Undergraduate Leaders Program

Group of students seated conversing amiably

Sustainability Education’s Undergraduate Leaders Program helps emerging undergraduate leaders become real-world change makers committed to solutions-focused leadership. It encourages holistic thinking and respects the diverse skills and perspectives each leader brings to the table. All undergraduates are welcome to apply. Participants learn:

  • how we use lenses of equity, reciprocity, justice and diversity to define and think about sustainability
  • how science, creativity, art and diverse ways of knowing can be brought together to make sustainability more interdisciplinary and inclusive
  • how different versions of sustainability fit into the big picture governance and policy frameworks.

The application period for the program is in September each year.  If you would like more information or are interested in supporting the next generation of environmental change-makers, please contact Mary Hannemann at oldha012@umn.edu.

Undergraduate Leaders: Convergence of Ideas and Action

What is Undergraduate Leaders

  • Undergraduate Leaders is a place to bring your project and leadership ideas in sustainability to life
  • Undergraduate Leaders program provides a platform to collaborate with fellow students to make a change in your community

What do members Receive?

  • 1:1 career coaching opportunity
  • Workshops with sustainability content and thought leaders
  • A collaborative network of peers to take action on sustainability ideas and projects
  • Funding is available for sustainability projects

What are the requirements to be a member?

  • Attend all Undergraduate Leaders Meetings
  • Work with a network of your peers to take action on a sustainability ideas and projects
  • Develop goals and benchmarks for sustainability project ideas and projects

Undergraduate Leaders provides an adaptive model for supporting emerging leaders.

Individual Leadership Practice
This option encourages leaders who have an idea or project they want to take action on individually. This practice may also be a formal or informal leadership role in a student group or community which the student hopes to develop their own leadership skills.

Group Leadership Practice
This option supports leaders who have an idea or project they want to take action on collaboratively as a group.

Don’t have a specific idea at this time?
Don’t fret. We encourage you to apply and bring your passion for sustainability and an open mind to join collaborative projects or develop your own idea of leadership practice.

Meeting Times and Places

All Undergraduate Leaders Meetings will include start with a group meal and one hour of Undergraduate Leaders-specific meeting time to collaborate, receive training and conduct group business.  The second hour of the gathering will be a workshop on a specific topic from a content leader or student leader in Sustainability.  This second portion of the workshop will be open to all interested students at the University of Minnesota.

Leaders also meet with the Graduate Assistant or another team mentor on a monthly basis to receive individualized coaching on their project and leadership goals.


Please contact Mary Hannemann at oldha012@umn.edu.



We accept online applications at the start of each school year.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities undergraduate students from all disciplinary backgrounds with a passion for sustainability and desire to expand their leadership experiences are eligible to apply.

The program is year-long. Program participants can expect to commit to one cohort collaborative meeting per month and one small group meeting as well as various events, symposium, and field trips throughout the year. There will also be a full-day Saturday kick off in the beginning of the program. You can find a more detailed program flow and timeline here.

The 2018 kickoff workshop will be held Saturday, October 6, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monthly cohort meetings take place in the evening once each month. These meetings for Fall 2018 are tentatively set for the third Monday of the month.

No, applicants admitted to the program must attend all scheduled program events. Rare exceptions can be made.