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About the Global Student Leadership Summit

The Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) is the premier leadership conference for students from diverse backgrounds who have participated in study abroad or other international programs. The 6th annual summit will attract dozens of diverse and underrepresented students from colleges and universities nationwide with a simple goal: to develop the skills essential to being a successful leader in a global society. Students will participate in hands-on student leadership sessions, engage in critical dialogue centered on self-reflection and identity, establish and maintain relationships with like-minded student leaders, and connect with professionals from higher education, the public sphere, and private sector. Participation in the GSLS will help students’ strengthen their leadership and develop global competencies including self-awareness, communication, team building, embracing diversity and difference, and more.


The Global Student Leadership Summit is an opportunity for emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to participate in professional development workshops to enhance their career readiness by learning how to articulate and leverage their international experience for career and graduate opportunities. Students will share their international experiences with education abroad and diversity professionals in attendance at the conference and discover new career possibilities that would benefit from their global experiences through sponsored panels and information sessions. At the same time, GSLS participants will develop awareness of diversity and inclusion especially as it relates to leadership in a global society and consider solutions to global issues through workshops and case studies. Through networking and community-building activities, students will experience meaningful interactions with student leaders from a variety of different colleges and universities.


  • Empower student leaders to realize the skills necessary to make an impact on their campuses and in their career.
  • Enrich student understanding of international experience through critical reflection and structured engagement on topics such as identity, social justice, inclusion and access, and leadership
  • Encourage students to network with other student leaders and professionals and explore ways to apply their international experience to various career, post-graduate, and academic opportunities
  • Energize students to harness their global experiences to make real change on their campus, in their communities and in the world


We seek GSLS participants who reflect the diverse nature of international experience. Institutions are particularly encouraged to register students who identify with one or more of the following historically underrepresented populations: first-generation, racial/ethnic minority, those with disabilities, high financial need, LGBTQ+, and others not named. While not required to submit separate materials to “apply” to the GSLS, we do ask that nominating institutions identify students who:

  • Exhibit exceptional leadership potential
  • Are engaged in the campus community
  • Are able to speak thoughtfully about their experience abroad
  • Will be able to engage in and contribute to the sessions and discussions throughout the GSLS
  • Are likely to utilize what they’ve gained from the summit and share with the campus community upon their return
  • Have a GPA of a 3.0 or higher


Estimated travel costs include flight/car to New Orleans, LA, single or double occupancy at the conference hotel, and meals not included in conference registration fee. Students are encouraged to coordinate with their study abroad/education abroad office to participate in the GSLS. A limited number of travel stipends will be available.



Students and nominating offices are responsible for confirming lodging at the conference hotel. Students interested in sharing a room can indicate this on the registration form and relevant contact details will be added to a list shared with other interested students; however, students are responsible for communicating with potential roommates, reserving the room, and managing payment.


Schedule To Be Updated

12:00-5:00pmRegistration Open
Pre-Conference Kick-off: How to Navigate GSLS and DAC

Welcome to The Global Student Leadership Summit! This session is an opportunity to get to know the GSLS  team and students present at the conference, set expectations, craft individual and community goals, and prepare for the upcoming sessions/review logistics. This will be the first gathering directly before the GSLS keynote and opening reception.

5:30-6:30pmKeynote Address
6:30-8:00pmGSLS Reception & Group Photo

7:30am-12:00pmRegistration Open
9:00-9:15amBrief Opening Remarks
Critical Conversations on Personal Identity in Education Abroad

Understanding identity and how it has impacted a student’s global experience is essential to being able to leverage those experiences for leadership and career readiness. Day 1 of GSLS will focus on diving deep into critical conversations. The morning will provide a safe space for critical reflection on outcomes of international experience and the impact students’ diverse identities had on that experience, examine identity in relationship to international experience, and unpack moments of challenge and triumph abroad.


Neal McKinney - DePauw University

Jacquis Watters - Columbia University

10:30am-12:30pmPersonal Identity Concurrent Sessions
Identity, Social Change, and Peacebuilding

Through international education, students become more effective communicators, more engaged citizens and learn to think critically about the relationships between local and global issues. These skills are vital in building peace and advocating for social change in a world of conflict. Through this session, students will gain a deeper understanding of the role of identity in socialization and its importance in achieving social change, justice, and equity. 



Cheyenne Boyce - Confucius Institute U.S. Center

Deepening Empathy with Critical Reflection

During this session students will be given tools to critically reflect on their social and professional identities and the impact of changing contexts on those identities. This reflection will encourage students to become more aware of shared and diverse personal and cultural expression, which serves to deepen empathy and build community. With these tools, students will be encouraged to consider ways to integrate global experience into professional identity and visibility.


Laree Strickland - Former Peace Corps Volunteer

Time to Unpack: Reflecting on Social, Personal & Perceived Identities Abroad

Did the social and personal identities you consider to be the strongest here in the US end up being the strongest while you were abroad? Were certain elements of your identity brought to the forefront during your global experience? In this session, you will explore the various components that make up your unique identity and how your experience abroad impacted your personal growth.


Ruby Shields - Diversity Abroad

12:30-1:30pmLunch (on your own)
Critical Conversations on Leadership Identity in Education Abroad

In complement to the morning, this afternoon session will introduce the concepts of leadership identity and provide space for participants to establish their own leadership potential. Participants will examine the relationship between international experience and leadership, using diverse identities as a lens.



LaTesha Charbonnet Gonzales - University of New Orleans 

Irene Ziegler - University of New Orleans

Carmin Wong - University of New Orleans

Nina Balan - University of New Orleans

2:30-3:30pmLeadership Identity Concurrent Sessions
The Blueprint for a Successful Career

Is the perception of your personal brand consistent with its intended portrayal? During this interactive session, the presenter will guide participants through the ABC’s of professional presence. This session will provide an overview of emotional intelligence and provide practical strategies as well as a blueprint to better understand how your appearance, behaviors, and communication reflect your personal brand.



Will Bagget - Emergent Executives LLC

Change, ExChange, or Drain: #LeadershipStylesMatter

Have you ever analyzed your leadership skills? Do you know how to properly identify your leadership style? Leadership styles and behaviors are paramount in any organization or institution. Transformative leaders invoke change in their followers and transform them into leaders. Transactional leaders exchange instruction for production and create strong followers. In this session you will discover why knowing your leadership style and behavior is a key ingredient to systematic growth in any organization.



Demestress Williams - Benedict College

Everyday Leadership: Harnessing the Potential of Your Unique Leadership Identity

This session will explore how your unique leadership identity has been impacted by international experience and everyday opportunities to demonstrate leadership. We will craft an action plan for ongoing commitment to leadership using 5 distinct leadership principles and creatively consider the collective impact that results from engaged and everyday leadership.



Chelsea Kindred - Academic Programs International (API)

Using your Study Abroad Experience to Market Yourself to Employers

This session is an opportunity for students to reflect on their study abroad experience in order to determine the many qualities learned, positive gains received and skills acquired. Packaging all of this to market themselves to potential employers. Students often do not realize all that they have learned through their study abroad experience. By mindfully reflecting on this experience participants will have the chance to unearth all that was learned during study abroad. Students have a chance to creatively craft their narrative which will make it compelling for potential employers to hire them.



Quinton Redcliffe - CIEE

Keshia Abraham - CIEE

3:30-4:30pmBreak/Recharge & Exhibitor Resource Fair
4:30-6:30pmWelcome & Innovation Competition
6:30-8:30pmOpening Reception

8:00am-4:00pmExhibit Hall Open
Developing Your Talent at Home to Benefit You Abroad

This interactive session is designed to focus students’ attention on optimizing their talents at home so that they can have a competitive advantage in their future career abroad. Led by a team of experienced professionals representing various U.S. federal agencies, presenters will first discuss ways to strengthen their marketability and skill set at home. Participants will then engage with leaders to discuss how those skills and tools can directly tie into careers and programs abroad. 



Barbara Alston Alston - State Department

Darrell Stewart - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Cristalynne Dupree - AmeriCorps VISTA

Natalie Felton - Peace Corps

Tammi Fergusson - White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

10:30-11:45amCareer Concurrent Sessions
Maximizing Your Skillset: Elevator Pitches, Interviews, and Leveling Up

During this session the goal is for participants to define their international experience outcomes within a career advancement context. Presenters will provide a space for students to craft an international experience elevator pitch and identify skills they earned or strengthened during their time abroad in order to develop their global brand, as well as practice networking/interviewing/resume writing where international experience is emphasized. 



Angela Manginelli - AIFS Abroad

Mapping an Internationally Focused Career: What It Looks Like and How to Get There

You went abroad and now you want to make sure your career path has an international slant. What can an internationally focused career look like for your major? What programs exist to grant exposure to working internationally? Representatives from Howard University’s Diplomatic Fellowships and the U.S. Peace Corps will lead participants in a dynamic session on how to leverage the study abroad/international experience into other exciting international opportunities and careers.


This session will help GSLS participants understand the wide range of career paths in international affairs, learn about funded volunteer and internship opportunities, and gain expert advice on how to set yourself up for success for a career in the international affairs sector. 



Lily Lopez-McGee - Howard University

Natalie Felton - Peace Corps

It’s Not ALL About The Résumé But IT IS About the Résumé

This workshop will provide participants with solid information on the structure of a strong, relevant, and persuasive résumé that integrates your international experience and some on-the-spot feedback that, taken together, make for highly competitive, globally minded job candidates in an ever-tougher hiring landscape. IMPORTANT: Bring two paper copies of your résumé to the workshop!



Bob Brown - University of New Orleans

11:45am - 1:15pmLunch (on your own)
1:20 - 2:20pmPlenary
2:30 - 5:00pm
Exploring Future Opportunities: Global Industry Tables

Organizations, institutions, and service providers will gather in order to provide a space for participants in GSLS to engage in networking and pitch practice and to make connections for future job opportunities. Representatives will be present from a variety of career fields and will be available to interact with students. This is an opportunity for all students to gain valuable networking skills and practice interacting with professionals after engaging in career development throughout the day.

5:00 - 5:30pmBreak
5:30-7:30pmAwards Gala & Dinner

7:45-9:00amBreakfast: Gilman Top Producer Announcement & Lessons from Gilman Top Producers Panel
9:00am- 10:00amPoster Session + Exhbitor Fair + Light Refreshments
10:15am - 11:15amPaying it Forward Concurrent Sessions
Leadership for the Future: Lessons From Studying Abroad

Studying abroad represents a challenge for all students, but for Native American and indigenous students these challenges are especially unique. Join this Q&A panel and hear from two future leaders about how their time studying abroad as Native American women in New Zealand and learning from Māori has enhanced their leadership skills and empowered them to return to their communities equipped to tackle some of the challenges faced.



Ed Tuari - Rautaki Māori, Education New Zealand

Angel Geller - Lincoln Public Schools

Hailey Suina - Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

Paying It Forward: Benefits of Creating Inclusive Programming for Diverse Students Abroad

The goal of this session is for students to see the power they have in influencing positive institutional change. Through highlighting aspects of the student-designed program from inception to reality, both triumphs and difficulties, the presenter aims to encourage students to seek opportunities that allow engagement with their institutions in creating initiatives for inclusive student support and programming. The information that students have from lived experiences is extremely valuable and allows them to see where they may improve and continue to grow institutional programs.



Ewan Johnson - Temple University

Rosemary Carlson - Temple University

11: 30am - 12:30pm
More than Paying It Forward: Making an Impact on Your Campus and Beyond

There is an inherent expectation of students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds who have gone abroad to talk to their friends and family about their experience, whether it’s in a formal position with the study abroad office or in informal conversations with peers. It’s helpful for all students to share their experience abroad but especially for diverse students since other students on campus “like you” may not know how to start the process of going abroad, how to take advantage of coursework in their major that’s taught abroad, or what the benefits of study abroad might be. 


This session will help students think about ways to talk about study abroad and workshop innovative ideas to engage new populations of underrepresented students. Students will have a chance to pitch their designs in front of other participants to gain feedback and collaborate to implement new concepts once they return to their respective campuses and communities. 



Ruby Shields - Diversity Abroad 

Joelle Tolifero - Diversity Abroad

12:45pm - 2:15pmLunch & Plenary
2:30 - 3:45 pm
Conference Reflections: Major Takeaways and Action Plan

The Global Student Leadership Summit is a space for reflection and growth, and part of engaging in a learning experience like GSLS is being able to process and debrief individually and with your peers. This session will provide a space for conference reflections including a written evaluation to center students’ thoughts before a guided discussion. Discussion will center on previous sessions, engagement with the larger Diversity Abroad Conference, how we as a community met our shared goals/expectations, and how we will act to increase Diversity in global education moving forward after engaging in this experience.



Ewan Johnson - Temple University

Neal McKinney - DePauw University

Ruby Shields - Diversity Abroad

Joelle Tolifero - Diversity Abroad


Universities and study abroad program providers are encouraged to register promising students to attend the Global Student Leadership Summit. Nominating organizations are responsible for the registration fees of their nominated students, and are encouraged to confirm the student’s ability to participate prior to completing the online form.

To register a student, please complete the online registration form linked below. By submitting a registration for a student to the GSLS, you are committing to receiving updates from Diversity Abroad Conference organizers. Please provide your own contact information during the registration process.

Please reference the required registration materials — including an essay — prior to submitting the form. NOTE: Student nominations act as conference registrations & will be automatically approved. Please only register students confirmed to attend the Global Student Leadership Summit. Evening receptions, lunch & dinner on Monday, lunch on Tuesday, and coffee breaks are included in the student registration.

EARLY BIRD (Oct. 1 – Dec. 20)

  • Student Track Member: $299
  • Student Track Non-Member: $349
REGULAR (Dec. 21 – Feb. 14)

  • Student Track Member: $324
  • Student Track Non-Member: $374
LATE (Feb. 15 - March 7)

  • Student Track Member: $374
  • Student Track Non-Member: $399
ONSITE (March 14-17)

  • Student Track Member: $399
  • Student Track Non-Member: $424


Global Student Leadership Planning Committee

LaTesha Charbonnet Gonzales
University of New Orleans

Ewan Johnson
Temple University

Neal McKinney
DePauw University

Lee Rivers (1)
Lee Rivers
IIE Houston

Ruby Shields Headshot - Ruby Shields
Ruby Shields
Diversity Abroad

IMG_7450 - Larree Strickland
Larree Strickland
Former Peace Corps Volunteer

Joelle Tolifero
Diversity Abroad

IMG_3737 - Jacquis Watters
Jacquis Watters
Columbia University

Irene B. Ziegler
University of New Orleans