Office of Student Leadership Development

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Vanderbilt Student Leadership Team

The Vanderbilt Student Leadership Team (VSLT) is charged with collaborating with the Office of Student Leadership Development (OSLD) to provide leadership training, education, and development at Vanderbilt University. These programs and other opportunities are based on valid leadership development principles and practices, as well as the Leadership Excellence Philosophy Statement (LEPS), the shared vision of leadership adopted by the Office of the Dean of Students in 2013:


The Vanderbilt University Office of Student Leadership Development believes in developing visionary, goal driven and action oriented student leaders. Exhibiting an awareness of self, a student leader at Vanderbilt is:

  • Accountable (accountable to others and accepting of responsibility)
  • Collaborative (team oriented, seeks out others)
  • Communicative (an effective communicator)
  • Ethical (practices moral decision making and integrity)
  • Service-Oriented (civic engagement and servant leadership)
  • Supportive of all (open minded and embraces diversity)

Members of the Vanderbilt Student Leadership Team join in the spring of their sophomore year and are asked to commit to serving in this role for two calendar years. While the board is advised by staff in the Office of Student Leadership Development, the actions and work of the VSLT is determined by the student members. Expectations are that this group will:

  • Meet biweekly (as a group) with a staff member of OSLD
  • Develop and facilitate programs and workshops that will enhance the leadership development of students and student organizations at Vanderbilt University
  • Participate in professional development opportunities, including peer facilitator training
  • Assist OSLD with signature programs, including EVOLVE, LED Talks, Leaders Heart Lunch, and the Magnolia Awards
  • Creatively promote/market the board, OSLD, and programs offered by both
  • Serve as an advisory board to OSLD
  • Lead creative acts of recognition of student leaders and organizations who are demonstrating leadership at Vanderbilt University

If you are interested in joining the VSLT, you must complete a form on Anchor Link.

Meet our VSLT

Jay King


Year: Junior

Major: HOD and Economics

Other involvement: VSG Vice President, Honor Exec Board, Commons RA, Speakers Committee Member

Why should Vanderbilt students embrace & explore leadership?
I think it’s two-fold. Leadership not only pushes you outside of your comfort zone and exposes you to other people’s ways of communicating/interacting while forcing you to think about someone else’s perspective other than your own, but it also causes you to challenge yourself and grow through the experiences and people you’re exposed to. We are all going to be leaders someday. Leaders of countries, leaders of corporations, and leaders of families. Learning lessons in leadership and how to motivate and engage your peers is such a valuable skill for Vanderbilt graduates to learn in order to be successful and do the good in this world that we all want to do.

Esther Taati

Year: Junior

Major: Political Science

Other involvement: Commons RA, Vice President: Vanderbilt Multicultural Leadership Council, First-Year Cultural Competency Coordinator: Hidden ‘Dores

Why should Vanderbilt students embrace & explore leadership?
Leadership is a way to empower oneself through serving and building up other people.  If we as Vanderbilt students can learn to lead and follow effectively, we can collectively improve our community and make it a safer, more enjoyable space to learn and live with one another.

Lauren Pak


Year: Junior

Major: HOD and Political Science

Other involvement: Ingram Scholar, Office of Undergraduate Admissions MOSAIC: Executive Board, Office of Active Citizenship and Service: Student Advisory Board, Vanderbilt Student Government: Executive Steering Committee, Manna Project International: Site Leader Educator, Malaysia-Vanderbilt Exchanging Relations in Culture and Knowledge, Training Development, Ethics; The Vanderbilt Political Review: Editorial Board, The Hustler: Opinion Writer, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority

Why should Vanderbilt students embrace & explore leadership?
In my eyes, a leader is someone who works towards collective efficacy.  True empowerment requires an understanding on how to constructively and collaboratively work across disciplines and frameworks to build a developmental space for all.  This type of powerful engagement is leadership.  As a part of the Vanderbilt, Nashville, U.S., and the greater global community, our interdependence means we share in building a culture of peace.

Emma Kissane

Year: Junior

Major: Special Education

Other involvement: Next Steps, Susan Gray School, Outdoor Recreation, Dance Marathon, Alternative Spring Break, Alpha Chi Omega

Why should Vanderbilt students embrace & explore leadership?
By exploring leadership roles on campus, you challenge yourself to engage with students who are different from you – in their backgrounds, in the ways they think, and in what they prioritize. Those interactions are some of the most important learning experiences we have as college students.