MSUToday
Published: July 24, 2017

Global Spartan Leadership Program prepares students

By: Allyson Hamzey Media Communications ally.hamzey@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Amber Paige Cordell International Center office: 517-432-8242 amberc@msu.edu

Last fall, 12 international undergraduate students were given the opportunity to participate in a new intercultural leadership program, the Global Spartan Leadership Program, designed to prepare students for leadership in a global world.

Through weekly seminars and a spring break service learning trip, participants were able to build their intercultural awareness, their global leadership skills and their understanding of the responsibilities of global citizenship. Upon completion of the program’s requirements, students were each given an $8,000 scholarship to assist with their tuition. 

“The Global Spartan Leadership Program was the biggest highlight of my college experience,” said Yugi Zhang, a sophomore accounting major from China. “It was entirely free and I got a scholarship for learning so much through the program. No matter what industry you will get into in the future, this program prepares you for anything.”

The program’s mandatory non-credit weekly seminar focused on improving personal leadership and intercultural communication skills and leading in a consistent, ethical manner. Outside of the seminar, students participated in leadership conferences and cultural events. They also shared their culture and experiences as international students on campus and in the greater Lansing community.

“The best part of the program was being surrounded by people from all sorts of different backgrounds and cultures, and analyzing diverse issues through various perspectives,” said Isabella Muszkat Besborodco, a junior majoring in marketing from Brazil.

The Office for International Students & Scholars – founder of the GLSP – fully funded their spring break service learning trip to Memphis, Tennessee, where students supported a variety of service projects in the community. One project involved participants setting up a gymnasium in a community center to resemble Nigeria to give local children a chance to “take a trip around the world” and enjoy a cultural experience.

GSLs also helped children with their homework at an after-school program for refugees, took elementary school kids to the Memphis Zoo and also helped clean the Target House, a place where families can stay when their children are at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“The trip shifted their minds to realize that small actions can make such a big difference in people’s lives,” said Amber Cordell, coordinator of the GLSP. “The students were inspired to come back and volunteer at the refugee center right here in Lansing.”

Marsya Mohd Johari, a junior majoring in journalism from Malaysia, said the GSLP allowed her to “expand her worldview” and taugher her how to be a “global leader and someone who gives to the world.”

OISS has selected 12 international undergraduate students for the 2017-2018 Global Spartan Leadership Program.

Students from the GSLP program of the 2016-2017 school year.