Office of Student Leadership Development

Home » Programs » ASCEND


The Next Step for Rising Campus Leaders

Congratulations to our Fall 2017 ASCEND cohort!

Nick Belsten Agatha Fenech Lo Meisel
Mitesh Bhalani Stephanie Julitz Kyle Money
Henry Bristol Lanier Langdale Connor Morency
Somto Dimobi Julia Mancini Ayo Sanusi



















ASCEND is the pivotal leadership development program for the next generation of major campus leaders. Based on the Social Change Model of Leadership, ASCEND is a 9-week, cohort-based program for juniors who are rising leaders in their student organizations, governing councils, and athletics teams.This program will focus on:

  1. Developing skills that will allow students to become more impactful leaders in their current and future roles
  2. Providing opportunities for self-evaluation and reflection 
  3. Offering strategies to improve peer accountability within organizations
  4. Building critical relationships among student leaders to promote collaboration and address larger campus issues

Time Commitment: Students will meet weekly for 9-weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-7:30pm throughout the fall semester:

Fall 2017 Schedule and Topics 
August 29: Consciousness of Self
September 5: Congruence
September 12: Commitment
September 19: Common Purpose
September 26: Collaboration
October 3: Controversy with Civility
October 10: Citizenship
October 17: Capstone Project Work Day
October 24: Capstone Presentations

Please contact Brooke Wilson ( with any questions about ASCEND.

Congratulations to our Fall 2016 Cohort!

We enjoyed working alongside these 13 student leaders across Vanderbilt’s campus to research and discuss relevant themes in effort to create social change within Vanderbilt’s campus culture.

Thanks to Mary Casey, Kathryn Speckels, Elizabeth Winter, Olivia Solow-Niederman, Alison Andrade, Derek Brody, Madison Maderious, Simone Charley, Zachary Kleiman, Kenya Wright, Andrew Brodsky, Briana Francois, and Robert Travis! 

Congratulations to our Fall 2015 Cohort!

We had a fantastic group of 13 students start and complete the ASCEND program! These student leaders represented a diverse range of student organizations across Vanderbilt’s campus and will continue to make a huge impact in their student organizations and the greater Vanderbilt campus.

Thanks to Caley Caito, Taylor Gutierrez, Ariana Fowler, Kevin Calamari, Allee Smith, Annie Carforo, Maggie King, Jennifer Chou, Jude Cohen, Musbah Shaheen, Joe Zehentbauer, Courtney Squires, and Benjamin Kitchens for participating and presenting fantastic capstone presentations!

 What do your peers think about ASCEND?

“ASCEND was the first time in my life that I was encouraged not to lead or perform, but, rather, to sit down and think about how I lead and how I perform. That space for reflection was critical in recognizing my flaws and honing my skills as a leader.”

“This was absolutely a fantastic program, and I am so happy I got to be a part of it. Thank you!”

“I loved hearing about leadership from real-world leaders at Vanderbilt and beyond (when else can you have a one-on-one conversation with a Provost??). I also really benefited from hearing from fellow students in the cohort on how THEY led their respective organizations. It’s easy to get swept up in your own clubs and commitments in the day-to-day grind, and ASCEND was a place to really open up and connect with a broader campus.”