Student Leadership

Student Leadership Conference 2023

The 2023 Student Leadership Conference will take place on March 4th, 2023. Come learn new skills, hear from inspiring speakers and have fun meeting new people.  This one-day conference is open to all SMU students and includes opportunities to connect with peers, build your leadership skills and have some fun along the way.  The day will feature a leadership primer, discussions with current and emerging student leaders and an inspiring keynote speaker.

This year’s conference theme is Stepping Up to Leadership.  Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a new perspective and focus on what leadership means and what matters most in our communities. From how we show up for each other, to how we speak up and take action to make a difference, it’s time to step up to leadership.

The SMU Student Leadership conference will bring together students from across campus to connect, learn, laugh and be inspired.  Key topics include:

  • Wellness for Student Leaders – A discussion on self-care and wellness for Student Leaders and how to support oneself while supporting others in a leadership role.
  • Communication Skills – Learn about how to be an effective communicator, listener and how to develop your personal brand.
  • Career Session – Presentation on how to discover leadership opportunities, what employers are looking for, how to document and be recognized for leadership.
  • Time Management and Organization – Busy leaders are juggling a lot- learn how to optimize your time management skills and organizational habits.
  • Social responsibility – learn about how you can give back and make a difference in leadership roles.

All students are encouraged to attend, whether you are already involved in leadership activities or just getting started on your leadership journey. You don’t want to miss it!

Why Attend Leadership 2023?

The conference gives students the opportunity to participate in fun and interactive sessions. Conference participation is CCR eligible, and all participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end.  
Throughout the day we will also have a variety of prize giveaways.
Lunch is provided. 

The first 100 students who register and attend the conference will recieve a FREE Leadership Starter Kit including a messenger bag sponsored by Residence Life. 

Conference Agenda:

Program Speakers:


Keynote Address: Leading Beyond the Status Quo

It's ok to lead differently, let's learn to do it together. Entrepreneur, Athlete, Coach and Advocate, Keisha Turner, BA'12 discusses the importance of staying true to who you are as a leader and encourages you to embrace your bravery to break from the confines of what leadership looks like.


Teamwork: The "Key to Success" Join the Peer Success Coaches for an exercise in teamwork: the key to success but also the key to escape! This interactive session involves a fun activity, discussion, and presentation on strategies for working with peers and leading within a team.

Keeping Your Cool as a Leader in Uncertain Times As leaders, remaining calm during difficult situations allows us to think more clearly, maintain good relationships with others, and inspire confidence and optimism in those around us. This session will outline what emotion regulation is and strategies you can use to implement it in your daily life.

How do you spend your time as a leader? As student leaders, choosing how we spend time can be a challenging process of navigating competing priorities and finding balance amidst so many expectations. In this session, join Learning Strategist Emma Sylvester and SMUSA VP Academic Emily Meyer for a facilitated discussion of how busy student leaders can approach time management to bring intention, alignment, and balance into our lives.

Are Leaders Born or Made? In this session, you will reflect on your leadership journey as an individual and in your environment. It can be too easy to become comfortable in a space that is familiar to us, but how do we keep the excitement, and fire within us? I will help you navigate your motivations helping you bloom into leadership.

Leadership Throughout Your Career Journey This session will begin by considering what key leadership skills look like in an everyday sense and how you can learn to pinpoint such skills within your own unique experiences. We will then explore how to build and acquire these skills while also touching on how to identify leadership opportunities and get involved in a variety of settings. The session will conclude with a review of how to gain recognition for and document leadership experiences.


Leading with Purpose: The Social Responsibility of Tomorrow's Leaders This session will explore the concept of social responsibility as it relates to leadership. Today’s leaders face challenges, and they must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate these complex issues. Participants will learn about the key principles of social responsibility and how they can be integrated into their leadership approach to make a positive impact on society.

Leadership Primer Tom Brophy, Associate Vice-President, Student Affairs and Services at Saint Mary's University brings his high energy approach and extensive career in leadership roles to provide the student leadership primer. Tom will introduce concepts of leadership and lead us through a reflective exercise to prepare us for the day ahead.


Registration is closed. 

Questions? Email