The 8th Annual Emerging Leaders Workshop (ELW), hosted by the Graduate School at Virginia Tech, will be held Aug. 3-6 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Va.

The mission of the Emerging Leaders Workshop is to develop and encourage the brightest scholars from historically black institutions to pursue graduate degrees and/or acquire leadership roles in America. This mission is accomplished by guest speakers and former workshop participants highlighting their educational and career successes to the participants. Lectures, presentations, and activities are designed to develop sustainable leadership through academic success, good financial planning, community service, and ethical behavior.

The goal of the workshop is to develop a cadre of leaders who will demonstrate what they have learned and share these attributes with others in their communities. By stressing the importance of excelling in academics and applying this educational learning in pursuit of a career, students involved in the ELW will have a greater chance to serve in leadership positions and be catalysts for positive change.

The ELW participants, accompanied by their faculty members, consist of a group of rising sophomores and juniors, mostly majoring in mathematics and science, from approximately 30 historically black colleges and universities. The students have an opportunity to prepare for graduate school and career opportunities through involvement with senior scholars and industry professionals who provide awareness of the opportunities available to them, both in the workforce and in academia. It is hoped that the workshop will encourage the students to pursue advanced degrees and to enter the workforce, thus promoting long-term academic growth in communities all over the nation.

Students will engage in three days of intensive workshops in small groups of 10 to 12 participants. Senior scholars will facilitate work groups and provide individual attention to the historically black colleges and universities students with emphasis on self-assessment, writing personal statements, goal setting, networking, and developing leadership skills.

Senior scholars are former workshop participants and are representative of diverse institutions and academic fields who are graduates of historically black colleges and universities and other institutions. Many are Truman, Fulbright, and Rhodes scholars. Attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss career plans and participate in panel discussions and mock interviews with corporate professionals and interviewers from DuPont Corporation, Federal Express, and the U.S. Department of State. Other sponsors for this year’s program include Appalachian Power, Boeing, Carilion Health System, the City of Roanoke, the Collis-Warner Foundation, Lockheed Martin, the Virginia Tech Africana Studies Program, and the Virginia Tech Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The keynote speaker will be Rev. Nelson B. Rivers, III, chief operating officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Created in 1997, the Emerging Leaders Workshop was a combined effort of and funded by the Virginia Tech Honors Program, DuPont Corporation, and the Truman Foundation. The ELW has brought together prominent professional and educational leaders and gained attention for its outreach to more than 500 students who have completed the program.