The Excellence in Leadership (E-Lead) program last month celebrated its 2023 graduating class and 10 years at Marquette with a year-end celebration that brought together current E-Lead students and staff, graduating seniors, alumni, parents, advisory board members, program donors, and other university leaders, faculty, and staff.
Led by the Opus College of Engineering, E-Lead is a curricular innovation leadership development program for undergraduate students across disciplines at Marquette. Through a curriculum rooted in the Ignatian tradition, E-Leaders progress through a three-year program focused on leading oneself, leading with others and leading innovation. Students apply in their sophomore year, earning academic credit for their classroom and experiential innovation leadership learning.
E-Lead invites rising sophomores interested in the program to sign up for a newly launched e-newsletter list. Applications will open in September 2023 for the next cohort of sophomores to begin the program in January 2024.
Celebrating a decade of E-Lead
Dr. Kristina Ropella, Opus Dean of the Opus College of Engineering, opened the late-April celebration honoring 29 graduating seniors who all completed the E-Lead program.
The evening’s program included a dinner, highlights from the past 10 years, senior tributes and a presentation of the inaugural Spirit of E-Lead award to 2019 program alumnus Efrain Torres.
Attendees also had the opportunity to visit the E-Lead classroom at the Fotsch Innovation and Engineering Leadership Development (FIELD) Center in Dr. E. J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall, the newly dedicated home for Marquette Business and leadership innovation programs. Special 10-year anniversary programming included the screening of a new video highlighting E-Lead alumni reflecting on the program’s positive impact on their lives and careers.
“The E-Lead program is one-of-a-kind,” says Kate Trevey, Nana Fotsch Director of the FIELD Center. “It was designed specifically for our campus here at Marquette as a Catholic, Jesuit institution. Students shouldn’t have to wait 10 or 15 years into their careers and into the workforce until they have formal, intentional leadership development opportunities.”
Founded by Ropella, E-lead welcomed its first cohort of students in spring 2014 — 172 students have graduated from the program since 2016.
Hasan Barakat, a 2019 E-Lead alumnus and current product manager at GE Healthcare, reflects on his time in the program: “The E-lead program, for me, represents a period of profound growth and transformation of who I am, how I think, and the way I view myself and my potential.”
Since its inception, E-Lead has been entirely donor supported, with no cost for participating students. Alumnus and trustee emeritus Chuck Swoboda, who is also a Marquette innovator-in-residence, E-Lead parent and donor, says, “E-Lead is the single best investment you can make in yourself during your time at Marquette.”