Leonor Ramos-Salamanca is a senior from Johnson majoring in psychology.

She said that while at KU, she met individuals who motivated and inspired her to set goals that go beyond her own expectations.

“From the first day I set foot on KU’s beautiful campus I knew I wanted to make my time there meaningful,” Ramos-Salamanca said. “Thanks to programs like TRIO SES, the McNair’s Scholars Program and the Office of Multicultural Affairs who served as my support systems, I was able to succeed academically and gave me the confidence to be involved on campus.”

Through personal experience and involvement on campus, she said she found a passion to create safe spaces for individuals of marginalized communities.

“My leadership journey at the University of Kansas is my legacy,” she said. “I hope it has paved a way for other students to follow, as being involved on campus has filled me with many things I will always be grateful for.



Why Kelly’s a Hawk to Watch: 

Kelly Houghteling is always up for an adventure. When she’s off the clock, you can expect to find her outdoors hiking, biking, and fly-fishing in the Rocky Mountains, which she calls home. She even made the trek up to the 19,341-foot summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, once during a trip to Tanzania.


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The ILS is the interdisciplinary academic home for leadership studies at KU

The Institute for Leadership Studies (ILS) supports KU’s mission of educating students who can effectively engage in the process of leadership with innovative, interdisciplinary academic programs. Through the ILS these academic programs are collaboratively designed to educate and prepare students to make a difference from where they are with what they have, developing the courage and leadership skills to ignite positive change. 

The ILS currently houses:

Preparations for additional programs are underway and future programming will include:

  • Study Abroad
  • Expansion of our undergraduate course offerings
  • Development of a graduate curriculum to include certificates and degree programs
  • Alumni programming
  • Faculty and staff development
  • Research and grant development
  • Women’s leadership programs and curriculum

Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Minor

First offered to KU students in the spring of 2001, the Leadership Studies Minor (LSM) began as a collaborative partnership between the Department of Communication Studies and the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. The first LSM cohort graduated in the spring of 2003. Believing that a complementary interdisciplinary approach allows students to develop a breadth of innovative capacity that can cross disciplinary boundaries, the LSM fosters a tolerance for ambiguity, empathy, perspective taking, and a self-awareness that promotes active reflection and elevates multiple perspectives in diagnosis and problem solving. The ILS continues to design and offer dynamic academic programming in partnership with departments and schools across the university to provide a foundation from which students can engage their disciplinary content with greater efficacy to then foster effective leadership skills within their major content area.

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It is also the focus of the ILS to elevate the university’s research contributions in the field of leadership and expand grant development opportunities. By maximizing the university’s intellectual capacity, the ILS generates research and delivers academic programs that foster effective leadership among students, the university community, alumni, and external constituencies. In doing so, the ILS fulfills its mission to create leadership capacity among all of its stakeholders for thriving in the face of challenge, conflict, and change.

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Global Women's Leadership Engagement

Planned for January 2022

Qualifies as Leadership Engagement Certificate Experience Hours and Leadership Studies Minor Elective Credit.

Legacy Project

Click below to view the Legacy Project