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Cook Leadership Academy welcomes new Fellows

  • Fellows take part in a team-building exercise during orientation for the Cook Leadership Academy

Posted on August 20, 2014

The Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies kicked off the 2014-15 Cook Leadership Academy Tuesday morning with formal orientation for a new cohort of 27 fellows.

Each of the students was selected to take part in the academy through a nomination process. The program’s purpose is to take established student leaders and give them the tools to develop professional experience and leadership skills that will apply to their experiences after graduation.

Students in the Cook Leadership Academy range from sophomores to graduate students with a broad spectrum of fields of study. This year, one of the fellows is from Aquinas College as part of a cross-college partnership. 

Students began orientation with team-building exercises before learning more about the details of the program. Throughout the year, the fellows will take part in more than a dozen programs, including the Hauenstein Center’s annual series of Wheelhouse Talks, which are presentations by area leaders in business, education, public service and nonprofit sectors that focus on leadership experience and impactful question and answer sessions. Wheelhouse Talks are free and open to the public. A schedule will soon be available online at

Over the course of the next month, the fellows will meet their mentors, professionals from the Grand Rapids area who have been paired with the students based on common interests, professional goals and a personality profile. 

“The Cook Leadership Academy works to help give exceptional students experiences they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” said Chadd Dowding, program manager for the academy. “We hope that the programming and team building we’re providing helps turn student leaders into leaders in all of their current and future endeavors.”

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