Leadership Development

“I applied to the Oaks Scholars program because I was passionate about working towards equity in not only my field, but other occupations as well. The skills I developed in Oaks have been assets to my work at [NCSU’s] Women’s Center, employment, and graduate school.”

Staci Batchelor (Oaks Class ‘19, ‘20, ‘21/NCSU Class ‘21)

Cohort Meetings

Scholars meet twice monthly in sessions devoted to developing transformative leadership skills. In these sessions, our scholars learn from NC State leaders, change agents across the state, program alumni, and program faculty.

Action-Based Project

Scholars complete an action-based project throughout their year that showcases what they’ve learned and the way they are impacting their communities. Each project comes with a policy proposal that Scholars take to state and federal policy makers. We celebrate the work of our Scholars each year in April during Oaks Presentation Day, where Scholars present their work to campus and community partners, industry stakeholders, family, and friends.

Program Mentors

Scholars further develop personal and professional networks by meeting with program faculty mentors each month. These meetings help scholars working on achieving their program goals, dissect what they’re learning, and provide community support.


Scholars read contemporary scholarship including works on transformative leadership and justice and equity work. While there is some assigned reading, Scholars have the opportunity to leverage the Oaks library and select further reading that speaks to their individual interests.


Our excursions are some of the best parts of the Oaks Leadership Scholars program. Students engage with current leaders to understand the impact they can make on local, state, national, and global levels. In December, Scholars travel to Greensboro, North Carolina and work with staff at the International Civil and Human Rights Museum. In May, Scholars travel to Washington, D.C. where they network with legislative leaders and advocacy groups making the world a more equitable place. 

Past D.C. trips have included meetings with: Representative John Lewis, Representative David Price, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Biden Administration Department of Justice representatives, and staff from Senator Cory Booker’s office.