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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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Give a hearty Wolfpack welcome to Dr. Rasul Mowatt, the new head of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (@ncstateprtm). 👋 

Dr. Mowatt comes to the College of Natural Resources after 15 years teaching at @iubloomington. His research expertise lies in social justice and the geographies of race. He is president of The Academy of Leisure Sciences, co-editor of Leisure Sciences, and founding editor of’ Recreation, Parks and Tourism in Public Health.

“My focus centers on the production and restructuring of urban space, primarily within cities, and how that impacts what we understand to be the function of race, gender and class in society. I have taught most recently classes using the legendary HBO show, “The Wire,” to understand city governance, the myths of criminality, and the adverse impacts on social policy. My most recently completed research project involved an analysis of a multitude of cities over the span of history and the insight that can be gleaned from that on how our contemporary cities are influenced by this history (in regards to gentrification, crime, violence, and poverty). 

The questions that spring from analyzing cities do not stop as we continue to dwell in them, as new cities are being built (like Egypt’s new and almost completed capital), and as they continue to expand due to social and economic forces of migrancy and population surplus (borders, job shortages). I hope to continue this research through my affiliate status with the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at NC State. While the questions of the city have resonance for the Department, as well. The expanding impact of Green Gentrification (displacement initiated by sustainable infrastructure improvements) only highlights ways that parks can be problems and solutions, and it all depends on the moral imagination of those who wield the power of planning, programming and management.” 

Learn more about Dr. Mowatt by checking out the latest #NCStateCNR news in our bio.
Welcome back, Pack. 🐺🐾

Here’s to a wonderful semester. 🎉
Home sweet home. ❤️ #NCStateOnCampus