Skip to main content

Southern Leaders Overview

Sl Logo New 01

What is Southern Leaders?

The Southern Leaders Program is a leadership development and community engagement program on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses of Georgia Southern University designed to engage students in an interactive experience throughout their college career.

Why should I join Southern Leaders?

Southern Leaders focuses on personal leadership development, team building, community engagement, and creating positive change.  Southern Leaders learn how to make a difference in their communities through interactive leadership lessons, community service, challenging team projects, and unique leadership opportunities.  All of these benefits enable you to not only become a leader on campus, but provides you the skills employers are looking for on your resume (NACE’s Job Outlook 2016).

What do Southern Leaders get to do?

Leadership Courses

Urkvoia Teaching

Southern Leaders learn leadership theory and practice in LEAD Courses.  Southern Leaders complete leadership coursework centered around the transformational leadership model.  This curriculum allows you to investigate your own values and how they shape your actions as a leader; discover your individual strengths and how you use them when working with a team; create and manage change as you lead in the community and organizations; and develop an understanding of sustainability as it pertains to your own leadership and the legacy you leave behind you.

Engage in the Community

Students painting with Habitat

Southern Leaders tackle community issues through special projects and community service both on and off campus.  Southern Leaders can be found serving all over southeast Georgia taking on leadership roles as well as serve the community through their action.  Under the guidance of the Southern Leaders Community Engagement Chair, these community service events work with various community partners to allow students to serve the legitimate needs of our community while also discovering ways they can leave a lasting impact. Past service opportunities include events such as the Tybee Island Beach Cleanup and the Statesboro Dash for Trash.

Have Fun


Southern Leaders participate in a variety of fun adventures, games, conferences, and social events.  Southerns Leaders serving on the Southern Leaders Advisory Council plan these events with staff to ensure they are exciting and enjoyable events that also contribute to your leadership development.  Southern Leaders plans many of its own social events such as the Southern Leaders Soiree pictured here.  However, Southern Leaders also attend campus events, attend games to support Eagle Athletics, and help serve with various campus departments’ events.

Southern Leaders Program Requirements

The Southern Leaders Program is based on the theoretical framework of transformational leadership as demonstrated through the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” laid out in The Leadership Challenge (Kouzes & Posner, 1987).  The program also involves multiple leadership theories, but relies on transformational leadership to provide the backbone of the program and the practical application of leadership development.  Students in Southern Leaders also will discover how their values and personality influence their leadership style; their unique strengths and how they can utilize a team to effective accomplish a goal; learn about their emotional intelligence, how to use and develop it effectively as a leader; and how to lead positive change in a community/organization.  Students leave their time in the Southern Leaders Program with an advanced understanding of how to effectively lead others and how they best operate as leaders.

To recognize the learning, leadership, and service of students completing the Southern Leaders Program, those who complete the program requirements earn the Leadership & Service seal for their diploma.  This special recognition is reserved for only the most prestigious programs at Georgia Southern University.

Requirements for the Southern Leaders Program

In Spring 2018, the Southern Leaders Program underwent an extensive programmatic evaluation involving students in the program to discover program strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for further development.  Through this process, the program requirements were slightly altered and additional resources were made available to students in the program.  The program also aligned leadership competencies (Seemiller, 2014) with the new program format.

Complete the Emerging Leader Certificate

  • LEAD 1000: Self Leadership
  • Complete Southern Leaders Coaching Program
  • Complete the First Portion of Your Leadership Portfolio

*Students on the Armstrong campus meet all requirements for the Emerging Leader Certificate through their completion of the Nick Mamalakis Emerging Leaders Program.

Complete the Team-based Leadership Certificate

  • LEAD 2000: Collaborative Leadership
  • Complete the Second Portion of Your Leadership Portfolio
  • Complete the Southern Leaders Team Challenge

Complete the Leading Positive Change Certificate

  • LEAD 3000: Rethinking Community Leadership
  • Develop and Implement a Leadership Legacy Project
  • Complete a Leadership Incubator Experience
  • Participate in Tier 3 Leadership Activities

Students completing all the above requirements will be eligible for the Southern Leaders Graduate Medallion and Seal.

Last updated: 3/7/2022