Stillman leadership program ranked number one

Photo courtesy of Brooks Mencke

Photo courtesy of Brooks Mencke

The Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development has been recognized as number one in the country in the educational institution category of top leadership providers, according to Leadership Excellence, a program of, an online human resources website.

Joyce Strawser, Dean of The Stillman School, attributed the high ranking to the passion and dedication of the director of the center, Professor Michael Reuter, along with the Advisory Council, current students in the leadership program and leadership program alumni.

For Reuter, winning the award is more than being nationally ranked as number one; it is about contributing to the greater good of Seton Hall.

“We are humbled to add another extraordinary verse to the jubilant chorus of the Seton Hall community who continues our shared purpose of bringing Seton Hall to national prominence as a place ‘Where Leaders Learn’,” Reuter said.

Nationally ranked in the top 24 in 2012, the Center for Leadership Development implemented changes to rank higher and bring greater recognition to Seton Hall’s programs.

Already beating out prestigious universities and colleges like Cornell and Dartmouth, Stillman had its eye on the top prize. Brooks Mencke, a junior, has been guided through her Seton Hall career by the lively support of Reuter.

“Ever since I first stepped foot on campus my freshman year, Mike has boasted that the leadership program is ‘the best of the best,’” Mencke said. “Being recognized as the top leadership program among educational institutions validates that his dedication has helped solidify the best ranking.”

Focusing its energy on outreach, the leadership center sought to provide insight on leadership skills within its own programs as well as other campus organizations.

“We’re fortunate that our Leadership students are directly engaged in the process of suggesting and evaluating changes,” Dean Strawser said.

Female Leadership students have now established a Women Mentoring Women program that provides executive coaches throughout the students’ four year journey. A Crisis Management learning experience is also now available to seniors who want to prepare for dealing with organizational mishaps.

“The way to greatness is not only about continuous improvement which is ingrained in all that we do, it is also, and more importantly, about dreams and infinite possibilities that will push us beyond what we know to what can be,” Reuter said.

Dean Strawser hopes that Leadership graduates will emerge as principled business leaders and individuals who take with them a recognition of the responsibility that they have to give back to their communities, rather than a sense of entitlement.

The Program’s mission and Dean Strawser’s hopes are being fulfilled daily by being nationally recognized for the values and principles by which extraordinary leaders live. Angeli Fernandes has already learned valuable lessons during her first year of being involved in the Leadership program. She said she has understood the real meaning behind ‘leadership.’

“Something that is often stressed to us is that leadership does not mean being in charge,” Fernandes said. “Being a servant leader, you strive not for any egotistical reasons, but for the benefit of the entire company or group as a whole.”

While credit should be given where it is due, Reuter pushes for the success of the Leadership program to become recognized as the success of Seton Hall as a whole.

“Our achievement should be celebrated in a broader context of representing Seton Hall as a place Where Leaders Learn,” Reuter said. “That is the real headline that we should be heralding.”

Leah Carton can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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