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2011-2012 Cohort Leaders Fellows

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2011-2012 Guests


Reflections from Power Breakfasts


Faculty Interviews


Turning Points


Looking Back


Thank you




INTRODUCTION The Gateway Study of Leadership (GSL) is a student-led fellowship housed in the School of Social Sciences. The goal of the fellowship is to conduct an interview-based research project that looks for leadership themes and lessons as offered by faculty members of Rice University. The group also hosts leadership breakfasts, lectures and other events with prominent leaders from Rice University and beyond. Goals and benefits of the program:  

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Provide practical research experience for fellows in interviewing, transcribing, coding, and overall analytic techniques. Provide upperclassman a platform to lead a student research team, to develop their organizational, analytical and general leadership skills in directing large research projects, and mentoring fellows. Expose undergraduates to academic career paths and research endeavors of faculty through one-on-one interviews. Build an archive of faculty interview transcripts and produce Turning Points booklets featuring excerpts to share with Rice community, prospective students and beyond. Develop professional etiquette and communication skills of fellows by providing access to leaders in private gatherings to discuss leadership topics. Program Advisor: Ipek Martinez, Associate Dean of Social Sciences and Director of Gateway


2011-2012 COHORT The inaugural 2011-12 program had 3 GSL leaders and 16 fellows. The three leaders developed the syllabus for the program, participated in the fellow selection process, and skillfully orchestrated the GSL activities, organized meetings, coding sessions, contacted speakers, coordinated power breakfast series, and reported to the school on the progress of the initiatives. The group focused on interviews with the Rice school of social sciences faculty in the fall semester and put together 42 faculty briefs, conducted 37 interviews, produced transcripts, conducted several coding sessions, and hosted 6 power breakfast guests and 2 lectures. In the spring semester the group focused on the production of Turning Points booklet series featuring excerpts from the faculty interviews, hosted 4 distinguished guest speakers, and presented posters at the Rice University Research Symposium (RURS).


2011-2012 LEADERS Nadia Khalid senior Classics major from Dallas, Texas and a member of Martel College. A transfer student from Bryn Mawr College, she became involved with the social sciences while researching for Sociology Professor Michael Lindsay. She has spent two summers working in Washington DC, first for the Embassy of Pakistan and then for the American Enterprise Institute, where she specialized in South Asia’s regional, political, and economic discrepancies.

Joe Pullano senior from Danville, California and a member of Lovett College. A Political Science and English double major; he has developed a passion for the social sciences and plans to attend law school. He recently attended a public diplomacy colloquium in Doha, Qatar, where he participated in roundtable discussions with local students on topics ranging from religion to democracy.

Mark Seraydarian senior History and Policy Studies major from Los Angeles, California. A member of Brown College, he interned at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington DC as a participant of the Jesse Jones Leadership Center Summer in DC Policy Research Internship Program. He recently helped coordinate and attended a policy research symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, regarding comparative urban policy.


LEADER’S REMARKS The principal aim of GSL is to develop the leadership potential of Rice students who aspire for lives of leadership. Participants of the program are highly motivated risktakers who are looking to learn the lessons and gain the experience that can help them achieve their future goals. Fellows are able to ask questions and make personal connections with high-powered guests, in private breakfast meetings. Fellows also interview a select group of Rice faculty members as part of a predetermined research project. In 2011-12, the program’s research question examined the leadership role of academia in society. Most of the faculty interviews are now posted online as a public resource and the most salient stories are published in a book series entitled, Turning Points.

--- Mark Seraydarian As one of the founders and student directors of the Gateway Study of Leadership, I was lucky enough to have a unique perspective on how this program progressed from idea to end product over the course of this academic year. I am extremely proud of the work our group has accomplished, and the professional manner in which we have successfully compiled significant interview data, all while overcoming the distinct challenges of a student-focused program. The opportunity to help coordinate a group such as this and to hear directly from faculty about their experiences has been a highlight of my time at Rice, allowing me to put my undergraduate education in perspective. As power breakfast guest Linda Thrane said to our group, leadership is the “ability to spot opportunities,” and it has been an amazing opportunity to participate in this program. I believe we have set a strong foundation for GSL’s future, and I look forward to watching it grow!

--- Joe Pullano Being one of the founders of the Gateway Study of Leadership allowed me to witness and be a part of an idea becoming a reality. I believe that the novelty of the program combined with the participation of some of Rice's most driven students set the bases for an amazing experience. The program acts as the culmination of a student's curiosity, a professor's wisdom, and the shared desire to grow and learn from our current leaders. The result is the training of tomorrow's leaders. It has been an honor for me to be part of and lead such a unique endeavor.

--- Nadia Khalid


2011- 2012 FELLOWS

Kaitlin Barnes

Chris Keller

Sophomore, Baker College Sociology & Policy Studies Houston, TX

Junior, Jones College Political Science Sarasota, FL

Nivriti Chowdhry

Sherry Lin

Junior, Lovett College Math/Econ & Managerial Studies Houston, TX

Senior, Jones College Kinesiology & Policy Studies Lake Jackson, TX

Danny Cohen

David Liou

Sophomore, Lovett College Political Science & Economics Alpharetta, GA

Senior, Lovett College Policy Studies & Biochemistry and Cell Biology Albuquerque, NM

Navi Dhaliwal

Abby Marcus

Junior, Martel College Math/Econ Houston, TX

Sophomore, Brown College Political Science Alexandra, VA


Zachary Marx-Kuo

Rohini Sigireddi

Junior, Martel College Political Science & Art History Silver Spring, MD

Sophomore, Wiess College Policy Studies & Chemistry Houston, TX

Asia McCleary-Gaddy

Amol Utrankar

Sophomore, McMurtry College Psychology Brooklyn, NY

Sophomore, Will Rice College Economics & Philosophy Edison, NJ

Marc Sabbagh

Pin-Fang Wang

Senior, Jones College Political Science & History Houston, TX

Junior, Wiess College Math/Econ & Managerial Studies Houston, TX

Neeraj Salhotra Junior, Sid Richardson College Economics Houston, TX


Catherine Yuh Sophomore, Brown College Sociology Philadelphia, PA

2011-2012 GUESTS Guest

Presiding Fellow

Dr. David Leebron

Nadia Khalid

President, Rice University

Dr. Cymene Howe

Rohini Sigireddi

Assistant Professor of Anthropology

Dr. George McLendon

Neeraj Salhotra

Provost, Rice University

Dr. Elaine Ecklund

David Liou

Associate Professor of Sociology

Dr. Neal Lane

Pin-Fang Wang

Senior Fellow, Baker Institute

Ambassador Edward Djerejian

Marc Sabbagh

Director, Baker Institute

Linda Thrane

Kaitlin Barnes

V. P. for Public Affairs, Rice University

The Honorable Lee Rosenthal

Nivriti Chowdhry

Judge, U.S. Circuit Court & Rice Trustee

Dr. Michael Lindsay

Mark Seraydarian

President, Gordon College

The Honorable Robert Clarke

Rohini Sigireddi

Trustee Emeritus, Rice University

Dr. Malcolm Gillis

Amol Utrankar

Former President, Rice University

Dr. Janet Moore

Catherine Yuh

Faculty, Jones Business School

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Power Breakfast Reflections Dr. David Leebron President, Rice University September 11, 2011 David W. Leebron, President of Rice University (2004–present) served as GSL’s inaugural distinguished guest. President Leebron opened the morning with a discussion about his experiences as a Harvard undergraduate, highlighting the importance of networking with people from diverse backgrounds.

According to President Leebron, sincerity is a major component of leadership, for though he may not always agree with others’ ideas, he still needs to make everyone feel that their ideas have been heard. For example, regarding the sale of KTRU, he read every news article and op-ed that he could find simply because he thought it was important for him to understand the concerns surrounding the decision. President Leebron encouraged Fellows to see classes as venues to develop public speaking skills, for it is important to speak publicly as often as possible. A highly engaging guest, President Leebron was a terrific choice to start off GSL. He offered insight, wisdom, and applicable advice while sharing his experiences as a leader. - Catherine Yuh

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Dr. George McLendon Provost, Rice University September20, 2011 The GSL program had the opportunity to meet with the Provost and Howard R. Hughes Professor of Chemistry for Rice University, Dr. George McLendon. The office of the provost oversees the education and research components of the university. As the chief academic officer, Provost McLendon works with university academic administrators and deans to devise and implement a vision for education at Rice. He brings to this position a diverse set of experiences that spans education, cancer research, biotechnology startups, and academic leadership. Most notable in our discussion with Provost McLendon was his advice for undergraduates on the determinants of future success. He emphasized the idea that it is not only a student’s GPA or undergraduate school that makes him or her successful. Rather, success is the product of the strong relationships that students build as protégés alongside influential mentors. Those relationships, in his view, are critical for building connections and intellectual depth.

It was evident that Provost McLendon’s strong emphases on mentorship and leadership are shaped by his experiences as a varsity track athlete at the University of Texas, El Paso. For one, he raised the notion of the “generic transferable skills” that athletes bring to their pursuits off the field. “As an athlete,” he explained, “you know how hard it is to do something really, really well,” which is readily applicable to other seemingly insurmountable challenges. Provost McLendon said it is this distinctive feature that puts collegiate athletes among the most successful leaders later in life, although they may not make summa cum laude as often as some of their peers. - Amol Utrankar

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Dr. Neal Lane Senior Fellow, Baker Institute for Public Policy October 14, 2011 The members of the Gateway Study of Leadership Program were treated with meeting Dr. Neal Lane, who has been with Rice University for many years, rising from assistant professor to professor to provost. Dr. Lane has had extensive experience in the fields of science and technology, serving as director of the National Science Foundation and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Bill Clinton. Dr. Lane began the session by highlighting his experience in academia and how that prepared him for his role in Washington and in public policy. He, like some of our previous speakers, touched on his current status as a product of “accidents.” It can be said, however, that Dr. Lane planned his own accident by maintaining a high level of curiosity, taking a moderately high level of risk, and watching out for his reputation. Throughout our discussion, he repeatedly brought up the importance of being true to oneself. He commented that he chose his paths by taking himself out of the present and looking back on his current choice through future lenses. If they looked like they would add value and integrity to the organization or to society, he would take the leap. Our breakfast with Dr. Lane left us with a vault of advice when looking forward to becoming leaders in our lifetime. He emphasized how opportunity is created by our closest networks and that to succeed; one must really focus on figuring out the complex work dynamic by listening and learning to “read people.” He ended by urging us to contemplate our own balances of risk and reward, as well as of gaining social ground and getting work done. “Our own success depends on the success of others,” was a particularly memorable quote from Dr. Lane. He left me with the message that we must all strive toward greater collaboration in order to make the most progress moving forward. - Pin-Fang Wang

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Ambassador Edward Djerejian Director, Baker Institute for Public Policy October 18, 2011 On October 18th, the GSL fellows had breakfast with Ambassador Djerejian, the director of the Baker Institute. Ambassador Djerejian began by discussing his life story—his childhood in New York, attending college at Georgetown, two years in Korea as an intelligence officer, and then a career in the U.S. Foreign Service. Ambassador Djerejian then chronicled his career in the Foreign Service—Lebanon, Morocco, France, Russia (then the Soviet Union), Jordan, Syria, and finally Israel. He explained his greatest success (convincing Hafez al-Assad to allow Syrian Jews the right to travel), and his greatest failure (not completing the Arab-Israeli peace process). When explaining his success, I noticed that Ambassador Djerejian genuinely cherished his role in improving the lives of Syrian Jews. While, prima facie, it may seem like a minor accomplishment, to the thousands now able to travel freely, Ambassador Djerejian’s accomplishment was monumental. Ambassador Djerejian also discussed traits common to the successful leaders with whom he has interacted over the span of his career to date. Specifically, he listed four characteristics of successful political leaders: courage, willingness to listen, decisiveness, and integrity. Ambassador Djerejian expanded on the principle of a willingness to listen. He noted that the “I and Thou” relationship (coined by Martin Buber) is especially salient to effective relations. That is, we must endeavor to understand the background, experiences, and perspectives of others. Only by seeing the world through the eyes of others can we build strong relationships, forge lasting partnerships, and solve the world's problems. - Neeraj Salhotra

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Linda Thrane Vice President, Rice University Public Affairs November 2, 2011

The Gateway Study of Leadership fellows had the distinguished honor to meet with Linda Thrane, Rice University’s Vice President for Public Affairs. Much of a creative genius, Thrane has had several Rice-related PR achievements including; heading campaigns that coined the “Who Knew?” and “Unconventional Wisdom” catchphrases that have become cornerstones of the Rice’s websites and promotional material.

Thrane spoke extensively on her undergraduate career and lessons learned. Thrane told the fellows that she knew that whatever she was going to do would include writing. Her interest in writing soon became a passion, lending Thrane to call herself perpetually “inkstained.” Extremely engaging and sincere, Thrane reminded the fellows to always have a focus. With such a simple standard, there will always be results. - Nadia Khalid

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The Honorable Lee Rosenthal Judge, U.S. District Court & Rice Trustee November 15, 2011 Judge Lee Rosenthal met with the Gateway Study of Leadership Fellows in the Jones Private Dining Room on Tuesday morning, November 15th, 2011. She discussed how she came to her current position as a U.S. district court judge, what she enjoys about her field, and her connection to Rice University. Judge Rosenthal emphasized the importance of being able to read text closely and write well, stating the applicability of those skills to all fields. She talked about how she had loved reading as a child, spanning all genres, and continues to read a diversity of materials today. She loved words and knew she wanted to work with them.

As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, she majored in philosophy and was attracted to the law by a philosophy of law course. She mentioned that she had a mentor and was able to glean everything she wanted in an undergraduate experience. When asked about comments from a Supreme Court Justice decrying the American education system, she replied that writing skills could definitely be improved but concerns about education causing America to fall behind other nations are nothing new. Judge Rosenthal is a member of the Rice Board of Trustees. She talked about her appreciation for Rice University and the connection to the campus she developed when her parents here while she was in high school. Judge Rosenthal was an engaging speaker who garnered a lot of interest and questions from the GSL fellows. - Abby Marcus

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Dr. Michael Lindsay President, Gordon College January 25, 2012 President Michael Lindsay returned to the Rice campus on January 25, 2012 and met with the GSL fellows as the inaugural power breakfast of 2012. A member of the Rice sociology department from 2006 to 2011, Lindsay assumed the role of President of Gordon College just last spring which made him one of the youngest college presidents in the country. During his time at Rice, Lindsay assembled a hand-selected research team of undergraduates to work on his PLATINUM study of leadership, the widest interview-based study of senior American leadership ever completed. Five of his former research fellows are current participants of GSL. It was a treat to meet with a former mentor who left such an influential impression on those who knew him. At the breakfast, Lindsay spoke of his transition from assistant professor of sociology at Rice to Gordon President. He is still accustoming himself to the non-stop nature of the new job, saying he must constantly, “Absorb chaos and radiate peace.� As part of his research, Lindsay has interviewed many experienced college and university presidents and admits that he has drawn from those interviews and can now relate to them more. Lindsay, always a wealth of practical advice to undergraduates, challenged the group not to be risk averse. He said, correctly, that Rice students claim to be thrill seekers, the workhard play-hard types. In reality, Lindsay observed, many times Rice students shy away from the risks that they ought to take, especially when it comes to academic and career choices. He champions the person who applies for a difficult position even if he or she is unsure of the chances of success. - Mark Seraydarian

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The Honorable Robert Clarke Trustee Emeritus, Rice University February 17, 2012 On the morning of Friday February 17, 2012, the Gateway Study of Leadership fellows had the distinguished honor to meet with former Comptroller of the Currency, Rice Trustee, and Rice alum Robert Clarke. When asked about how his early years prepared him for his life of leadership, Clarke chose to divulge memories demonstrating maturity at a young age. His interest in banking, he mentioned, emerged totally by accident when he began working for a bank in his small southeast New Mexico hometown in the eighth grade, then continued to work there through his time at Rice. Clarke admitted to having never heard of Rice within his small town, but to opting for it over Stanford and Harvard to take the road less traveled and study somewhere unconventional. After majoring in economics at Rice, he selected law over business school because he felt it enabled a fuller menu that left his options open. While serving as a Precinct Chairman, which Clarke would continue to do for more than twenty years, he forged valuable connections that would eventually see to his high-ranking government job. In presenting these major decisions along his life path, Clarke offered valuable lessons by example: take advantage of opportunities along the way, study somewhere different, don’t be too narrowly focused, and take advantage of every chance to serve. Alongside this, Clarke expressed a few important points explicitly: in the spirit of a citizen government, his goal was always to be a good citizen and he was always interested in being involved in valuable things, even if that meant starting with grunt work. Furthermore, he said, “Read the classics.� - Navi Dhaliwal

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Dr. Malcolm Gillis Professor of Economics and Former President, Rice University March 14, 2012 Dr. Malcolm Gillis spoke to GLS on March 14, 2012. Dr. Gillis offered an interesting perspective on leadership and the path to his leadership roles as both an economics professor and president of Rice University. Dr. Gillis told several anecdotes and insightful personal reflections to convey his understanding of leaders and leadership. When asked about the differences between the two unique roles, Dr. Gillis insisted he did not have to change leadership styles when he became president of Rice, but did have to manage the transition back to being a professor after serving as the school’s president. He offered several personal stories about managing Rice, and discussed the difficulty of defending decisions made as president, whether opening new serveries or working with KTRU.

Dr. Gillis discussed the importance of being open and honest as a leader. He stressed the ability for leaders to “boil things down” and look at incentive structures when making key decisions. He highlighted various characteristics of leaders, but jokingly commented that some of them did not apply to politicians. He pointed out that assistance and collaboration should come from team players who can be identified by their word choice and use of words like “we” and “us” instead of “I,” “me,” or “my.” While he praised Rice students for their intellect and hard work, he recommended they ask more questions and not hesitate to show their curiosity. Dr. Gillis also discussed the importance of good writing skills and said students should have the discipline to force themselves to write. Dr. Gillis provided tremendous insight and frank comments about leadership and the tools needed to lead effectively. - Marc Sabbagh

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Janet Moore Faculty, Jones Graduate School of Business March 28, 2012 On Wednesday, March 28, GSL hosted Janet Moore, our last power breakfast guest of the year. A highly accomplished leader both on and off campus, Ms. Moore brought an impressive resume and even more impressive experiences to share with the Fellows. Much of the discussion focused on aligning career and personal values to create life success. She brought an insightful article with her titled “How Will You Measure Your Life?” by Clayton Christensen – bestselling author of The Innovator's Dilemma (1997) and Harvard Business School professor. The article discussed the importance of identifying meaningful values. Ms. Moore also conversed about how she has personally found greater success by living in accordance with her values imbued in international law and work. Much of her job satisfaction comes from her transactions based in Europe, Asia, South and North America, Africa, and the Middle East. Additionally, she spoke about the importance of mentorship to leadership development. She currently serves as a mentor to a group of Hanszen College freshmen – a role that brings her great pride and intrinsic satisfaction. She meets with her Hanszen mentees regularly and encourages them to reach out to her with questions, issues, or concerns. Ms. Moore discussed the importance of service to the community. Because she grew up with an extensive background in the fine arts, she tries to find volunteer and service opportunities parallel to her interests. She currently serves on the Menil Collection’s corporate committee and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra’s advisory board, and in past years has served on several National Endowment for the Arts selection panels. A true exemplar of leadership at Rice and beyond the hedges, Ms. Moore was a fantastic way to end the power breakfast series. - Catherine Yuh

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FACULTY INTERVIEWS Fellows interviewed social sciences faculty members in 2011-2012 and discussed topics related to their careers. The program’s research question examined the leadership role of academia in society. Faculty John Ambler Margaret Beier Dominic Boyer Jennifer Bratter Dagobert Brito James Brown Sarah Burnett Royce Carroll James Dannemiller Justin Denney Songying Fang James Faubion Keith Hamm Mikki Hebl Cymene Howe Phillip Kortum Ashley Leeds Jessica Logan Ruth Lopez-Turley Melissa Marschall Randi Martin Herve Moulin Steve Murdock Lyn Ragsdale Robin Sickles Natalia Sizova Robert Stein Richard Stoll Ted Temzelides Anton Villado Rick Wilson Siyang Xiong George Zodrow

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Department Political Science Psychology Anthropology Sociology Economics Economics Psychology Political Science Psychology Sociology Political Science Anthropology Political Science Psychology Anthropology Psychology Political Science Psychology Sociology Political Science Psychology Economics Sociology Political Science Economics Economics Political Science Political Science Economics Psychology Political Science Economics Economics

Student Interviewer Joe Pullano Mark Seraydarian Navi Dhaliwal Joe Pullano Danny Cohen Danny Cohen Kaitlin Barnes Abby Marcus Nivriti Chowdhry Navi Dhaliwal Nadia Khalid Joe Pullano Zachary Marx-Kuo Pin-Fang Wang Amol Utrankar Catherine Yuh Joe Pullano David Liou Mark Seraydarian Nadia Khalid Mark Seraydarian Nadia Khalid Amol Utrankar Catherine Yuh Nadia Khalid Rohini Sigireddi Abby Marcus Joe Pullano Zachary Marx-Kuo Kaitlin Barnes Marc Sabbagh Navi Dhaliwal Rohini Sigireddi

TURNING POINTS BOOKLETS The GSL team conducted interviews with social sciences faculty and reviewed many existing faculty interviews conducted by Gateway students. Many thought provoking life experiences and interesting stories emerged from the candid conversations. Most interviews had an essence of a “turning point” regarding the decisions involved in attending college, selecting majors, pursuing advanced degrees, encountering mentors, finding inspiration for research topics, and developing a refreshing new approach to handle criticism in order to build knowledge and propel ahead. The faculty shared tangible advice for current and prospective students, sparking their enthusiasm and fostering their curiosities. Few excerpts from these transcripts were gathered in 5 mini-books under the “Turning Points” series, with the titles: Choosing Academia, Finding Inspiration, Overcoming Obstacles, Fostering Curiosity, and Sparking Enthusiasm.

BRIEF EXCERPTS When I was about a sophomore in college, I decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer, I didn't want to be a businessman, I didn’t want to be a doctor. I had two very respected aunts who were teachers, so I was going to be a teacher. I wasn't going to be an ordinary teacher; I was going to reform the whole American educational system. I was going to be superintendent of schools, and I had gone to a public school, and I knew exactly what had gone wrong. I thought I was going to solve this and so I was really a very ambitious, rather arrogant man. After a year at Stanford where I got a master’s in education and my secondary teaching certificate, a year in France Fulbright, a couple of years in the army, I ended up at Ulysses S. Grant High School in Portland, Oregon teaching social studies. The summer that I arrived, the principal said to me, “Our business law teacher just died this summer. You’ve studied some political science, haven’t you? Isn't that close to business law?” And I said, “No, not really.” --- Dr. John Ambler, Turning Points – Choosing Careers I remind my students, this is one of the only opportunities they’re going to get where people are actually interested in helping them to improve. Once you leave these walls, once you leave these halls and have a job, when you fail, you’re fired. Right? And you’re replaced. But here, when you fail, we sit down and talk about it and hopefully learn from our failures. Ultimately, I hope to teach the skill of learning from your errors or mistakes. This is an extremely important skill and something that we can use to learn throughout our lives. --- Dr. Anton Villado, Turning Points – Overcoming Obstacles 22 | P a g e

LOOKING BACK Student Reflections of the 2011-2012 Gateway Study of Leadership Program Fellows Society has often painted a strange and even negative portrait of academics. From elitist, arrogant, and power hungry to doddering, out-of-touch, and isolated in a lofty ivory tower, the fundamental character of academics has been missed. Accordingly, many valuable lessons about scholarship, academic leadership, and inspiring life stories have been missed by the general public, but by university students especially. The Gateway Study of Leadership (GSL) gave me the opportunity to fully engage with some of Rice's most talented thinkers and to learn valuable lessons from their life's journey. Through interviews, power breakfasts, and coding sessions, GSL opened up the personal and professional lives of Rice's most impressive professors to sixteen college students. The lessons we learned about perseverance, passion, and dedication as well as the insights into academia and general institutional leadership were both inspiring and invaluable. Their thoughts may be abstract at times, but their examples are guiding lights to success and provide a deeper understanding of society. - Danny Cohen I joined GSL to learn what qualities today’s leaders and professors at Rice University possess that led them to their leadership roles. Meeting them and hearing their life stories was an entirely different experience than I had expected. Surprisingly, few of the people we met consider themselves leaders and none had planned to be leaders in their fields. Instead, they advised us to find what you love to do, pursue it passionately, and never try to replicate someone else’s success story. I will refer to this advice when I get stuck choosing between what I think guarantees me success and what I truly want to do. I will find more success and happiness in every dimension of my life and will grow in to an appropriate leadership role. - Nivriti Chowdhry The 2011-2012 Gateway Study of Leadership (GSL) offered me a comprehensive experience combining leadership development with social sciences research. It provided me a diverse range of opportunities, from private breakfasts with distinguished guests to one-on-one interviews with professors in my field. With a focus on leadership in academia, it helped increase my understanding about the life of an academic and his role in society, and trace 23 | P a g e

my own motivations for pursuing higher education. As a research project, GSL exposed me to new methodology in interviewing, coding, transcribing, and administering surveys. As a tool for personal development, it helped connect me to not only renowned guests, but to a network of high-achieving peers and other Gateway programs. As a holistic experience, it gave pause for reflection on the advice of veteran leaders and scholars, promoted mindful self-awareness, and was—of course—ultimately a lot of fun as well. - Navi Dhaliwal

The GSL program has been one of the highlights of my Rice career. I had the opportunity to gain invaluable insight from the leaders within the Rice and surrounding community covering a wide range of academic and professional disciplines. Their vast range of experiences and backgrounds really illustrated that leadership is a constantly evolving process that varies significantly between individuals, and really helped me shape a much better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses in my own leadership style. Additionally, I really appreciated the opportunity that GSL provided to work closely with a number of incredibly motivated and talented students coming from a wide range of academic backgrounds, and the student research aspect of the program was absolutely crucial in furthering my understanding of effective leadership styles and habits. - David Liou My involvement with the Gateway Study of Leadership was my first research experience. At the beginning of my time at Rice, I would not have pictured myself being involved in this type of project, but going forward I plan to work on my own independent research. Another significant aspect of the program was the power breakfasts where we were able to meet with leaders in the Rice community. All of the speakers had funny anecdotes and pearls of wisdom, but one of the most frequent recommendations was to not shy away from the opportunities that come your way even if they are dramatically different from what you had expected yourself to do. Being a part of GSL exposed me to new opportunities, and the experience with research as well as the advice of the leaders and our student mentors gave me the skills and the confidence to take advantage of those opportunities. - Abby Marcus 24 | P a g e

The guest speakers for the Gateway Study of Leadership have all been phenomenal. I am not able to choose which speaker is my favorite because each story was unique and had a different effect on me. An overlapping theme throughout all power breakfasts was to be bold and take risks. Reflecting on myself, I know I am so driven to be successful that I do not take risks because I am scared of losing the progress I worked hard to achieve. However at Rice University I must take risks because of the multitude of opportunities that is offered. Taking a risk might be exactly what I need but I will never know unless I try. These meetings taught me not to fear but just go for it . - Asia McCleary-Gaddy The Gateway Study of Leadership program provided an unparalleled opportunity to engage with campus and community leaders on a personal level through group meetings and insightful interviews. I learned about leadership styles and the various ways of defining leadership. The qualitative research conducted through interviewing, transcribing, and coding, allowed me to discover the facets of leadership and the backgrounds and motivations of campus faculty and staff. Some professors commented on the benefits of seeking out opportunities and trying new things, as many followed an unexpected path to academia. Many of the leaders we spoke with stressed the importance of mentorship, hard work, and perseverance. Provost McLendon defined several characteristics of leadership, including the ability to pay attention to details, execute, and care about others. Dr. Michael Lindsay’s mantra “absorb chaos, radiate peace, create hope,” was very inspirational and was his personal definition of leadership.

- Marc Sabbagh Through GSL, I have had the good fortune to interact with amazing leaders including, Rice President David Leebron and United States District Judge Lee Rosenthal. While each of the numerous discussions was different, certain common themes emerged—the importance of risk-taking, the centrality of communication, and the salience of honesty. Another important lesson came from Ambassador Djerejian when he stressed Martin Buber's "I-Thou" relationship. In other words, successful leaders must understand the background and interests of their stakeholders before interacting with them. He particularly inspired me when he said one of his proudest moments was negotiating the freedom of travel for Syrian Jews. While this accomplishment may seem trivial, for the thousands of Syrian Jews this policy was crucial. Through this story, Ambassador Djerejian proved that great leadership is about using power to improve the lives of people. - Neeraj Salhotra

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I started getting involved in the study of leadership my Freshman year when I was introduced to it by Dr. Nino in LEAD 101: Leadership, Theory and Practice. From there, my curiosity expanded as I started working for Leadership Rice and began analyzing student work. When I was given the chance to apply to the GATEWAY Study of Leadership program, I was excited to finally be able to get some answers to my questions about styles of leadership. The experience has been great with the Power Breakfasts being the most important takeaway. The opportunity to sit down with an accomplished individual and hear his path to success really gives unparalleled insight into the realm of leadership. And, because all our guests and interviews were from Rice, I could finally start putting two and two together in my analysis of the unique aspects of Rice's definition of leadership. - Pin-Fang Wang GSL was a great networking opportunity this year. Our student leaders have served as great resources, and they have helped me with career advice, internship advice, and research advice. They are truly accomplished people who know a lot of contacts, resources, and important campus events. They have been able to connect me to others who could help me. With regards to the power breakfasts, our student leaders secured high-profile leaders as distinguished guests. Interacting with these leaders and hearing their experiences was invaluable. Similarly, I took many important lessons away from our interviews with the Rice social sciences faculty. I was able to hear about things they wish Rice students knew from their own experiences. I remember one professor saying that students should apply to a breadth of internships and opportunities regardless of their chances of receiving offers, on even the most off chance they could be accepted. GSL has been an amazing way to meet talented students and leaders, both at Rice and beyond. - Catherine Yuh

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THANK YOU Many thanks to all the special guests and Rice University School of Social Sciences faculty who made this program possible by sharing their career experiences, life stories and wisdom. Much appreciation goes to Dean Lyn Ragsdale for her encouragement and support. Heartfelt gratitude to the Gateway Associates and supporters of Gateway programs for transforming the GSL program and Turning Points project from dream to reality.

If interested in becoming a sponsor of the GSL or supporting other Gateway programs please contact Julie Platek at

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Gateway Study of Leadership 2011-2012 Overview  

Rice University's School of Social Sciences presents an annual overview of the Gateway Study of Leadership program.

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