2016 PKAL Summer Leadership Institute for STEM Faculty

July 12, 2016 to July 31, 2016
Multiple Dates
Adamstown, MD

Institute I: July 12 – July 17, 2016
Institute II: July 19 – July 24, 2016
Institute III: July 26 – July 31, 2016
The Claggett Center, Adamstown, Maryland


The PKAL Summer Leadership Institute is designed for both early and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The five-day intensive Institute provides faculty participants with the theory and practice required to effectively manage the politics of such change and contribute to the national STEM higher education reform effort. 

PKAL has been offering Summer Leadership Institutes since 1996. Currently, over 40 percent of Institute alumni hold positions of leadership on their home campus. Institutes will be held this year at Claggett Center, a retreat and conference center overlooking the fields of Sugarloaf Valley near Frederick, Maryland.

All of the Institutes are identical in format and programming, consisting of a team of eight who are nationally recognized leaders in STEM higher education. Institute mentors play a key role in guiding the Institute, contributing first-hand experience in institutional change leadership at the local and national levels. Mentors work with participants during the Institute to shape a personal agenda for leadership, and develop an action plan for either an ongoing or new undergraduate STEM initiative at either the campus or national level. As such, significant time is allotted for informal conversation and reflection with mentors.

Additionally, the Institute strategically utilizes a combination of introspection and experiential learning—along with a variety of other approaches that include, but are not limited to case studies, role-playing, and collaborative problem-solving exercises—in order to empower a cadre of leaders who are equipped to:

  • Lead Change with Courage;
  • Embrace Diverse Perspectives with Authenticity and Legitimacy; and
  • Communicate Bold, New Ideas with Thoughtfulness and Clarity

Specifically, Institute participants can expect to:

  • Explore practical and tactical leadership skills for directing campus-based and national undergraduate STEM reform initiatives;
  • Engage in rigorous discourse about national and regional opportunities and challenges related to STEM higher education;
  • Learn from experienced mentors about the political dimensions of institutional change, the importance of understanding institutional culture, and the changing national context for STEM leadership;
  • Practice the art of successful communication and negotiation;
  • Learn about communication styles and develop an appreciation of how differences in communication styles, experiences, and backgrounds contribute to enhanced problem solving;
  • Reflect privately, and with mentors and peers, on being an agent of change for STEM higher education at the institutional and national levels;
  • Create a leadership growth plan, with guidance from mentors that outlines the vision, goals and strategies to effect change; and
  • Join a network of colleagues from around the country who share similar goals regarding the creation of effective learning environments for all STEM learners.

Emerging STEM faculty leaders from all institution types, especially community colleges and minority serving institutions, are encouraged to apply. STEM faculty from historically underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.