Disciplinary and Departmental Leadership Published: June 23, 2015 By: Patrick McMahon Steps You Can Take Organize Departmental Professional Development Activities Departments and research centers on campus offer a variety of opportunities to participate in professional development activities. These include working groups, speaker series, and networking events run by graduate students or co-run by graduate students and faculty members. Some units, such as the Center for Latin American Studies, provide funds to cover the costs of running these groups and events. Participating in these activities or taking the initiative to begin a group or organize an event gives you the opportunity to coordinate team work, create and execute a work plan, and build a sense of community, all hallmarks of positive leadership. Contribute to the Organization of a Conference on Campus Organizing a conference on campus can provide valuable opportunities to learn and demonstrate organizational skills, engage in fundraising and budget management, and contribute to the development of disciplinary knowledge. Many research centers, institutes, and departments sponsor workshops and conferences initiated or organized by graduate students. Organize a Session at a Professional Conference Organizing a session or panel at a professional conference demonstrates knowledge of your field and an interest and willingness to contribute to its further development. It also provides experience with logistics and team management, both of which are applicable to project leadership in many settings.