Creating Leaders for Change.

Silhouette of people posing on top of a rocky landscape

The Morse Leadership Institute is committed to creating a culture of belonging and care so students can become effective, collaborative, and inclusive leaders. 

Objectives & Goals

The Morse Leadership Institute provides a variety of support structures and opportunities for students across Western’s campus to develop as leaders. These include a broad spectrum of leadership studies courses, applied and global leadership opportunities, community engagement, peer and professional mentoring, support for students’ participation in academic conferences and professional development opportunities, and campus events and programs.  

The Institute supports campus partners who provide curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities aimed at student leadership learning so that all WWU students can engage in their desired social and professional change efforts. While the Institute provides a minor in Leadership Studies, students from any department or program on campus may take many courses offered by the Institute. 

Image describing the Leadership Minor
Students share smiles while picking up trash at Maritime Heritage Park during Earth Day

LDST 101

Students enrolled in LDST 101 will have the opportunity to connect the content discussed in lecture to the Community Engagement Initiative they register for which is led by previous 101 students currently enrolled in LDST 450-453. Current initiatives include: Nooksack River Restoration Initiative, Health & Wellness Initiative, Equity Initiative and Reproductive Rights Initiative. LDST 101 is offered fall, winter and spring quarter.

swirly lines create a profile image of a face with a swirly brain

LDST 201

Students are able to dive deep into different emotional and social intelligence topics and their context within a leadership framework. Offered in a smaller discussion format, this course is a great way for students to explore these concepts and get to know their peers as they expand their knowledge in emotional and social intelligence. LDST 201 will be offered again in AY 2025-2026

UNSDG Logo in blue text "Sustainable development goals"

LDST 408

Now, more than ever, we need leaders for sustainability. This course is designed for students who are curious about and eager to lead for a more sustainable and just world. This course will explore what kind of leadership is required to address sustainability and climate change. Together, we will examine how historical notions of leadership might offer lessons, and how we may need to think and act differently. Through the use of articles, case studies, personal reflection, and collaborative inquiry, students will learn key competencies for leading for sustainability. LDST 408 is offered in the spring.

You cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it. Grace Lee Boggs

LDST 301

This course provides an opportunity for upper level and transfer students to learn and apply leadership theory through discussion sections and engaging in an individualized project. LDST 301 is offered fall, winter and spring.

Statue of a Mongolian Queen in Gold

LDST 416 Mongolian Women Leaders

This course will explore the research of Dr. Holly Diaz, Dr. Karen Stout and several student who travelled to Mongolia to conduct a study of Mongolian Women Leaders in the summer of 2016. Students will learn the fascinating history of Mongolia and the role of Mongolian women over several centuries. The course will also examine the Mongolian revolution and transition to a democratic society and the significant work women leaders contributed to this transition. Mongolian Women Leaders, LDST 416 will be offered in winter 2025.

TA's and DSF's from Fall Quarter 2023 strike funny poses together in Miller Hall

LDST 450-453

Students who have passed LDST 101 with a B- or better will have the opportunity to apply to serve as Discussion Section Facilitators (DSFs) and eventually Teaching Assistants (TA) for the LDST 101 class, as well as learn about classroom management, engagement, conflict, mentoring and facilitation. Each initiative includes two DSFs who are familiar with leadership concepts and work to guide the community engagement initiatives towards their goals. This 450-453 series is offered fall, winter and spring.

Multiple characters climb a large stack of books, displaying different forms of leadership

LDST 240

Are you involved in clubs, sports or other organizational leadership on or off-campus? This class explores issues such as planning, conflict, team development, etc. Students will explore the foundations of peer leadership, fostering an environment where everyone can cultivate essential skills for effective teamwork and guidance. Whether you're a seasoned leader or embarking on your leadership journey, this course aims to empower you with insights, strategies, and hands-on experiences. LDST 240 is offered winter and spring quarter.

2020 450 Leadership Team Celebration

LDST 495

LDST 495 is the capstone course for the leadership minor where you will integrate all of your leadership learning from the minor and apply this reflection to your continued development both personally and professionally. Once you have completed LDST 101 with a minimum grade of B, and have 18 credits toward the leadership minor, you can request permission to take this course. This course is offered in the fall and spring.

Daman Wandke at TEDx

LDST 416 Accessible Comm. & Leadership

In this course, students will analyze how disabilities are often overlooked and misrepresented by leaders and the recent movement to grassroots advocacy. They will explore how people with a disability are represented and learn techniques for accessible communication. Students will build a portfolio WordPress website to enhance future career opportunities. This course is offered in summer and fall of 2024.

LDST 101 Project Showcase Spring 2023