At Dyson, learning is a way of leading.

We believe leadership can be practiced by anyone from any position. It’s not a function of hierarchy. It’s not dominated by a single person in a position of authority. Leadership is a personal, relational, and collective learning journey for achieving goals that result in positive change. 

Learning as a way of leadership is facilitative rather than directive—this means leaders need to create environments that encourage growth and well-being and are inclusive, participatory, and service-oriented.

Amishi Nayar

"Leadership is about impact, influence, and inspiration. More specifically, a leader is one who builds community and inspires it toward a common purpose that benefits the collective, beyond the individual."

Amishi Nayar ’22

Building the foundation for leadership

Dyson students are already leaders! Even before arriving at Cornell, our students have had multiple leadership experiences: athletics, student government, clubs, part-time jobs, community service, and more. In order to strengthen your leadership potential, you just need to connect the dots and dive in with intention.

One of Dyson’s priorities is to give every student a meaningful touchpoint to strengthen their leadership abilities. 

Each year, Dyson hosts co-curricular opportunities for students across campus. These signature learning events engage students “where they are,” providing tools and knowledge to build self-awareness, critical human-centered skills, and an increased understanding of what leadership is.

  • Students will learn what leadership means to them personally as they continually reflect on their individual leadership journey.
  • They will understand how society defines leadership and then begin to think beyond societal norms.
  • To intentionally become the leader they wish to be, students will develop leadership tools, apply new ways of thinking, and learn while having fun.

Why participate in the Dyson's leadership programming?

Leadership is an art, and Dyson’s leadership programming will help you see how experiences, behaviors, competencies, and skills are all part of authentic leadership. You’ll be given the tools to define yourself as a leader and have the opportunity to reflect on, and learn from, your experiences. While many programs are open to all students, some Dyson undergraduates who choose the Leadership Minor can also apply to become Leadership Fellows.

You’ll learn how to:

Understand, value, and lead yourself

Appreciate and value differences

Make connections with systems thinking

Lead teams and lead others


Upcoming Leadership Events

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"I know how rewarding it is to lead and help others, and I know how great it feels to believe in the people who lead you."

Paul Rojas ’20


Leadership opportunities and annual events

Dyson Leadership Development provides engaging and open opportunities with speakers, including our Leaders in Residence; campus-wide competitions, Innovate Cornell and Map the Challenge; the Cornell Leadership Minor; and our annual Leadership Week.

Leaders in Residence

Leaders in Residence visit campus each semester to meet one-on-one with students, lead small group discussions, and facilitate a larger workshop—all centered around leadership, conscious capitalism, and service.

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Cornell Leadership Minor

This campus-wide, undergraduate minor in leadership, administered by Dyson and CALS, requires 13 to 15 credits and a capstone project that shows leading as a way of learning through knowledge, application, experience, and reflection.

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Dyson Leadership Fellows

Dyson students who are committed to leading as a way of learning and being can apply to become Leadership Fellows. This rigorous program combines academic, service, team-building, and event participation requirements.

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Map the Challenge

Map the Challenge

This campus-wide competition asks you to select a social or environmental issue and explore, probe, and research all the connecting elements and factors around it. Judges will critique your entry components for a chance to win cash prizes.

Innovate Cornell

Innovate Cornell

Hosted in the spring, this campus-wide challenge brings together both undergrad and graduate students to solve an innovative, entrepreneurial challenge. Teams work together and compete for cash prizes.

Dean Wooten talks with students

Leadership Week

Held each spring, Leadership Week is hosted by Dyson’s Leadership Fellows. This engaging, energetic week brings in speakers and alumni and features workshops and receptions. Check back for updated events.

Dean Lynn Wooten meets with students over popcorn and conversation during Leadership Week.


Dyson students pose for a photo during Leadership Week

@thedysonschool on Instagram: As part of Leadership Week, Andrew Brady ’10 spoke about resiliency and shared tools of positive psychology that he wishes he’d known as an undergraduate.
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#Cornell #CornellDyson #Business #CornellBusiness #Leadership


What’s next?

Once you’ve explored our programs, get involved! Whether you apply to become a Dyson Leadership Minor or attend a few events throughout your time at Cornell, it’s always a good choice to strengthen and develop your leadership skills—and we’re here to help.

Questions? Contact us:

Donna Haeger, PhD
Faculty Director of Leadership Development
Professor of Practice
340G Warren Hall
585.615.2029
dlh266@cornell.edu