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CNRE Leadership Institute

The current and future challenges and opportunities across the landscape of natural resources and the environment will require a unique blend of scientific know-how and leadership. We want to equip our students with the skills and tools needed to solve critical problems facing society in the management and utilization of our natural resources and in stewardship of the environment. Leadership means working with people to solve problems, create opportunities and move programs, organizations, and people forward. Leadership is necessary and can happen at every level of every organization.
Leadership Institute participants, learn:
  • How your personality type affects your interactions with others, how you process information, make decisions, and approach tasks
  • How effective leaders leverage knowledge of their personality type to work with and lead others
  • How effective leaders deal with change, teamwork and conflict
  • The common paths (and some unique paths) that leaders they meet have taken to arrive in leadership positions
  • How to apply principles of leadership in team projects

Who is involved?

Each year, we select 12 of the best juniors or seniors in the College of Natural Resources and Environment to participate in our Leadership Institute. Students selected for the Leadership Institute take a 3-credit course each semester for one year, developing a wide array of leadership competencies. In between semesters, the students and instructors take a week-long trip to Richmond and Washington, D.C. to visit with leaders and policy makers in natural resources and the environment.

The Institute is led by Dr. Steve McMullin, an associate professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, who has been developing leadership skills of natural resource professionals for nearly 20 years, and Dr. Brian Bond, an associate professor in the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials. Numerous guest lecturers from the governmental and private sectors of natural resources will enrich the students’ learning of lessons about leadership.

Minimum Requirements for Students

To be eligible for the Leadership Institute, you must:

  • Be a junior or senior in any of the majors within the College of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average at Virginia Tech of 3.0 or higher
  • Have the desire to lead and make a difference in conservation of natural resources and the environment
  • Deadline for application is 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014.

How do I apply?

Applying is a simple 3-step process:

  1. Write a brief (no more than 2 pages) letter to Institute Director Steve McMullin, explaining why you want to participate in the CNRE Leadership Institute, how you hope to make a difference in conservation of natural resources and the environment, and what you hope to get out of the experience. 
  2. Attach an unofficial copy of your Virginia Tech transcript to the letter.
  3. Provide the name of an academic reference (your advisor or other VT faculty who knows you well) in your letter.

Application deadline is 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014.

Applicants selected to participate will be notified by March 21, 2014.


Leadership Institute 2013-14 Cohort


Previous Cohorts


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to be in the 2014-15 Cohort

Leadership Institute Faculty Leaders

  •     Headshot of Steve L. McMullin
  • Steve L. McMullin
  • Associate Professor and Interim Head, Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • (540) 231-8847
  • smcmulli@vt.edu
  • Fish & Wildlife Conservation
    108 Cheatham Hall (0321)
    Blacksburg, VA 24061
  •     Headshot of Brian H. Bond
  • Brian H. Bond
  • Associate Professor
  • (540) 231-8752
  • bbond@vt.edu
  • Brooks Forest Products Center (0503)
    1650 Ramble Road
    Blacksburg, VA 24061

Leadership Institute Profile | 2013-14 Cohort (PDF | 2MB)

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