Dyson Leadership Fellows

Change yourself. Change the world.

The Dyson Leadership Fellows is a selective leadership development program for students who are committed to leadership and leading as a way of learning. This program offers a cohort-based journey with intentional leadership experiences to deepen awareness, application, critical reflection, and personal growth. You must apply and complete an interview in order to be considered for the Dyson Leadership Fellows program.

As a Dyson Leadership Fellow you’ll develop a toolkit and roadmap to be a change agent wherever you go. You’ll be equipped, inspired, and empowered to exemplify Our Business is a Better World.

Denise Castle

"I really think that the Leadership Program was a very defining experience through my freshman year, and I'm very grateful to have been along for the ride."

Denise Castle ’22, Dyson Leadership Fellow and Dean's Assistant

What will you gain as a Dyson Leadership Fellow?

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be recognized with a Dyson Leadership Fellows Certificate of Distinction and a cord at graduation that signals successful completion of the program’s requirements.

Improved knowledge and competencies in:

  • Innovation and planning
  • Learning and reasoning
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication and creativity

Strengthened personal behaviors in:

  • Courage and compassion
  • Ethics and integrity
  • Civic responsibility
  • Authenticity and vulnerability
Students building a tower

Application, experience, and reflection

Co-created by students, faculty, and alumni to provide a comprehensive approach to leadership, Dyson Leadership Fellows is a multifaceted program that combines curricular, co-curricular, and experiential learning to build strong leadership skills. We consider this program a leadership learning laboratory where you can learn, practice, reflect, and hone your leadership skills, personal values, and business experience with advising and coaching from faculty and staff.

Dyson Leadership Fellows program components

As a participant in Dyson Leadership Fellows, you will embark on an aggressive journey through knowing, doing, and being throughout your Cornell experience.

  1. Learning and reflection: Attend workshops and classes that will build upon your personal leadership and awareness, including a senior year poster presentation
  2. Co-curricular and service experiences: Participate in a variety of activities and service opportunities to apply knowledge hands-on
  3. Workshops, speakers, and events: Take part in specialized programming like Leaders in Residence, Leadership Week, and Community Nights

Some of these components are required, while others are offered exclusively to Leadership Fellows as a program benefit.


"It was a welcoming community where I found some of my best Dyson friends. We all found that we had similar interests and we were able to connect over our future goals, as well as form a tight group of friends. I'm excited to welcome new members into our community and continue the Leadership Fellows journey!"

Emma Moulton ’21, Dyson Leadership Fellow

Apply to become a Dyson Leadership Fellow

Dyson undergraduates may apply at any time, as long as you are able to fulfill the program requirements before graduation. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

To begin the Dyson Leadership Fellows application process, complete the questions below and submit your responses to Donna Haeger. After your application is received, you will be contacted for an interview as the next step in the process.

Note that a minimum GPA of 2.75 must be maintained throughout your Cornell career, and your application must be submitted in its entirety at one time.

Application components

Part I: Explain why, in a single page, you would like to become a Dyson Leadership Fellow.

Part II: List up to three leadership positions that you have held during your high school career. These positions can be drawn from a wide range of life experiences, from community, church, or school services, to personal or family leadership roles. Briefly describe what you learned about leadership from each of these experiences. Prepare a paragraph for each experience.

Part III: Identify an individual who exemplifies outstanding leadership to you and explain your reasons for your selection. The individual you select can be drawn from a wide array of life endeavors, including but not limited to history, religion, politics, fictional materials (either literature or cinema), athletics, business, personal life, the arts, the sciences, or entertainment life.

Submit your application

Please submit completed application materials to Donna Haeger below. If you wish to apply with printed materials, you may drop them off in Mailbox 63 in the Warren Hall mailroom.

Questions? Contact us:

Donna Haeger, PhD
Faculty Director of Leadership Development
Professor of Practice
340G Warren Hall