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Skills Training for Tomorrows Leaders

At the McKenna Centre for Leadership, we ask:

Which skills must graduates across disciplines possess in order to take on leadership roles in their respective fields upon graduation? How may we provide additional resources, training, and opportunities for professionalization for all students who wish to lead the way toward positive (whether social, environmental, or political) change in the future? And which important skills do organizations, professors, and employers identify most frequently as underdeveloped or even lacking in graduates?

When asked which crucial skill recent graduates most frequently lack, most employers and organizations have one answer: communication skills. A recent study found that whereas 79.4% of students found their communication skills to be proficient, only 41.6% of employers thought that this was the case for recent graduates. And while 70.5% of students believed their leadership skills to be proficient, only 33.0% of employers found this to be true. At the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership, we to help students develop those skills so that they can achieve they own professional and academic goals.

It’s out of this commitment that the Frank McKenna Centre for Leadership developed the Xaverian Leaders Program.


The Xaverian Leaders program:

• Is a one-year program for all students (any discipline, any year);

• Provides free training in in-demand leadership skills—learn and get tips and advice from professionals, and let yourself be inspired by accomplished leaders;

• Offers participants priority access to a range of McKenna Centre events, including the McKenna Lectures, McKenna Scholar in Residence Events, the Friel X-Talks, and more;

• Allows students to work with a team of emerging student leaders, forge connections, and signal your leadership intentions and abilities to future employers.


In order to receive the Xaverian Leaders certificate, students will register and participate in the activities and events listed below.

The cornerstone of the program are two two-day symposia. These small conferences offer talks, workshops, and activities free of charge to all Xaverian Leaders students and are aimed at building competencies in key areas that are recognized as vital to professional and academic success, such as communication skills. They are designed to help students with professionalization and equip them with leadership skills as well as tips and tricks that will help them effectively organize around social and political causes, contribute to academic life, participate in public discourse, and stand out in a competitive job market.

Students who complete the program will receive an official certificate of completion and will be added to the Xaverian Leaders alumni database. Students can complete the Xaverian Leaders program in any of their years of study at StFX.

Email to register.


FALL 2021



11th: Xaverian Leaders Welcome Event

18th: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.: McKenna Lecture: David Suzuki



Group Leadership Project 1: Socially Engaged Leadership (in collaboration with StFX Service Learning)



6th – 7th: Xaverian Leaders Symposium 1: “Core Skills for Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

Keynote speakers:

Sarah Riley Rosen, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, R&G Strategic

Tara Wickwire, Associate Vice President, Marketing and Brand Strategy, NATIONAL Public Relations





Group Leadership Project 2: Leadership and Teamwork



12th – 13th: Xaverian Leaders Symposium 2: Leadership as Public Service



Friel X-Talks and Xaverian Leaders End-of-Year Event