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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


11:00-11:20am CSTBrief Welcome Remarks
11:20am-12:15pm CSTPOD Meeting
12:15-1:15pm CSTCritical Conversations on Personal Identity in Education Abroad
1:15-1:30pm CSTBreak
1:35-2:35pm CSTPersonal 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.

Presenter: Cheyenne Boyce, Director of Program Development, 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.

Presenter: Larree Strickland

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.

Presenter: Ruby Shields

2:35-3:00pm CSTBreak & Optional Open Networking
3:05-4:05pm CSTCritical Conversations on Leadership Identity in Education Abroad
4:05-4:15pm CSTBreak
4:20-5:20pm CSTLeadership Identity Concurrent Sessions
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.

Presenter: Demestress Williams, English Professor/Educational Consultant, Benedict College

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 ABCs 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.

Presenter: Will Baggett, Emergent Executives

5:25-5:45pm CSTClosing POD

11:00-11:15am CSTWelcome & Overview of the day
11:15-11:30am CSTOpening POD Meeting
11:30am-12:15pm CSTFeatured Speaker: Chat & Chew
12:15-12:25pm CSTBreak
12:30-1:30pm CSTCareer 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.

Presenter: 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? A representative from Howard University’s Diplomatic Fellowships 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.

Presenter: Lily Lopez-McGee, Director, Pickering Fellowship Program

1:35-1:55pm CSTPOD Meeting

12:00-12:30pm CSTOpening POD Meeting
12:45-2:15pm CSTGSLS Career Event:
Exploring Future Oppotunities: Global Industry Tables
2:15-3:15pm CSTContinued Connections (Optional Networking) or Self-care Break
3:15-3:45pm CSTPaying it Forward: Making an Impact on Your Campus and Beyond
3:45-4:25pm CSTPOD Meeting: Conference Reflections: Major Takeaways and Action Plan
4:25-4:45pm CSTCollective Group Closing


Online Registration Closes Monday, July 27

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.

Students can now nominate themselves for the Summit and 2020 graduates are eligible to participate.

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.

Virtual Summit Registration

  • Student Track Members: $299
  • Student Track Non-members: $349


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