Alumni Engagement

John Dodge House
507 Golf View Lane
Rochester, MI 48309-4488
(location map)
(248) 364-6130
ouaa@oakland.edu

group photo of young adults in business professional attire

Leadership OU

Established in 2013, Leadership OU provides leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities for undergraduate students by connecting them to successful OU alumni through two main methods -- an exclusive series of alumni speakers and a formal mentorship program. Participants are part of a cohort experience spanning an eight month period from September to April. Upon successful completion of the Leadership OU program requirements, students receive a diploma frame. Watch the Leadership OU video to learn more.

Mentoring Program:
The mentorship program allows Oakland University alumni to share their experiences with student leaders preparing for the professional world. Each student is paired with an alumni mentor based on similar interests and meet on a monthly basis throughout the duration of the program. Student-alumni pairs meet one-on-one over activities such as job shadowing, lunch or coffee, Oakland University events, video chat, or phone calls. Students and their mentors discuss topics such as life as a graduate of Oakland University, short and long-term career goals, student to professional transitions, hobbies, interests, etc. All student/mentor relationships are different, yet many duos keep in contact long after the formal conclusion of the program.

Speaker Series:
Leadership OU students attend a total of eight sessions on a once per month basis featuring prominent alumni speakers who live and work in the surrounding metropolitan community. Past speakers have included Oakland University alumni employed at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Beaumont Hospital, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Curve Detroit, ABB Robotics and many others. Please see “Schedule” tab for the current Leadership OU speaker schedule.

In coordination with the overall theme of Leadership OU, speakers focus their presentations to include how leadership, mentoring, and networking have played critical roles in their professional careers. Sessions take place at the workplace of the alumni speaker where students are exposed to experiences such as leadership team panels and behind-the-scenes tours. Leadership OU sessions provide an intimate and interactive setting for alumni and students.

Leadership OU is proud to have received the following awards: 
2016 Pride of CASE V
- Bronze Award, Best Practices in Alumni Relations
- Bronze Award, Best Volunteer Engagement Program
2015 Pride of CASE V
- Silver Award, Best Student Alumni Program

Schedule

2021-2022 Leadership OU Schedule

Friday, September 10, 1 - 3 p.m. Student Pre-Networking Workshop 

Wednesday, September 22, 6 - 8 p.m. LOU Opening Ceremony, Chiara Clayton, CAS 1998, Communications and Outreach Specialist at Area Agency on Aging 1-B

Friday, October 15, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Tony Boganey, CAS 1988, Endocrine Surgeon and Clinical Instructor at Naval Medical Center San Diego

Tuesday, November 16, 1 - 3 p.m. Joel Gibson, SECS 1997, Executive Vice President of Automotive at Swift Navigation

Thursday, January 20, 12 - 2 p.m. Michelle Collins, SBA 2002, Global Director, Marketing and Public Relations at BorgWarner Inc.

Tuesday, February 8, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Ron Roberts, SEHS 1977, Superintendent at Chippewa Valley Schools 

Wednesday, March 23, 2 - 4 p.m. EST, Curtis Armstrong, MTD 1975, Actor and Singer

Wednesday, April Date 6, 6 - 8 p.m. LOU Closing Ceremony, Eddie Rayborn Jr., SEHS 2014, Learning Consultant, Leadership and Career Development at StockX

Dates/Times TBD, Non-Mandatory Group Bonding Mixers

Applications

The Leadership OU Student application for the 2022-2023 cohort will open in December. For additional information, contact Amanda Silvestri, student engagement and outreach coordinator at amandasilvestri@oakland.edu.

Eligibility:
Students who will have achieved junior or senior status by Fall semester (minimum 56 credit hours) with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible to apply. Please note: students with less than 56 credits, but who will have earned 56 credits by the Fall start date of the program are eligible to apply. The most successful candidates have demonstrated leadership on campus and in the community.

Mentor Guidelines

Submit the Leadership OU mentor form to receive more information.

Leadership OU’s mentoring program allows Oakland University alumni to share their experiences with student leaders preparing to enter the professional realm. The formal timeline for Leadership OU’s mentoring program is from October to April, but may continue beyond the program period if desired.

All mentors will:

  • Accept student pairing determined by program coordinator
  • Provide contact information (phone & email) to mentee
  • Attend the Leadership OU opening and closing receptions
  • Engage in one meaningful connection with mentee once per month (minimum)

Exceptional mentors will:

  • Accept student pairing determined by program coordinator
  • Provide contact information (phone & email) to mentee
  • Attend the Leadership OU opening and closing receptions
  • Engage in one meaningful connection with mentee once per month (minimum)
  • Attend the Alumni Awards Banquet over Homecoming & Reunion Weekend
  • Help mentee make a successful transition from student to alumni
  • Provide constructive guidance and practical feedback to mentee
  • Demonstrate active involvement with the Oakland University Alumni Association
  • Emphasize leadership, mentoring, and networking in conversations with mentee
  • Maintain contact with mentee after formal conclusion of Leadership OU

For additional information, contact Amanda Silvestri, student engagement and outreach coordinator at        (586) 255-0470 or amandasilvestri@oakland.edu.

Testimonials

“As a student, Leadership OU not only introduced me to a caring mentor, new peers, new career professionals, new job opportunities, and amazing memories, but Leadership OU changed how I view myself as a leader and instilled newfounded confidence in me. Leadership OU allowed me to gain wisdom from alumni who have lived through transitioning from student-professional and allowed me to have fun while doing it!”
- Kaylee Hall, Expected Graduation 2023, Student, Cohort 2020-2021

“I loved being a mentor for the Leadership OU program. I was in the 2016 cohort, and I still keep in contact with my mentee to this day. I got a chance to work with an amazing individual and impart my knowledge of the professional world and life outside of college. I learned quite a bit myself in the process.”
- Shaun Moore, Mentor, SEHS 2015, Cohort 2016-2017

“I am a true believer in the transformational power of this award-winning program. The benefits of sharing real life experiences and having the opportunity to learn “outside the book” makes participation a win-win for both the mentors and the student mentees. Over the years I have had the opportunity to observe the benefits of this real world knowledge in the success of the student mentees after graduation. I was privileged to speak to Leadership OU and share the real world lessons of my 35 year career in banking and investments. Leadership OU Rocks!”
- Gary Brancaleone, SBA 1982, Speaker, Cohort 2014-2015

“Leadership OU holds a special place in my heart. As a student who was selected to be a part of the pilot program, my mentor helped navigate me through life both professionally and personally as I prepared to graduate. Years later, I applied to be a mentor, becoming the first mentee to become a mentor. During this time, the program became even more special to me. My mentee and I worked through the fears and challenges that arise when graduating. Through this, we got to know each other as people and helped each other grow. This didn't look like boring meetings either, we talked about life, goals, academics, and so much more over dinner, yoga, calls/texts, and more. Even after the program ended we kept in touch. I honestly feel so fortunate to have been a part of this program and highly recommend it to others."
- Taylor Eberhart, CAS 2015, Student 2013-2014, Mentor 2019-2020

“Being a part of Leadership OU was one of my favorite experiences while being at OU. I loved being able to build a relationship with my mentor, Justin, and it was great to have his opinions during a transitional period in my life. Getting to hear from the amazing alumni speakers was always inspiring and shows how much can be done with an OU degree. I even formed great friendships with Gary B. and Valiena A. thanks to LOU. If you are looking to build lasting relationships and better yourself professionally, then Leadership OU is a great way to do so!"
- Aaron Helander, SBA 2020, BIS 2017, Student, Cohort 2015-2016