Raj Ghoshal promotes leadership education integration into the classroom


Raj Ghoshal, who is a faculty fellow for leadership, talks about his endeavors to assist faculty members in incorporating leadership education within academic, administrative, and student areas. He aims to create an environment of comprehensive leadership at Elon University.

Raj Ghoshal, who supports leadership education, sees himself as a connector among student affairs, administrative affairs, and academic affairs. He wants to encourage a leadership mindset that considers everyone, emphasizes teamwork, and involves personal connections. He also wants to help professors and students incorporate leadership development into their course work.

As an associate professor of sociology, Ghoshal pointed out that a pivotal aspect of her role involves aiding faculty to comprehend how leadership principles can be incorporated into different academic disciplines, not just coursework specifically related to leadership. Additionally, Ghoshal seeks to raise awareness amongst faculty that students are eager to learn and participate in leadership opportunities, creating an abundance of energy in the classroom that could be harnessed to enhance student experiences. Thus, she helps create a positive and empowering environment by bringing these two elements- leadership and student engagement- together.

To reach this objective, the Faculty Scholars Program can be a useful approach. It gives faculty members access to a variety of workshops and programs to upgrade their syllabi and incorporate leadership education into their courses. Every year the program chooses five faculty members from different academic disciplines. Stipends are offered to them to participate in six workshops throughout that academic year. In this program, they review and modify their classes to include leadership education and to pinpoint ways in which leadership principles may be incorporated into their syllabi and teaching methods. Towards the end of the year-long program, they present their improved course materials and talk about their experiences with fellow colleagues.

Ghoshal also achieves his goal by forming collaborations with university partners like the Center for Leadership and the Leadership Studies Minor Advisory Board. This helps to ensure that they work together and support each other's objectives. By doing so, Ghoshal wants to reinforce the university's dedication to developing capable leaders who can succeed in a constantly evolving and diverse world.

Ghoshal became the faculty fellow for leadership education because of his experience as a sociology professor. He has worked in this field for about 15 years and has focused his research on issues related to race and class inequality in the United States. Thanks to his background, he is able to offer a new and different outlook on the study of leadership.

According to Ghoshal, sociology can contribute greatly to researching leadership. Sociology essentially revolves around the way people interact and coexist with each other.

The current social climate has emphasized the importance of including principles related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership education. Moreover, changes in society demand that leaders become more aware and accountable. Ghoshal, with his knowledge and experience, is an excellent resource for developing inclusive leadership practices and sharing tactics for their implementation.

In recent years, it has become increasingly important for organizations to recognize and address the discrepancies and imbalances that exist between individuals. It is no longer acceptable to have a narrow group of leaders who all share the same background and experiences, and expect others to conform to their ways. This is not a sustainable method for achieving prosperity. It is essential to have someone on board who understands how different people from diverse backgrounds can work together effectively. This individual can bring new perspectives and knowledge from social sciences that may not have been previously considered. According to Ghoshal, this approach makes logical sense.

Nevertheless, these customs and doctrines have implications that go beyond educational settings. This way of thinking is deeply ingrained in university culture. Elon University educates students to be proactive and involved members of society by providing them with the tools, education, and attitude that are essential to prospering in an ever-changing world. Thanks to hands-on opportunities, such as community-focused assignments and professional placements, students have the opportunity to utilize their leadership abilities in practical situations, contributing to society in significant ways while enhancing their ethical leadership skills.

The concept of being a leader has value in society. According to Ghoshal, teaching students about the knowledge gained from the last 70 years of leadership studies could assist them in avoiding the harmful and negative forms of leadership that were prevalent in previous eras.

Elon has devised a different strategy to offer leadership education which is known as the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR). For a successful graduation, students have to finish two ELRs, including leadership from the five Elon Experiences. Faculty can come up with a proposal to instruct classes that contain leadership tuition, or students can provide their proposal to get a course approved for fulfilling the ELR criteria. Ghoshal has presented various instances of courses that meet the leadership ELR criterion.

The assistant professor named Pratheep Paranthaman instructs a class in the creation of video games that require collaboration. According to Ghoshal, his primary emphasis on educating individuals to become leaders concentrates on getting students to work together in teams during class using a sequence of organized activities. The objective is to teach various collaborative procedures for designing video games that might be advantageous in future workplaces if the individuals end up as programmers or game designers.

The university is performing well with their programs like Faculty Scholars and Leadership ELR. Ghoshal and campus partners assess the programs' success through various indicators such as the count of faculty applying to join the scholars' program, the number of applications for leadership ELR, and the participation of students in the leadership experience.

Ghoshal has introduced two new initiatives to help Elon community members have better access to leadership education opportunities and resources. The first project is a series of talks called "Leading for Equity," which is a partnership between Leadership Education, the Provost's Office, and the Office of Inclusive Excellence. The talks will feature speakers discussing topics that combine leadership, equity, and pedagogy. The two initial events have already taken place this semester, with more planned for the 2024-25 academic year.

Ghoshal is presently working on broadening the range of leadership education resources that are available online to teachers. He has formed a collection of resources that consist of classroom activities and interviews with various Elon leadership educators in video format. His intention is to present these resources to the public during this upcoming summer season.

In the future, Ghoshal has optimism that his efforts to combine leadership education with fairness and to increase accessibility to resources will yield positive results for the upcoming years.

Ghoshal explained that they want to make it effortless for professors who are interested in enhancing their knowledge about leadership education to access useful materials. By providing a variety of user-friendly resources in one place, it can assist faculty in incorporating leadership education into their teachings promptly. Ghoshal believes that effective leadership entails thorough consideration and innovation towards equity and diversity, which are crucial topics that require ongoing focus and discussion in leadership education.

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