Mason Leads! Events to Celebrate Opportunities for Leadership

Posted: September 11, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Mary Frances Forcier, Leadership Steering Committee Member

Rushworth Kidder
Rushworth M. Kidder
Institute for Global Ethics photo

A new initiative called Mason Leads! is the umbrella for a series of events this fall designed to celebrate leadership at Mason.

A talk by author and ethics scholar Rushworth M. Kidder and a panel discussion featuring veteran observers of the Washington political scene will highlight the program.

All events are free and will be held on the Fairfax Campus.

Featured speaker Kidder will discuss “Moral Courage: The Guts of a Tough Decision” on Thursday, Sept. 25, at 3 p.m. in the Harris Theater. An award-winning author and former columnist for the Christian Science Monitor, Kidder will focus on how to grapple with everyday issues and problems, enabling listeners to resolve ethical dilemmas and to make the tough choice between what are often two “right” actions.

For the past 15 years, as the founder of the Institute for Global Ethics, he has worked to refine the guidelines for ethical decision making through research, public discourse and practical action.

The panel discussion, “Does Ethics Matter? The ‘Facebook’ of Political Leadership,” will take place on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema. Mason faculty members Toni-Michelle Travis, public and international affairs; and Richard Norton Smith, scholar in residence, will join League of Women Voters executive director Nancy Tate in the exchange, which will be moderated by WJLA-TV reporter Rebecca Cooper.

Mason Leads! is organized by the University-wide Steering Committee on Leadership, which includes faculty, student and staff representatives from across the university.

“We really want to show the range of leadership possibilities at Mason and encourage everyone to take a look at how they might take part in developing their own leadership skills to make a difference on campus and in the community,” says committee co-chair Nance Lucas, associate dean of New Century College.

“This is a way of bringing together the many leadership initiatives on campus,” adds co-chair Pam Patterson, assistant vice president and dean of students. “We are also launching a web site to give people a chance to see where they might be able to get involved.”

Other Mason Leads! events include

A Brownbag Conversation and Gathering of Leadership Scholars

Monday, Sept. 22, noon to 1:30 p.m., Mason Hall, Room D1

Faculty members, staff members or students engaged in research or scholarship connected to leadership are invited to join colleagues from across campus in a dialogue about leadership education and research at Mason.

Fall for the Book: Lincoln Scholars

Tuesday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Johnson Center Dewberry Hall South

Five prominent authors — Daniel Mark Epstein, Andrew Ferguson, Michael Beschloss, Joshua Wolf Shenk, and James L. Swanson — discuss the Lincoln legacy as they mark the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

An Invitation to the Positive Revolution: Appreciative Inquiry

Tuesday, Sept. 23, noon to 1:30 p.m., Research I, Room 162

Students, faculty and staff members are invited to take part in an inquiry to uncover Mason’s leadership culture, strengths and potential for development. Share your stories of making a difference and contribute to envisioning the future of leadership on our campus; to learn more, visit

Leadership Film Night: “The Great Debaters”

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m., Johnson Center Cinema

Leadership Mason Conference

Saturday, Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Student Union Building II

This conference focuses on leadership skill development and education. Students can enhance existing leadership skills, while gaining new skills that will be of benefit now and in the future. To apply, see

University Convocation

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 3 p.m., Johnson Center Dewberry Hall

The entire campus community joins together to review the university’s progress and learn more about its future direction with President Alan Merten and key leaders.

Sponsors of Mason Leads! include the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Senior Vice President, University Life, New Century College, Student Health Services, the Office of Housing and Residence Life, the Freshman Center, the Office of Human Resources and Payroll, and the Multicultural Research and Resource Center.

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