Summer Leadership Institute

Upper Midwest Regional PKAL STEM Leadership Workshop for Early Career Faculty

June 11 - 13, 2010

Saint John's University
Collegeville, Minnesota

This workshop was geared toward early-career STEM faculty engaged with transforming undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education in their classrooms and departments.

This weekend retreat, modeled after the successful weeklong PKAL Leadership Institute, was designed to enhance the leadership capacity in our region's colleges and universities and to provide support for early career faculty acting as change agents on their campus or in their profession.


  • engaged in discussions of the challenges and opportunities for STEM faculty in leading educational initiatives
  • learned from experienced facilitators about the political dimensions of change
  • practiced the art of successful communication and leadership
  • shared their career and educational project plans with peers and experienced mentors
  • networked with others in nearby campus communities.

Most importantly, the workshop provided an opportunity for participants to reflect privately and with mentors and peers on finding balance in their personal and professional lives, on being an agent of change, and on leadership that makes a lasting difference.

PKAL Leadership Workshops use a blend of theory and practice to weave discussions of issues of national import with experiences about the politics of change together with time for conversation and reflections with mentors. Workshop mentors have a key role in guiding the conversations, as they bring to the table first-hand experience in leadership in institutional change at the local and national level. Pedagogical approaches include case studies, role-playing, field trips and collaborative problem solving exercises. Mentors work with participants during the institute in shaping that agenda for action and continue to serve as mentors to their colleagues during the coming year.

Event Location: The workshop was held on the wooded campus of Saint John's University, located in the heart of Lake Wobegon country in central Minnesota. Field trips and experiential learning exercises made use of campus prairies, forest trails, and pristine lakes.

The Upper Midwest Regional PKAL STEM Leadership Workshop is supported by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) and the National Science Foundation.


Agenda, Session Outlines, Resources
Summer Leadership Institutes & Mini Leadership Seminars
Program Background & Resources


Session I - Leadership in STEM: Taking a Kaleidoscopic Approach
Alison Morrison-Shetlar, Dean of Elon College-Elon University
Session III - Ready, Set, Action!
Susan B. Chaplin, Professor of Biology - University of St. Thomas
Session IV - The Politics of Change: How Can I Make Lemonade from Lemons?
Mary Walczak, Professor of Chemistry - St. Olaf College