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The Hess Center for Leadership and Service

The Hess Center for Leadership and Service

Hess Fellows

Leadership is everywhere: in religious institutions, in classrooms, in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, in athletic teams, and in poetry societies. At the same time, leadership is absent: people with authority fail us, politicians fail to take action, and those with power corrupt and accept corruption. Too often, groups fail to achieve what they set out to achieve, or they dogmatically adhere to the status quo when the situation requires agility and change.

  • What is to be done with leadership challenges? How should you respond? What actions might you take?
  • How can you develop your own and others' capacities for leadership so that your community anticipates its needs rather than merely reacts?
  • How can you learn to think critically about leadership and change so that you become effective at solving the problems facing the communities that matter to you?

The programs of The Hess Center for Leadership and Service seek to answer such questions about leadership, change, and the capacity to learn. Our flagship programs include the Academic Distinction in Leadership Studies, Hess Fellows Advocacy Internships, and the First-Year Leadership Challenge. In addition, we support a student-run publication, sponsor a lecture series that showcases practicing leaders (the Leadership Matters Speakers series), and coordinate opportunities for faculty and staff to study leadership.


Please contact one of the staff below or visit the Hess Center in Norton Suite 260.

Kent Andersen
Office: Norton Center 264
Office Phone: (205) 226-4679


Emily Thornton
Assistant Director of Community Partnerships
Office: Norton Center 265
Office Phone: (205) 226-4993