Engaging Leaders Program


Each fall, 25 entering CNR students are selected to participate in this exciting program for incoming freshman, off-campus transfer and on-campus transfer students.

Designed to provide the personalized attention traditionally given within CNR, the program emphasizes hands-on learning, real-world applications, and relationship building with faculty, staff, students and community leaders.

The mission of the program is to:

  • Help students develop their individual leadership skills through engagement in CNR, NC State, and the local community
  • Become more culturally aware by challenging students to engage with new people and try new things
  • Promote involvement in CNR and help students develop relationships with faculty, staff and students


Application Deadline for Incoming Freshmen: April 15, 2016
Application Deadline for On and Off-Campus Transfers: July 10, 2016
Phone Interviews for Freshmen: April 18-22, 2016
Phone Interviews for Transfers: July 11-12, 2016
Notification Deadline for Freshmen: May 1, 2016
Notification Deadline for Transfers: July 13, 2016

Apply Now

About the Program

Engaging Leaders helps students succeed by offering programming that results in:

  • Identifying their individual leadership strengths in academic, social and public service contexts
  • Creating a support network of faculty and fellow students
  • Increasing their cultural awareness through diverse experiences
  • Enhancing their professional development through training in effective communication, networking, and other career services
  • Encouraging participation in academic support services offered through CNR and NCSU

Our Students’ Perspective

“I love the atmosphere in Engaging Leaders! There are so many people that care about and support me in what I do, and when I am not on my “A” game, I have people checking in on me and making sure I am doing OK.”- Erika Fye, Freshman, Environmental Technology and Management

“I love how diverse everyone is. There are no two people alike, which makes activities much more fun. Hearing different perspectives about topics, figuring out different ways of doing things, and learning about different cultures is an amazing aspect of the program.” – Erik Evans II, Freshman, Sport Management

“The EL Program has helped me develop my communication skills through practical opportunities such as group discussions, guest speakers, and professional mix and mingles. I’ve gained valuable experience that will help me throughout my career” – Daniel Choi, Freshman, Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Why become a member of the CNR Engaging Leaders Program?

  • Build a community with other CNR students in a wide variety of majors from around the country and the world
  • Identify and develop your personal leadership and communication skill-set
  • Become a culturally sensitive individual prepared to enter leadership positions in other organizations on campus and in professional societies
  • Learn proper business etiquette to use in a professional environment
  • Develop strong communication skills when working with different types of people
  • Become a leader in CNR by getting connected to student organizations, community service, and other unique opportunities
  • Learn about new opportunities within the college and university

What are the requirements for the CNR Engaging Leaders Program?

Students must:

  • Be entering the College of Natural Resources for the first time in the Summer or Fall of 2016
  • Attend the Engaging Leaders Retreat on August 26-28, 2016 (this will be an overnight program)
  • Attend Mid-Year One Day Diversity Retreat in January 2017 (date TBD)
  • Be free on Tuesday evenings for bi-monthly meetings between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
  •  Attend at least one community service event and one diversity-related event each semester and reflect on these experiences
  • Work with other Engaging Leaders to create a program that benefits the college, NC State, or the local community
  • Be open to trying new experiences outside of the college and willing to explore new opportunities
  • Complete the CNR Engaging Leaders Application

Features of the Engaging Leaders Program include:

  • Membership in a community of dedicated leaders representing all majors within CNR
  • Kick-Off Leadership Retreat
  • Monthly seminars and events focused on our goals of leadership, cultural awareness, and professional development
  • Information on NCSU student involvement, career services and academic support
  • Tools to help identify personal leadership styles, strengths, and cultural skills
  • Mentoring from upper class students
  • One on one advising with CNR staff
  • Business Etiquette Dinner & Mix and Mingles with alumni
  • Participation in community service projects including an optional spring break trip


Each student is asked to pay $85 at the beginning of the year. This fee includes:

  • Lodging, transportation, materials and most meals for retreat
  • All program supplies throughout the year
  • Transportation to all events and activities
  • Engaging Leaders t-shirt
  • Snacks for meetings and special programs

Scholarships are available for those students who have extreme financial need to cover the cost of all or a portion of the $85.



Any questions should be directed to Dr. Shaefny Grays at sdgrays@ncsu.edu.


Sponsored by the NC State Natural Resources Foundation, Inc.