Student and Academic Life

Office of Student Organizations and Activities to Host ACUI I-LEAD Connect Conference

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2019) — The University of Kentucky's Office of Student Organizations and Activities is hosting the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) I-LEAD Connect Institute from Thursday, Jan. 9, to Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in the Gatton Student Center.

I-LEAD Connect is a student leadership development program designed to teach student participants how to be effective leaders through group activities, interpersonal and intercultural communication and self-reflection. I-LEAD Connect is held over the course of three days and works to create a space for students to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the ever changing global workforce. 

The program respects students’ unique identities including race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual traditions, age, ability, learning styles, and socioeconomic status. The institute’s goal is to build a community centered on mutual respect of all individuals, where cultural and intellectual diversity is valued, and where all individuals share the responsibility for creating a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment. 

“We’re always looking for different ways to connect students to leadership opportunities and this is a great one," said Jessica Chandler, Office of Student Organizations and Activities program director. "ACUI I-LEAD Connect is designed to teach student participants how to be effective leaders. Through emphasis on three core values, leadership, communication, intercultural proficiency, we’re helping students foster an equitable and inclusive space in which students develop their abilities to thrive in global and interconnected communities.” 

The institute is free and open to all students. Meals, housing and additional materials are provided. A link to the application and student nomination forms can be found here

ACUI is a nonprofit educational organization focused on creating a relationship between college union and student activities professionals from hundreds of schools in seven countries. ACUI strives to provide a welcoming and inclusive community for those involved. 

The Office of Student Organizations and Activities inspires students to explore the many opportunities for involvement with the campus community and beyond the classroom. Students are encouraged to make connections aligned with their own interests, concerns and passions to make an impact on campus and their personal lives. The office provides students with the tools for success and guides their growth during their time at the University of Kentucky. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.