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Leadership Development Programs

The Office of the Dean of Students offers and supports a variety of leadership programs for University of Virginia students. Mr. Jefferson believed that his university should develop educated, civic-minded leaders who could guide a young democracy into a bright future. It is fitting that the programs developed through ODOS at the University of Virginia should strive to meet Mr. Jefferson's ideal of developing citizens who are prepared to lead their communities with intelligence, empathy, perseverance and great vision. These citizen leaders will:

  • Have a deep understanding of the communities in which they live while appreciating connections to the larger University, the Commonwealth, the Nation, and the broader world
  • Develop their strengths while recognizing and improving upon their weaknesses
  • Engage and empower others to understand their strengths and potential contributions
  • Lead by positive example and act ethically and in the best interest of others
  • Actively collaborate and build relationships with diverse communities to achieve positive change
  • Embrace and communicate the principles of respect, integrity, accountability, and responsibility

To achieve this vision, the Office of the Dean of Students has targeted its programs to students at three developmental levels: Aspiring/EmergingEngaging, and Excelling/Mentoring.


Focuses on program components that build or reinforce foundational knowledge, analytical skills, and problem solving competencies, assuming that the participants have not had considerable prior experience in these areas. Programs include:

The Blueprint Emerging Leaders Program

Blueprint is a program designed for First and Second Year students and transfer students who demonstrate leadership potential and aspire to develop their personal and organizational leadership skills. The program is designed to provide students with a strong leadership knowledge base and focuses on five core components:

  • Discovering Individual Strengths
  • Communication & Conflict Management
  • Leadership & Followership
  • Student Self-Governance
  • Citizen Leadership & Global Stewardship

Over the course of the program, students will have the opportunity to hear from some of the university's most renowned speakers and leadership scholars. To exercise their leadership skills, students will work on service-based projects in small groups which will be facilitated by a Peer Leader.

Women's Leadership Development Program

The Women's Leadership Development Program provides undergraduate women with leadership skills through a series of workshops and speakers. Students who exhibit leadership potential are nominated for the program by fellow students, faculty, and/or staff.


The Asian Pacific American Training Institute (APALTI) is a student-facilitated, culturally aware leadership development program designed to build confidence, enhance competence, and strengthen connectedness among a selected group of first and second-year Asian and Asian Pacific American students at UVA. By helping these students discover their personal leadership style, the program aims to increase participation of A/APAs in community wide leadership roles. For more information about becoming involved in APALTI, contact Marc Paulo Guzman.


Focuses on those students who have plugged into a student organization and are looking to learn contextualized content that can apply to their particular involvement. Programs include: Student Leadership Network A virtual network housed on the atUVA site open to any student currently involved in leadership activities around the Grounds. The site provides resources and information as well as opportunities for virtual networking, discussions boards, and information about events, speakers and other activities of interest to student leaders. To join, visit the website. DiAPAson Leadership Retreat

DiAPAson serves as a half-day retreat for executive board members of organizations, highlighting all the resources UVA has to offer student leaders. This event also provides team building activities in order to create and nurture relationships among student leaders to facilitate collaboration in the future. For more information about becoming involved in DiAPAson, contact Marc Paulo Guzman.


Through structured weekly conversation over the course of the fall semester, the Women's Asian American Leadership Initiative provides a small group of 2nd and 3rd year women the chance to share and learn strategies for personal and professional success as Asian Pacific American women at UVA and beyond. For more information about becoming involved in WAALI, contact Marc Paulo Guzman.

The Leadership and Organizational Development Conference for Multicultural Students

The purpose of the LODC is to provide student leaders with the necessary skills and tools to lead their organizations effectively. Come build your leadership portfolio! We accomplish this purpose through a networking session, guest speaker, student-leader panel, and a series of workshop offerings.


Focuses on those students who are continuing to build upon their leadership knowledge while empowering and working to develop the future leaders of their organizations. In addition, these students are beginning to think about their leadership experiences and how they may help to enhance and even define their future career aspirations. Programs include: Leadership 2K (L2K)

Leadership 2000 is an intensive one-week summer program for the leaders of major, University-wide organizations designed to enhance their skills, increase their knowledge of the University, extend their network of University contacts, and contribute to a sense of community among student leaders. Sponsored by the Offices of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer and the Dean of Students, its purpose is to support student leaders and their organizations as they assume the major responsibilities associated with self-governance. The program topics and activities vary by year, but have in the past included: case studies in leadership, effective and ethical decision-making, diversity, exemplary leadership, delegation, motivation and empowerment, facilitation, and setting priorities. Students are also introduced to key University representatives and participate in discussions about the University's goals, plans, and challenges. Participation is by invitation.

Atlantic Coast Athletic Conference International Academic Collaborative (ACCIAC) Leadership Conference

Student leaders from the 12 ACC Colleges and Universities have the opportunity to learn through intensive engagement in educational sessions, keynote addresses, topical content exploration, simulations, and experiential application. Five-to-seven student leaders are selected from UVA each year to participate and meet leaders from the other ACC schools while building upon their leadership skills and learning to collaborate across institutions. For more information about the conference, visit the website. Participation in this conference is by invitation.

A/APA President's Planning Retreat

The A/APA President's Planning Retreat is a half-day retreat for presidents of the A/APA organizations. This event provides presidents the opportunity to interact with other leaders and share challenges as well as successes. Teambuilding and training workshops are determined based on participant interest and need. Participation is by invitation.