Leadership Department partners with UVA graduate program

Batten School to offer CNU students application fee waiver, $7,500 fellowship

The Leadership and American Studies department at CNU has just announced a partnership with UVA’s Frank Batten School for Public Policy. The partnership, which waives fees to apply and makes students eligible for an annual fellowship of $7,500, is open to any student or alumni that has graduated with majors or minors in Leadership Studies or American Studies. 

The Batten School for Leadership and Public Policy was established in 2007 and melds scholarship on leadership and public policy. It offers a masters in public policy and ensures students must apply these scholarships in an internship. 

This program is one that Dr. S Lynn Shollen, a professor and department chair for the Leadership and American Studies Program, believes to be a good extension for the program we have at CNU. 

“It makes sense for CNU students…to continue to build their knowledge and practice in the Batten School’s program that emphasizes leadership applied through public policy. This combination of undergraduate and graduate education will prepare students for opportunities to lead change in various sectors across the globe.”

However, for Shollen, the real benefit to the program is the greater effects such a program can have.

“What really excited us though, is the benefit for the wider world that will result in CNU-UVA graduates begin their careers serving the greater good.”

The partnership, established this year, was partly forged by former CNU American Studies alumnae Courtney Leistensnider (‘16) who acts as a representative for the school. 

For Shollen, this was another key to her excitement for the program. 

“She knew what the program was about and she felt it would have a really good synergy for the Batten School,” Shollen said. 

Although the partnership does not include guaranteed acceptance to either the school or the fellowship, Shollen believes that the partnership does a lot for CNU students in leadership, namely that it gets people thinking about graduate schools.

“We’re really excited we might be providing students an option that they hadn’t thought of it before.” Shollen continued, “It brings it to the spotlight.”

For many leadership programs graduate school is not on their minds. Sophomore and leadership studies minor, Mara Tharp, said that she previously hadn’t thought about a graduate program, but this program may change things. “That program has made me consider it. It looks pretty legitimate,” Tharp said.

That said, this partnership is also being offered to several schools in the area. 

“It will be interesting to see how competitive it becomes,” Shollen said. 

But she remains confident in CNU students, especially given our leadership minors. 

“Our students have a good job to be competitive and they have a background in leadership studies which aligns well with the program at the Batten school,” Shollen said.

The first round of admissions has already past, but the second round accepts applications for next year until March 25. 

For those seeking more information on the program, Courtney Liesenstider will be on campus answering questions later in January.

~Morgan Barclay, Editor-in-Chief~


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