The Program began its work in the Professional Schools in 2019 and significantly extended its work in 2020 to engage students, faculty, and staff in the Schools of Law, Divinity, and Medicine, and the Masters of Sustainability Leadership Program.
School of Law
Kenneth Townsend taught three leadership and character related courses in the School of Law in the academic year 2019-2020, including “Leadership and Character in the Professions,” “Leadership and Adversity,” and “Professional Responsibility,” which he expanded to include a character component. The Program assessed these courses’ impact on students via IRB approved “Character and Professional Identity” surveys. The Program for Leadership and Character is working closely with senior leadership in the School of Law to collect and analyze data regarding students’ character and professional values and is using this information to enhance the student experience and to empower students to live and lead with integrity. The School of Law has adapted its admissions process (adding a question and optional application section) to recruit students who are eager for character-oriented professional preparation. Recruited students joined the inaugural Leadership and Character in the Law student cohort in fall 2020.
School of Divinity
In fall 2020, Drs. Bradley Burroughs and Elizabeth Whiting Pierce mentored first-year students taking Art of Ministry I, a course on vocational discernment. Dr. John Senior, who coordinates the Art of Ministry Program, assessed students’ growth in empathy, discernment, and self-awareness. In spring 2021, Drs. Burroughs and Pierce facilitated the Wake Divinity Dialogue Series, which invited students to hone practical ministry skills in the context of small peer-mentorship groups. Additionally, three Divinity School faculty offered courses developed through the Program’s course development workshop in July 2020. In 2021, dialogues focused on the virtues needed to pursue justice. And Dr. Burroughs has also taught a course entitled “Christianity, Character and Public Life” that focuses upon the way in which Christianity has understood the critical connection between human character and public issues.
School of Medicine
After participating in the Program’s summer course development workshop, Dr. Marcia Wofford designed a new certificate program on creativity in Medicine, LAUNCH. It aims to equip young doctors with “an enhanced understanding of humanism in medicine” and the ability to express medical humanism through art. The Program is also working with the School of Medicine to explore other ways to integrate character throughout medical education and training.
Masters in Sustainability Leadership Program
In November 2020, the Masters of Sustainability Leadership Program and the Program co-hosted “The Path Forward: US Environmental Leadership Beyond 2020,” a virtual conversation with two former EPA Administrators, Gina McCarthy and Lee Thomas (McCarthy served in the Obama administration, and Lee served in the Reagan administration). The conversation examined the opportunities and challenges of principled public service. Drs. Lamb and Pierce have given guest lectures in two courses, Global Human Systems and Applied Sustainability, and in spring 2021, Dr. Pierce led a 5-day workshop on Professional and Leadership Skills.