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Leadership Academies for Government and Global Agencies are Available to NU Students


NU became the birthplace of two new programs for students interested in government service and developing leadership skills this semester. 

Besides being the Birthplace of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, Norwich University is now the birthplace of two new leadership academies. These new programs are known as the Government Service Leadership Academy (GSLA) and Global Leadership Academy (GLA). 

Norwich University is a college that produces many leaders in various federal agencies and the private sector, whether they serve after military service or straight out of college. Federal service and other careers also attract those who initially came to the school pursuing a military career but cannot do so due to medical disqualifications. 

Career Fairs and other events hosted by the Career and Internship Center often include recruiters from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and various police agencies. 

The GSLA and GLA meet the needs of this segment of the student population, recognizing the activities that each student gets involved in through various “phases,” namely Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. 

Gabriel Williams, Political Science, NU’ 23 Alum, currently working for the United States Department of Defense (DOD), was called upon by Norwich to help develop the program and continues to support its implementation on campus. 

 Inspired by his own journey to work for the government, Williams said his goal for the program was to “combine…[his]…experience with the opportunities in Norwich into a codified process that enables students to get jobs in the government successfully.” 

 The GSLA program has done exactly that; it has become a way for students to stand out in their applications for government service. The GSLA also provides similar opportunities for those interested in getting a job in the private world.  

Both programs help students through three main goals-developing a personal leadership style, building a list of service and skill development activities, and getting professional development experience.  

Firstly, in order to develop leadership skills, participants meet routinely to discuss the program, and professor and GSLA advisor Dr. Michael Thunberg sends out opportunities to learn from leaders at various events throughout the academic year.  

 The list of activities is known as the Leadership Portfolio. In order to create that profile, each student in the program records the various activities that demonstrate their ability to grow in four development areas: Intellectual, Holistic Health, Social, and Ethical. They record these activities in order to be recognized for each phase level.   

Along with building the Leadership Portfolio, participants are expected to gain professional development skills through participation in a government service or private sector internship and support those seeking internships afterward as a leader within the academy. 

The students aren’t on their own in this endeavor, as “the career and Internship center…is fully integrated,” said Williams, Political Science, NU’ 23 Alum, into the structure of the Academy. The center is there to help students secure the pivotal internship moving into their Junior and Senior years of college.  

These internship opportunities are great for helping students get their “foot in the door” for government service and are relevant to the issues facing our local community. One example of this is that a panel event was recently held with local and federal groups seeking interns (office of Vermont Governor, Council of Cities and Towns, FEMA, Office of VT Senator Sanders) to discuss their response to the July ‘23 state flooding. 

These academies have had a positive impact on those involved. Hector Aponte, a GSLA member, 19, Sophomore in Political Science, is a great example. Aponte states, “[the GSLA] has provided a path for me to follow in the coming years so that I can prepare myself to be competitive and successful when it comes to applying for internships and jobs.” 

Students interested in the GSLA can email Professor Michael Thundberg ([email protected]). Those interested in getting involved in the GLA can email Professor Seth Soman ([email protected]) or Professor Kahwa Douoguih ([email protected]). 

For those students on the fence about involvement, Dr. Thunberg, Norwich professor and advisor, said, “…get involved…it is largely an opportunity to think about what you are already doing [extracurriculars] and help develop skills in those areas.” 

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