

The idea of citizenship encourages students to actualize their experiences in multiple contexts and situations; understand the connections between people, processes, and systems in order to collaborate and act with purpose, courtesy, and intention. Citizenship begs for active reflection on experiences and opportunities, application of acquired knowledge in service to others and effective problem-solving skills when dealing with issues within groups, communities, and society.

Consider these resources for more information:



Ethics is the system of moral principles that guide decision-making and actions. Ethics may differ according to culture, society, and/or community. 

In this workshop, we consider the famous ethical thought experiment called "The Trolley Problem", including a few twists on the original. Using A Framework for Ethical Decision Making from Santa Clara University, we examine five different ethical perspectives that might alter how one conceptualizes an ethical dilemma. 

We also recommend reading about Ethical Leadership to learn more about how ethics and leadership intersect, and how one can develop their ethical leadership. 



Power refers to the social influence and impact someone has over other people. As such, this idea includes responsibility, accountability, and social justice themes. Not everyone who has power acts ethically, so people in positions of power might take advantage or, or abuse, their ability to influence. 

Considering power from a social justice perspective, it is important to understand that each person comes from a position in society that influences their power and ability to achieve their goals. Here is an activity we recommend using to explore social privilege. 

Privilege and power also depend on an individual's social identity. To explore social identities, we suggest using the Social Identity Wheel activity from Arizona State University. Here are the facilitator guide and handout: 



What motivates you? This is a timeless question that many people encounter in interviews as well as in their personal life. Not always easy to answer, it's an important thought that each leader should explore to determine how and why they do what they do. 

To learn how great leaders inspire action, we recommend watching this famous TED Talk by Simon Sinek.

Weiner's Model of Attributions explains that achievement-related events include three main elements: 

  • Locus: whether the cause of the event is perceived as internal or external to the individual 
  • Stability: whether the cause is stable or unstable across time and situations 
  • Controllability: whether the cause of the event is perceived as being under the control of the individual

Depending on how an individual attributions success (or failure) to an event impacts their motivation. For example, if someone feels like they have more control over an outcome, they are likely to be more motivated to engage with the situation since they believe they can positively influence the outcome. In contrast, if an outcome feels less stable to someone, they are more likely to avoid the situation because they believe their impact will not matter as much. You can read more about this model here: PDF icon Weiner's Model of Attributions (1980)



Communication refers to the act or process of exchanging verbal and non-verbal messages. Effective communication is key to successful leadership. Effective leaders employ useful communication skills to motivate others, take charge of difficult situations, handle conflict, and ensure that team goals are accomplished.

To achieve effective communication, we recommend two models of communication: The Shannon-Weaver Sender-Receiver model and the Barnlund Transactional Model. These models help portray certain relevant facts about communication:

  • There is always a sender and receiver in communication.
  • Communication is a continuous process, in which we are simultaneously senders and receivers.
  • Depending on the situation, one can implement different forms of communication to effectively transmit a message.
  • There are distractors, such as noise, that may distort the intended message(s).
  • Communication also happens unconsciously.

Effective communication also includes active listening. More than simply listening to the words people say, active listening involves understanding the feelings and the attitudes behind the words, and also calls for the receiver to be engaged and attentive, rather than passive and uninterested. Leadership, which relies on developing and maintaining relationships, requires knowledge and experience with active listening and investing in communication, collaboration with other people.

While the concept of listening comes with many challenges, active listening is a useful approach, central to quality leadership. Some leadership theories, such as servant leadership and transformational leadership, describe a leader who seeks to earn respect and trust from their followers by developing relationships though shared dialogue. Efficient dialogue can only be achieved through effective communication and active listening.

To learn more about communication, we encourage you to consult the following resources: 


Being a change agent

Being to a change agent is how an individual is able to impact change in their communities. Similar to power, being a change agent depends on a variety of factors, including social identity. Role models are common examples of change agents since people often look to them for guidance and direction. 

We encourage you to read this article from Forbes, which explains why every leader must be a change agent.


Conflict management

Conflict management is about recognizing what multiple parties are looking for and what obstacles impede more collaborative, cooperative relations. As such, effectively managing conflict often comes with good negotiation skills as well as the ability to communicate (and listen!) intentionally. 

To practice negotiation skills, we encourage using this activity from MIT

Each person has their own approach to addressing conflict. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Instrument (TKI) is a questionnaire that helps individuals identify their personal style to conflict management. According to TKI, there are five management styles: 

  • Competing 
  • Collaborating
  • Compromising 
  • Avoiding
  • Accommodating 


Workshop Facilitators

Emerging Leaders Workshops are facilitated by ACCE team members. They are graduate and undergraduate students who have attended the Emerging Leaders Workshops, achieved their certificates, and have been trained for facilitation.

Facilitator Bios

Amogh K

Amogh is a second-year undergraduate student pursuing Electrical Engineering at McGill. Originating from a remote village in South India, Amogh knows the value of service. After growing crops in his village and rationing it to the poor, promoting education and basic rights, he became passionate about sustainability, technology, human rights, education and most importantly, leadership. Apart from serving his own community, he organized a campaign for hair donation to benefit children suffering from cancer. In 2016, Amogh worked for an NGO to provide books for the uneducated orphans in Kenya. He strongly believes that leadership is not a position or title, but an example and an action.


Anna H

Anna is a third-year undergraduate majoring in International Development and double minoring in Communications and Philosophy at McGill University. Being an international student all her life, she understands the importance of developing connections and taking on the role of a leader to develop professional relationships. Since she is part of many McGill affiliated organizations, she has created connections within and outside of the university. She hopes to incorporate all her knowledge and passion for developing relationships in her role as a facilitator in the ACCE team and assist students in learning how to improve their futures.       


 Anushka G

Anushka is a first-year undergraduate double-majoring in Industrial Relations and International Development. Originally from India but growing up in Burundi, different cultures have been a big part of her life. As a new member of the ACCE team she hopes to improve people’s communication skills as she believes that a misunderstanding is the biggest distance between two people which can be easily resolved with a good conversation and also their leadership skills because often people with great potential are afraid of making the first step towards a new destination just because no one has made it before them. She joined the ACCE team as she believes that teaching is the best way to learn and gain knowledge. In her spare time, Anushka enjoys walking around Montreal, finding cute cafes, reading mystery novels and turning down mansplaining sessions.    


Asterix H

Asterix is a third-year student studying Economic and Political Science. He is involved with the ACCE team and hopes to strengthen student’s participation on campus. Currently, he is part of the McGill Economics Student Association. Asterix is skilled and interested in analysis, planning and policy evaluations. He is passionate about world issues and youth affairs. Most importantly, he takes great pride in striving to create a better relationship between youth and the government. He hopes to contribute positively to Kenya's growth and the empowerment of all people regardless of their status.

Cathy J

Cathy is a second-year student in Education and Secondary Math. She strongly believes that there are always opportunities to learn and gain knowledge, even at a retired age. As an aspiring teacher, she loves to help others (whether people need advice or not), which is why she joined the ACCE team. She is excited to lead workshops that develop communication, leadership, and many other important skills! Besides that, Cathy loves to cook, exercise, journal, and drink lots of water.       


Daylily L

Daylily L is a third-year undergraduate student in Human Nutrition, majoring in Dietetics. As a member of the ACCE team, she has helped facilitate multiple leadership workshops on both of McGill University’s campuses (Downtown and Macdonald) for the past two years. She hopes that her efforts can help students gain confidence in their own leadership skills and get involved in the student community. In her part time, Daylily also assists at several self-developmental workshops for graduate students. As a future professional in the public health sector, besides her expertise, Daylily wishes to help people discover themselves in both their personal and professional lives and improve the connection they have to their community. Out of school, Daylily is also a fashion model who likes sharing a positive image of life and beauty with people.           


Ekale G

Gilbert Ekale is a second-year undergraduate student studying Bachelor of Commerce at McGill University. Ekale is currently involved with McGill Campus Life and Engagement as an Ambassador For Campus & Community Engagement (ACCE TEAM). Ekale is passionate and interested in topics related to Finance, Economic empowerment and Social Change. In 2014, Ekale with other elites in his community initiated a Community Based Organization Called APEI whose purpose was to support underprivileged pastoralist kids in northern Kenya to pursue secondary education. Ekale believes in education and economic empowerment as a key factor for social change in a fast changing world.

Harmata A

Harmata A is a second-year undergraduate student studying Sociology and African Studies at McGill, with a previous degree in Health Sciences. She works with Campus Life and Engagement and will begin her first year as an ACCE Team member. As an aspiring professor, Harmata values education, leadership, self-improvement and helping others. She looks forward to developing workshops, helping students acquire meaningful skills, as well as encouraging their involvement in the community and on campus! Besides all that, she enjoys volunteering as a speaker at (National mental health organization), tutoring high school students, writing books and performing spoken word poetry.

Janice  T

Janice is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Nutritional Science with a minor in Biotechnology.  She has been involved with Campus Life and Engagement as a member of the ACCE team since her first year. She is actively promoting leadership and campus engagement throughout both campuses (Downtown and Macdonald).  She is responsible for facilitating the Leadership Development Program throughout various sessions of Freshmen Seminar class in Macdonlad Campus. She hopes to inspire freshman students to get involved in their community and on campus, and also guide them adapt to university life in Montreal by giving out various workshops.  She believes that having leadership skills means acquiring different skills and qualities, such as communication, cultural awareness, conflict management. Besides that, she is also an exec of McGill Students’ Culinary Club and McGill Students’ Astronomy Club!       


Jingling (Jillinna) M

Jillinna is a first-year undergraduate student studying Pharmacology and Therapeutics at McGill University. She is involved with Campus Life and Engagement as a member of the ACCE team. She is passionate about helping students develop leadership skills and enhance their involvement in group work. Besides that, Jillinna is also interested in animal health and diseases and strives to protect “big cats” in danger. She is humorous and likes to try all kinds of sports. Also, Jillinna is a volunteer in the St-Margaret Health Center right now for the weekly recreation activities.     


Merve Y

Merve Y is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Honours Anatomy and Cell Biology at McGill. She has been involved with Campus Life and Engagement and the ACCE team since her first year at McGill. As a participant, volunteer and workshop facilitator, Merve hopes to help students strengthen their confidence and leadership skills and to take full advantage of all the opportunities that McGill has to offer. Outside of the world of academia, service and leadership play an integral role in Merve’s life where most of her days are spent with those in need, from walking dogs, tutoring elementary and undergraduate students, or volunteering part-time at the hospital.     


Mi L

Mi is a PhD student who studies groundwater in Natural Resource Sciences Department.  She is a member of ACCE team in which she facilitates multiple leadership workshops and helps to promote involvement and foster community at McGill. She is also a student skills assistant in Teaching and Learning Services, where she develops pedagogical material and facilitates graduate students’ reflections on the meaning of science.

Michelle G

Michelle G studies Pharmacology with a minor concentration in Economics in her fourth year, she will graduate in June 2019. Michelle has been very involved on the campus since her first year. She currently holds an executive position in the Science Undergraduate Society and has great knowledge of how to get involved on campus. She’s been with ACCE team since her second year and she enjoys every workshop she gives! She truly believes that everyone has leadership potential, and through ACCE, she hopes to inspire more people to understand and execute leadership in both their personal and professional life.

Mithura S

Mithura is in her final year in the program Secondary Education Science & Tech. She has been a member of the ACCE Team and volunteered with Campus Life and Engagement throughout her time at McGill. The experience helped her gain and build upon essential leadership skills which she believes can be useful in both her life and career. She also has experienced working as an ACCE Team Leader, where she was involved in the training process for the new members as well as planning and organizing the recruitment. Outside of McGill, she has been working at various schools and spreading her passion for science through her volunteer work. As a future educator, she believes it is important to have leadership imbedded in her teaching.

Moneri A

Moneri is a second-year undergraduate student in the faculty of Arts, majoring in Sociology and double minoring in Psychology and Political Science. She is involved with Campus Life and Engagement as a member of the ACCE Team. Moneri aspires to teach others and learn from them, and hopes that she can be of help to other students with promoting meaningful skills such as leadership. She hopes that by being a member of the ACCE team, she can encourage others to take initiative and take advantage of the resources available. Moreover, outside of University she likes to travel and learn about different cultures from all over the world. She also likes to learn new languages in her free time. 


Naisha S

Naisha is a second-year undergraduate student currently pursuing a double major in Economics and Computer Science. She’s excited to be a part of the ACCE team and develop on the soft skills she acquired while being a prefect in her secondary school. She currently holds executive positions in SOS McGill and The Borderless World Journal and intends to extend her leadership qualities by being an ACCE workshop facilitator. Having financed in local school projects in Sri Lanka and working with the disabled at Tender Hearts Area Dubai, she understands the meaning of being a responsible leader and educator. She would love to reach out to a wide range of people with different personalities and areas of interest. As a feminist, Naisha also brings her positivity to establish her passion towards gender equality, ethics, women empowerment, education, sustainability and leadership to translate her vision into reality.       


Ndey Yassin C

Ndey Yassin is a second-year undergraduate student in the Faculty of Science, pursuing a major in Physiology. As a student leader and volunteer, Yassin finds joy in writing inspirational quotes, photography and spending time in anything that inspires her and others such as mentoring friends/peers. Yassin is a McGill MasterCard Foundation scholar, an ACCE team facilitator and a Girls For The Future ambassador (The Gambia). She believes so much in the impact she can make with her inspirational messages. Nothing motivates her more than inspiring and helping others to grow. A former radio presenter and student affairs advocate in The Gambia, Yassin aspires to be a Medical Doctor, motivational speaker/writer and a personal development coach. Her top goal, is to leave the world better than she found it.   


Niloofar K

Niloofar is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying Anatomy and Cell Biology. Niloofar is a scientist passionate about painting, playing the piano and sports. She has been volunteering with Campus Life & Engagement since her first year at McGill. One of her goals before graduating is to gain leadership and communication skills through different communities in McGill because she believes that this is an absolutely crucial skill that everyone needs to learn. Furthermore, she attended the leadership workshops with ACCE and learned that everyone can become a leader and these skills can be learned and practiced. Thus, she decided to become part of the ACCE team as a workshop facilitator in order to share her experience with the students who might have the same fears and misunderstandings about leadership. She will present the workshops with full energy and enthusiasm to encourage more students to become involved in the McGill community. 

Samantha  H

Samantha is a third-year student studying Anatomy with a minor of management. She has been volunteering with Campus Life & Engagement since her first year at McGill. She is passionate about developing potential leadership as well as strengthening public speaking skills which she believes would be useful not only on campus but also for her future career. As a member of ACCE Team, she hopes to get more people involved and benefit from getting involved in McGill community.       


Sresht A

Sresht is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering Student. He has been an Ambassador for the ACCE Team for the past three years.