Social Change Model of Leadership

What Does It Mean to be a Student Leader at Mercer?

Macon Student Leadership Mission Statement

To enhance the overall educational experience of all students through involvement within the Mercer and Macon communities including campus wide cultural, educational and social programming, leadership development and volunteerism, and Greek life/student organization participation.

Mercer Student Leadership Model

The model above depicts the components that comprise student leadership on the campus of Mercer University. The model shows the three levels of student leadership involvement (Emerging, Experiential and Advanced), guided by the three core values (Service, Integrity and Advocacy). That entity is encompassed by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development (Astin & Astin 1996). All components of the model are described below.

Student Leadership Involvement

These three tiers of involvement encompass many, if not most, Mercer students. These categories specify areas in which Mercer students participate, organize, develop and/or engage their fellow students on campus.

  • Emerging: This is the most fundamental level of student leadership involvement.
  • Experiential: This level of student leadership involvement includes a variety of experiences that allow Mercer students to have hands on experience with leadership activities and responsibilities.
  • Advanced: This highest level of student leadership involvement is achieved by students who have a desire to learn, lead and achieve. This group of students hold the highest leadership positions, influence the development of various leadership opportunities for other students and look to expand their leadership abilities well past the Mercer community.

Core Values

The following values have been identified as cornerstones for the development of our student leaders:

  • Service: To elevate service to others above one's own self interest.
  • Integrity: To act honestly and responsibly while promoting ethical principles on the part of one's own organization.
  • Advocacy: To empower students to act as social change agents for the campus and community at large.

Social Change Model of Leadership Development

This framework, originally developed by Astin & Astin (1996)*, helps guide the formation of student leaders on campus. As depicted in the model above, there are three areas that coincide with our concept of student leadership. These areas utilize the "seven C's," which include:

  • Group Values: Collaboration, Common Purpose, Civility
  • Societal & Community Values: Citizenship
  • Individual Values: Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment

Goals for Student Leadership

 The following goals have been identified to promote the mission and core values for student leadership at Mercer.

  • To help all students develop the skills, values and knowledge necessary for effective servant leadership roles.
  • To provide co-curricular opportunities that allow for civic engagement, leadership development and community service.
  • To support high achieving students within their leadership roles and responsibilities.
  • To enable students to utilize experiences acquired through Mercer programs for post-graduate service opportunities.
  • To assist students in developing their own philosophy of leadership.

Current Student Leadership Opportunities

  • Center for Community Engagement
  • Leadership Mercer
  • Leadership Certificate Program (currently in planning phase)
  • National Society of Leadership and Success
  • Mercer Service Scholars
  • Social Entrepreneurship Program

*Astin, Helen S. and Alexander W. Astin. A Social Change Model of Leadership Development Guidebook Version III. The National Clearinghouse of Leadership Programs, 1996.

The National Society of Leadership and Success


NSLS is an organization that helps people discover and achieve their goals. The Society offers life-changing lectures from the nation's leading presenters and a community where like-minded success oriented individuals come together and help one another succeed. The Society also serves as a powerful force of good in the greater community by encouraging and organizing action to better the world.

NSLS is founded upon the core beliefs that one can achieve one's dreams with proper support and dedicated action, and that we can accomplish more together than we would achieve alone. Beginning with a handful of chapters, the Society now reaches tens of thousands of students at hundreds of chapters around the world. The Society encourages community action, volunteerism, personal growth, and strong leadership from its chapters and members around the world.

For more information about The National Society of Leadership and Success check out their website at www.societyleadership.org

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join?
There are two ways in which you can sign up for leadership training with The National Society of Leadership and Success; by invitation or by nomination form. If you have not been invited and would like to join, visit www.societyleadership.org/nomination/application.php to access our online nomination system.

How much does this cost?
Society members pay a one-time registration fee of $85 when applying to join the organization. The fee includes all membership benefits, partner discounts and a lifetime membership.

How do I become an inducted member of the Society?
The steps that you need to complete to be officially inducted into the Society of Leadership are:
1. Orientation
2. Leadership Training Day
3. Three speaker broadcast events
4. Three Success Networking Team meetings

Orientation is the first meeting that occurs each semester and will give you access to all the information you need about the program in order to successfully complete the steps for induction as a member.

The Leadership Training Day is a 3-hour interactive video training session with a workbook designed to help you identify and overcome any obstacles that may interfere with obtaining your goals. This introspective seminar helps you to recognize your strengths and weaknesses, in order to shift your focus toward your real passions.  

At the Speaker Events you will watch some of the world's most successful motivational speakers discussing topics related to leadership, identifying goals, facing challenges, personal growth, and successfully transitioning from college to career.

The Success Networking Team meetings bring together groups of students that work together and provide peer coaching on achieving goals. You can discuss goals, desires and expectations, set timelines and hold each other accountable for achieving what you want. The Success Networking Team provides members with a support network of like-minded goal-oriented students on campus.
How much time will this take?

The average amount of time it takes to complete the steps for membership is approximately 12 hours spread out over the course of a semester. While most members do finish their steps for membership in a single semester, you may take longer if needed (as long as you finish prior to graduating).

What are the member benefits?
When you join some organizations, the information you receive focuses on the material, tangible benefits you receive from membership. A t-shirt, certificate and other goods are nice side benefits, but are definitely not the real value you gain from achieving membership in The National Society of Leadership and Success.

The intangibles that you gain from membership will drive your future and establish you as a leader among your peers, and include: improved self-esteem, peer leadership skills, sustainable motivation and drive, paradigms that will help you discover and achieve your dreams, real world skills that will help you outperform your peers in the workplace, and an enviable network of movers and shakers that are all a part of the drive to create lasting positive change in the world.

You additionally will receive other tangible benefits such as online resources on our website, customized letters of recommendation for prospective employers or graduate schools, graduation accessories that you may purchase and wear at your graduation to display your membership in our organization, access to exclusive scholarships and awards, Success Coaches and our entire Keynote speaker series.

For a full list and explanation of our membership benefits please visit http://www.societyleadership.org/memberinfo.
Any more questions?

Contact Kendra Murphy, Graduate Assistant for Leadership Development, at Kendra.Noel.Murphy@live.mercer.edu or at 478-301-2987.

Leadership Mercer Program

Mercer University’s co-curricular model for leadership is based on the Social Change Model for Leadership Development, which allows students to engage in leadership at multiple entry points (i.e. Emerging, Experiential, and Advanced). Currently, a program is in place to support students at the emerging leader’s level. Leadership Mercer is being implemented to support students at the experiential level. The program’s structure is designed to prepare and equip students to be leaders in the 21st Century.

Program Goals

Goal 1: To assist students in enhancing their leadership develop skills in order to be an effective servant leader.
 Goal 2: To provide co-curricular opportunities that allow for civic engagement and community service.
Goal 3: To assist students in developing their own philosophy of leadership.

Core Values of Leadership

Understanding yourself- A successful leader knows the leader they want to become; this session allows the cohort to begin discovering more about themselves, each other, and their leadership 

Integrity- A successful leader acts honestly and responsibly while promoting ethical principles on the part of one's own organization.

Service- A successful leader serves others first. Possibly partner with the Center for Community Engagement for the cohort to participate in a service project for this event.

Advocacy- A successful leader empowers others to succeed, grow, and create change.

Program Components

Monthly Seminars: A large group discussion with speakers, activities, and practice examples of important aspects of leadership (see Core Values of leadership).

Small groups: Monthly small group discussions of a Ted Talk, small passage, or other additional material as a chance to debrief the monthly experience.

Final Project: A culminating project to work with the entire cohort on a service project to put the leadership skills discussed throughout the year into practice.

Mercer University Student Leadership Awards

Student Recieving an Award

Each April the Macon Office of Campus Life recognizes students and student organizations from across campus that have outstanding co-curricular involvement during their time at Mercer. Below are the awards given each year. We applaud all Mercer students that get involved and make a difference in their time at Mercer.

2018 Leadership Award applications are coming soon!. The Annual Student Leadership Awards banquet will be held on Tuesday, April 17 at 6pm in the President's Dining Room.

Nominations are all online for individual and organization awards. For all student organzation awards, you must submit Bears at Their Best throughout the year! Greek orgs should not apply for student org. awards. Please see Greek Life website for award nomination process.

Student Organization Awards (Submit Bear's at Their Best throughout the year to recieve these awards)

  • Most Improved Student Organization
  • Student Organization Campus Contributions
  • Student Organization Educational Efforts
  • Student Organization of the Year
  • Organization Advisor of the Year
  • Community Service Award
  • BEAR Cup

Individual Leadership Awards (online submission only)

  • Spright Dowell Award (ODK selects this awards recipient)
  • SGA Student of the Year (SGA selects this award recipient)
  • The Barry Jenkins Award (SGA selects this award recipient)
  • The BEAR Awards for Campus Involvement
  • Thelma "T Lady" Ross Spirit of Mercer Award
  • "Papa Joe" Hendricks Award
  • The Mercerian Award
  • Organization Advisor of the Year
  • Who's Who Among Students (application and selection process in early spring)

Student Leadership Positions

Timothy at Student Leadership Awards

Student Life Leadership Opportunities

If you are interested in any of these positions and would like to be directed to the office that oversees them, please email Kendra Murphy at Kendra.Noel.Murphy@live.mercer.edu.

Academic Leadership Opportunities

Athletic Leadership Opportunities