Leadership Development

About Us

Our Philosophy:

At Fairfield we believe that every student has the capacity to develop their own leadership identity. Through our Leadership Development Programs students are able to learn more about how they can practice effective leadership in their current roles, civic life, and future careers.

Our Assumptions:

  • We are a community of learners working together to better not only ourselves but also one another
  • Leadership is a process through which people work together to create a positive impact
  • Leadership is not positional
  • Students are responsible for their own Leader Self-Development


Supporting Theories & Models:

While leadership happens in many places, we base our work on five foundational developmental models:

  • Leadership Identity Development Model
  • Relational Leadership Model
  • Social Change Model of Leadership Development
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Servant Leadership

Learning Based Assessment:

All of our leadership development programs utilize assessment to determine how students are learning and exercising their understanding of leadership. Analysis of the information collected through these assessments directly informs our practice of how we develop intentional programs to aid our students in their leadership identity development.

Learn about Leadership Opportunities!

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership Development at Fairfield University exists in numerous offices, departments, and student paid and/or volunteer positions.

More information regarding these experiences and how to apply for them can be found at Leadership Opportunities.

Leadership Recognition Ceremony

The Ceremony fosters a sense of community amongst our student leaders by honoring and recognizing those students who have gone above and beyond in service to their peers and to the Fairfield University campus community, and who have exemplified the Jesuit values that we hold dear. Furthermore, the Ceremony recognizes student leaders primarily in elected and selected leadership roles on campus, along with developing student leaders.

FYE Leadership Thematic Sections

This course focuses on first year students exploring a nontraditional FYE curriculum through self-examination of their personal leadership development.

Student Experiences "What do past participants have to say?"

I really enjoyed taking this course. Through various different discussions and activities, I have learned how to be a great leader in the community and at Fairfield.

This course was a great experience that taught me many valuable lessons that I could not have learned in my regular classes.

Leadership Workshops

Workshops will be offered for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are seeking opportunities to continue their leader self-development.

Redefining Leadership

Redefining Leadership explores the concepts of how different leadership theories and models can be applied to students' current roles, civic life, and their future careers. First year students who enroll in this program will be studying leadership from a theoretical point of view and applying leadership to several salient areas in which effective leadership is crucial to their future as young professionals in the career paths they elect to follow as well as their civic identity. Space is limited to 100 First Year Students.

During this 12 week program students will practice reflective journal techniques about their experience in this program, utilize the Clifton StrengthsFinder "StrenghtsQuest" as well as MBTI, refine their understanding of how they practice leadership within communities for which they are a current member (including clubs/organizations and civic communities) and develop sound presentation skills for their future careers.

Program Expectations:

  • Attend and actively participate in all 12, 1.5 hour sessions
  • Attend Program Retreat on Saturday, February 7th from 9am - 3pm
  • Complete Blackboard discussion boards
  • Complete Civic Engagement Project
  • Complete Leadership Portfolio Presentation
  • Have fun, learn more about who you are, and how you can enhance your leadership abilities

Student Experiences "What do past participants have to say?"

This program has taught me that only by becoming more deeply connected with those around you can you hope to lead in a more positive and productive manner that makes a lasting change.- Haasim Vahora '16, Electrical Engineering Major

In this program I feel as though I have learned a lot about myself and how to vocalize my strengths. I am learning more about the different philosophies of leadership, and how to incorporate these into my everyday life. Overall, this program has been a positive experience and I have had the opportunity to meet great new people and learn a lot about myself.- Danielle Pittala '16, Nursing Major

This leadership program was one of the greatest experiences that I could have possibly had as an incoming freshman. This program has helped me refine my skills as a leader, and ultimately helped me achieve my goal of becoming a Resident Assistant. I would recommend that everybody interested in a leadership position take this class. It is a great opportunity to really step forward and become more successful in all areas of life.- David Neubauer '16, Biology Major

The many group based interactions through this program was important in the peer learning process; gaining knowledge from our fellow classmates helped me understand what I can do better to become a leader in my own life. Connecting the beginning of the program (personal strengths) to the end (how strength plays into leadership roles) made everything come full circle and only enforced how important knowing yourself can be.- Meaghan Conlon '16, Finance and English Major


StrengthsQuest Leader Development Sessions

Sessions can address topics such as Strengths in relation to individual roles, group dynamics and relationships, task completion, purpose, or other organization issues or concerns. The best teams get the job done by intentionally using each member's strengths. StrengthsQuest supports student organizations to reach greater success by helping them create a team dynamic that welcomes, values, and leverages each member's talents. Students interested in requesting a session for their organization should contact mkielty@fairfield.edu two weeks prior to the proposed session date.

StrengthsQuest gives students and educators the opportunity to develop strengths by building on their greatest talents the way in which they most naturally think, feel, and behave as unique individuals. Grounded in Positive Psychology and the Clifton StrengthsFinder, StrengthsQuest has helped more than 1 million people at more than 600 schools and universities achieve academic, career, and personal success (www.strengthsquest.com).

Contact Us

Megan Kielty, M.S.
Assistant Director, Leadership & Professional Development
Career Planning Center
Kelley Center
(203) 254-4000, ext. 3295

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