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Leadership Opportunities

The best way to learn how to become a leader is to just dive in and try! We offer many programs that help you explore your identity, your passions, and help you identify the way you want to engage in leadership at UC Merced. Everyone's journey is different. We are here to help!

Feel free to contact the Souza Leadership Center at LEAD@ucmerced if you would like guidance in planning out your leadership journey! We will say that a good place to start is the Bobcat Leadership Seminar, where we go into great detail regarding how to start your leadership journey here at UC Merced! The beauty is that you get to create your own unique journey to leadership! If you are a Bobcat you have the potential to engage in leadership. Never forget that!!


Leadership Development from the Souza Leadership Center

Bobcat Leadership Seminar (5-week program offered Fall & Spring) | Click here for more info

All UC Merced students are able to particiate. We offer speical sessions for:

  • Transfer students
  • First-Year Students
  • Students who are first in their family to go to college
  • We also have sessions open to all students at UC Merced!

Yosemite Leadership Program (2-year) | Click here for more info

This program is a 2-year program focused on taking a deep dive into leadership and personal growth. Although there is an emphasis on environmental issues, this program discusses leadership in all industries and fields of interests. Students of all majors and interests are welcome and encouraged to apply!

EMPOWER: Women's Leadership Development Program (6-week program) | Click here for more info

This leadership program is open to all UC Merced students who identify as women/womxn. This program aims to empower womxn to overcome the challenges womxn face in leadership and show womxn how they can support each other in their leadership journey. 

THRIVE: Confidence & Resilience in Leadership | Click here for more info

This 4-session leadership development program being offered this summer to help our students, not just survive, but thrive as leaders and as individuals. We will focus on confidence-building, resilience, authenticity, owning our stories, and believing in ourselves as leaders! 

Leadership & Service Living Learning Community (LLC) | Click here for more info

The Leadership and Service Living Learning Community is open to first-year students willing to commit themselves to exploring and developing their own leadership skills and style, understanding their personal values and learning how to ethically and effectively engage with and in the local community. Personal engagement on a weekly basis is expected.

LEAD Pre-Health  | Coming Spring 2020!

This program aims to address leadership needs in the Health industry, providing students with the knowledge they need to prepare for leadership roles in public health to address health disparities, diversity issues in health care, and leadership challenges of the 21st Century in our healthcare system. This program is a partnership with the UC Merced Center for Medical Education and Health Sciences and the UC Merced Center for Career and Professional Advancement. 

PERSPECTIVES: Global & Intercultural Leadership (semester-long) | Coming Fall 2021!

This progarm aims to teach students important skills needed to lead in a diverse work environment, and support inclusivity efforts in any organizaiton in which they are involved. We explore what leadership looks like from various cultural contexts! We will also have UC Merced students who have studied abroad discuss what they have learned about leadership from their experiences. This is a partnership with UC Merced Study Abroad (though you don't have to study abroad to participate!). 



Engage in Leadership on Campus! 

The Souza Leadership Center helps you to develop leadership skills and develop in personal growth. However, the following experience also do just that! We encourage you to explore how you want to engage in leadership oppportunities. These are just some fo the countless ways you can engage in leadership on campus. Choose the path that suits your unique journey. 


Become a Resident Assistant | Click here for more info

“Areas I have experienced growth as an RA are my confidence, self-discipline, and leadership skills. These skills have helped shaped me into the hardworking/determined individual I am today. In addition, these skills helped me ensure that I am building a safe and inclusive living learning community for my residents” - former Resident Assistant, Alma Morales Alejandre. Resident Assistants are overseen by staff in UC Merced Residentce Education. 

Become an Active Member of a Student Organization | Click here for more info

Student organizations provide great opportunitiies to get involved in the community. Whether you are E-Board member or a general member, you can practice leadership by getting involved. It's also a great way to build community among your peers and find areas in which you are passionate. Student Organizaitons are supported by the Office of Student Life. 

Lead with the Orientation Student Staff | Click here for more info

Orientation Student Staff are highly-trained to increase their personal growth and awareness, focus on inclusivity, and lead the tranisition of new Bobcats entering the UC Merced community. This is an excellent opportunity to both lead and give back to the UC Merced community. Orientation is planned and faciltated by the UC Merced Bright Success Center. 

Become a Success Mentor | Click here for more info

Success Mentors support and empower first-year students to develop strategies and skills that will enhance academic, intrapersonal and interpersonal development and develop a sense of Bobcat pride! It's an excellent opportunity to lead others to personal success. The Success Mentor Program is planned and faciltated by the UC Merced Bright Success Center. 

Join the STEP Scholars Program Team | Click here for more info

Strengthening Talents and Exploring Pathways (STEP) is a new and exciting program designed for students to transition into their academic and career interests. STEP aims to empower students to take ownership of their education and professional advancement. The student leaders who work for the STEP program learn valuable skills in leadership, mentoring, and supporting their peers.  The STEP Program is planned and faciltated by the UC Merced Bright Success Center. 

Get Involved in the Local Community! | Click here for more info

Getting involved in the community helps leaders define the impact they want to make in our world. Learn what you enjoy, what community issues you are passionate about by just diving in and trying different experiences until you find one that sticks. Leaders get involved in their community, even if they don't have an official title as a leader. Leaders also learn valuable leadership skills by getting involved. The UC Merced Community Engagement Center is the place to start to learn more about how to get engaged in the local community!

Lead on the Field | Click here for more info

UC Merced intramural sports provides students a great way to get exercise, relieve stress, develop friendships and play the sports you love. It's always a great place to practice leading on the team. You don't need to be a captian or have an official title to lead! The program is a great an opportunity for first-timers to get involved.UC Merced Recreation & Athletics oversees most opportunities for physical wellness, including intramural sports. 

Lead at Your Job or in an Internship | Click here for more info

Internships and jobs are essential to developing real life leadership experiences outside the classroom. Valuable skills such as multi-tasking, prioritizing, effective communication, and problem-solving are essential to student professional development. The Center for Professional and Career Advancement can help you find internship opportunies, help with your resume, and prepare you for interviews!


Off-Campus Leadership Opportunties through UC Merced

Check out the many ways UC Merced supports leadership experiences off campus! 


Leadership & Social Justice Program (in Mexico & Sacremento) | Click here for more info

Build your leadership skills and explore social justice in the powerhouse political centers of Mexico City and Sacramento. Combining coursework and on-the-ground experience, learn how the politics and culture of Mexico inform California public policy-making. Starting in Mexico City, take university classes as you explore Mexico's political history. An optional internship could bring you anywhere from an NGO to Mexican Parliament. After class, visit Constitution Plaza, where locals celebrate the past and present with festivals and concerts. In Sacramento, further develop your leadership skills in an internship, buoyed by a seminar, in an area of your interest. Political science majors, media mavens, and the business-minded will especially appreciate this program.


UC Sacremento Academic Internship | Click here for more info

With Sacramento being the capital of California, there is a lot of leadership happening here! UC Center Sacramento (UCCS) academic internship program participants earn UC credit, maintain their financial aid eligibility, and gain valuable work experience while interning in Sacramento. Internships are available for almost any major! Participants take classes with students from all UC campuses, which provides an intellectual and social community throughout the Fall, Spring or Summer. 


Develop Cultural Fluency as a leader by Studying Abroad! Click here for more info

Cultural Fluency is extremely important in leadership. Cultural fluency in leadership is the ability to accurately discern situations and adapt behaviors when working with people who are not like you. We encourage students to study abroad in a country that offers the opportunity to experience a culture different from your own. This will help you develop your cultural fluency. If you do study abroad, we encourage you to ask questions of your professors and your peers abroad about what leadership looks like to them? What do they value in leadership? How does their culture influence their leadership? Listen to their experiences, and also reflect on  your own. Studying abroad will allow you to get outside your comfort zone and learn more about others and yourself. Knowing your self and understanding the world are two important factors when it comes to developing yourself as a leader!

Visit the UC Merced Study Abroad office. They are are a team of friendly, knowledgeable who want to help you study abroad.