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Engaging Leaders Program

Group of Students - Engaging Leaders Program - College of Natural Resources NC State University

The College of Natural Resources (CNR) Engaging Leaders Program aims to develop students by equipping them with the confidence and capacity to collaborate with diverse communities.

Each year, we select up to 25 students to participate this unique program. Students do not need to have prior leadership experience, and we value students with a strong desire to grow personally and professionally. The program is open to freshman, off-campus transfer and on-campus transfer students.

About the Program

Throughout the year, Engaging Leaders attend sessions to help them better understand their personal leadership style, strengths and weaknesses. They also learn essential skills for working in diverse groups, communicating effectively, and project planning.

The highlight of our program is our Shark Tank series where students work collaboratively to design a program that benefits CNR, NC State or the local community. Engaging Leaders will spend the year planning and implementing these programs with their community partner. Previous projects include:

  • LEAF, Learning Environmental Awareness for the Future, event for middle schoolers at the Museum of Natural Sciences
  • Military Outreach Event for home school students in partnership with the Rick Herrama Foundation
  • E.A.S.E Your Mind, a mental wellness event celebrating the multiple ways one can prioritize mental health
  • Environmental Exploration Day for students interested in learning more about natural resources
  • TRAILS, a partnership with the City of Raleigh to install a Tree ID trail and grand-opening celebration

After the first year, students who complete the program can apply to serve as coordinator or serve on the Advisory Board. These students organize the new student retreat and assist with training sessions and meetings throughout the year. They also provide essential support to groups throughout the Shark Tank process.

Benefits of Becoming an Engaging Leader

  • Become part of our diverse and supportive EL community and build relationships with your CNR peers from around the country and the world
  • Learn how you can best utilize and improve your unique skills and strengths to prepare you for future leadership positions both on campus and in the professional world
  • Enhance your cultural and social sensitivity and learn to appreciate and encourage diversity and inclusion as both a leader and group member
  • Understand different communication styles and develop the skills necessary to work and communicate well with a variety of individuals
  • Get connected to community service, professional development, and academic opportunities around the college and all of NC State
  • Learn professionalism for academic and work environments, and the skills you need to impress future employers

Key Components of the Program Include:

  • Membership in a supportive community of dedicated leaders representing all majors within CNR
  • Leadership and diversity retreats
  • Tools to help identify personal leadership styles, strengths, and cultural skills
  • Mentoring and guidance from Advisory Board members and coordinators
  • One on one academic advising sessions for personal and academic growth
  • Engagement with alumni of the program, community members and current students

How Do We #ThinkAndDo?

Take a look. For students who have a passion for the environment or working outdoors, a degree from the College of Natural Resources will get you out of the classroom, into the field and onto a fulfilling career.
#ThinkAndDo something extraordinary at NC State.

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Another great place to #leafpeep without the crowds is Jordan Lake Educational State Forest. 😍🍁🍂

One of seven Educational State Forests operated by the North Carolina Forest Service, Jordan Lake Educational State Forest offers a unique experience in the outdoors. Located in Chapel Hill, the 900-acre state forest is located beside the nearly 14,000-acre Jordan Lake. We highly recommend the other six Educational State Forests across the state as well, as these tend to be smaller forests with self-guided trails with exhibits, tree identification signs, forest education centers and talking tree trails for children — or those who are still young at heart.

Within the forest, visitors can take in the beauty of the area and the wildlife that call it home, including songbirds, flying squirrels and beavers. With a few short trails and the two-mile Forest Demonstration Trail, you’re sure to enjoy great views of the lake.
Some of the best places to view foliage at its peak are North Carolina’s state parks, county parks and city parks. This year, fall foliage will peak across the inland regions of North Carolina between October 12 and 28. Along the coast, foliage is expected to peak between October 19 and November 4. We’ve compiled a list of some destinations in North Carolina where you can enjoy a good show of fall color without the crowds, so follow along on our Instagram over the next several days. 

If you’re looking for scenic walks through a forest to contemplate life’s beauty and mysteries, then look no further than Carvers Creek State Park in Spring Lake, North Carolina. Here, longleaf pine forests offer nine trails of varying lengths, from a half-mile trail known as Dead End Spur Trail to the scenic 4-mile Longleaf Pine Trail. Carvers Creek is the perfect site for birding, where all eight species of woodpeckers can be found, along with several other bird species.
Established in 2005, the park encompasses more than 4,000 acres and offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking and fishing. You can also see historic structures like the Rockefeller House, the former winter vacation home of James Stillman Rockefeller, the late great-nephew to John D. Rockefeller of Stanford Oil and 1924 gold medal Olympian for rowing.
Give a warm welcome to our new recruitment coordinator Ellie Rinehart 👋 Ellie is a '20 sport management @NCStateAlumni who is currently pursuing her master's degree with @ncstateprtm. 

"The College of Natural Resources provided me with a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience for me to be able to succeed in this role. While I was a student in CNR, I got to participate in a variety of different programs, internships, and events that the College offered.

I am most excited about meeting prospective students and being to showcase how great the College of Natural Resources is. We have so much to offer here at the College and I can't wait to assist students in calling CNR home." — @ellie_rinehart

#HowlBack 🐺🐾