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Georgia Southern student leadership program garners national recognition

John Banter, left, and John Egan take a photo with the Southern Leaders chapter award, as well as their individual awards.

Southern Leaders, a Georgia Southern University undergraduate leadership program, received national recognition as a recipient of the 2018 Association of Leadership Educators (ALE) Outstanding Program Award. The award recognizes outstanding leadership programs implemented by leadership educators that can have substantial impact on individuals, organizations, institutions and/or communities through data.

Georj Lewis, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs, announced the award recognition to staff members at the division’s summer workshop.

“We are fortunate at Georgia Southern to have programs that truly advance our division’s mission to engage students in experiences that transform lives and support the realization of their potential,” Lewis said.

Southern Leaders, a program directed by the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OLCE) in the Division of Student Affairs, is a co-curricular leadership program that currently engages more than 300 undergraduate students in an interactive leadership experience throughout their college career. Students participate in three non-credit leadership courses and additional elements associated with high-quality leadership development programs.

In recent program evaluations, students affirmed they are better leaders and have an increased knowledge of exemplary leadership practices because of the program.

In addition to the program award, OLCE staff members John Banter and John Egan were recognized at the 2018 ALE national conference in Chicago as the conference’s Distinguished Educator Workshop for their presentation titled, “Escape Rooms: A Student-Centered Approach to Animating Leadership Learning.” The workshop displayed their work utilizing escape games as an innovative leadership teaching strategy and provided a framework for other educators to further engage students in their courses.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit


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