Listen Learn Engage Initiative


The mission of the Listen Learn Engage Initiative is to inspire students across disciplines to participate in constructive, skillful, political, and civic engagement tied to their field of study.



Our vision is for Shepherd University students to develop the motivation, skills, and confidence to participate in civic engagement and influencing of policy in ways that move through division into connection and understanding.


  •  Provide students with learning opportunities in leadership and civic engagement that are tied to their field of study.
  • Teach students in non-political science disciplines how to influence policy in their careers and communities.
  • Create opportunities for students to learn how to effectively advocate for themselves and others.
  • Help students to recognize their influence and importance in the creation of creating a civil political climate. 


  • We value listening across differences as central to building a healthy and effective political climate.
  • We value lifelong learning as imperative to the development of effective leaders.
  • We value skillful participation in civic engagement from a young age.
  • We value student participation in advocacy and politics as a vital part of our democracy.
  • We value positive public discourse, connection over division, understanding over contempt.
  • We value the creation of a just and equitable society by creating space for all voices to be heard and valued.

Future Events

Homage Exhibit of African American HistoryFREE to the publicTuesday, January 18th from 10am to 6pm in the Erma Ora Byrd HallPlease note: The exhibit will no longer be open on Monday, January 17th due to the inclement weather prediction.

The ListenLearnEngage Initiative in partnership with Shepherd University’s Office of Diversity and Equity is hosting the Homage Exhibit of African American history and culture to be hosted at Shepherd University to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr Day.

The public is invited to view the exhibit on Tuesday, January 18th, from 10a.m.-6 p.m. in Erma Ora Byrd Hall.
The Homage Exhibit Tour features more than 500 select items from the private collection of Nia and Morris McAdoo of Charlotte, North Carolina. It opens the door to the African American experience in the United States from the time of slavery to the election of President Barack Obama. The exhibit includes original historical documents, artwork, newspapers, press photos, letters, and books, with display items changing from exhibit to exhibit. Learn more about the Homage Exhibit here.
In support of the social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan for the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, Shepherd’s Athletics Department will partner with Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, associate vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusivity, to offer football and basketball players a workshop following the exhibit on Tuesday.

POSTPONED: Launch of the Listen Learn Engage Service Series

Student Leadership Conference: Re-envisioning Leadership for a Better World Saturday, February 5th, 2022 Shepherd University Student Center

The ListenLearnEngage Initiative is partnering with Shepherd University’s Office of Leadership and Student Groups to host the 34th annual Student Leadership Conference on Saturday, February 5th at Shepherd University! This year’s theme is “Re-envisioning Leadership for a Better World” and we will be focusing on how students can take action to care for themselves and others in a world that has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic and trauma. Our goal is to help students understand that leadership is a process (not a position or endpoint) that is learned (not an innate ability) and that the goal of leadership is to work collaboratively with others to create a better world (make positive social change and become empowered citizens). 
The conference will kick-off with keynote presenter, Dr. Allison Jackson, followed by a rich array of workshops. Check out our “Past Events” section to view Dr. Jackson’s powerful presentation from the fall entitled “Our Resilience Story.”  *REGISTER HERE​*


The Listen Learn Engage Initiative is working hard to provide students events for the upcoming semester. Please continue to check back for updates about future events.

Past Events

Our Resilience Story with Dr. Allison Jackson-Dyer

Dr. Jackson-Dyer was the keynote speaker for the virtual leadership conference “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity, and Trauma-Informed Care,” co-created by the Stubblefield Institute’s ListenLearnEngage Initiative in partnership with Shepherd University’s Offices of Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity. This conference was created for future and current leaders on the pandemic frontlines to better understand the intersection of DEI work and trauma-informed care. While this was created for nursing, education, and social work students and professionals, the social inequities and trauma exacerbated by the pandemic impact all of us and this topic is important for anyone wanting to be an effective leader and engaged citizen.
Additional programming from the conference on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusivity, and Trauma-Informed Care:
Workshop keynote speakers (Dr. Jarvis Watson and Dr. Allison Jackson-Dyer):
Workshop breakout sessions (Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic on DEI Leadership and Accountability/Emotional Intelligence, Hannah Badley on Discomfort with Racial Conversations, Nadirah Z. Mayweather on Microaggressions and Cultural Responsiveness, Kelsey R. M. Bush on Identity Maintenance and Communication Systems):
Workshop final panel discussion (Dr. Allison Jackson-Dyer, Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, Hannah Badley, Nadirah Z. Mayweather, Kelsey R. M. Bush)

We love working with Shepherd student organizations! LLE’s Cindy Powers bookended the semester by facilitating leadership and teambuilding sessions for the Shepherd University Student Nursing Association (SUSNA) student officers. This end of semester leadership transition session created an opportunity for the student leaders to reflect on the fall semester, plan for the spring semester, celebrate the outgoing leadership team, and welcome in the new team. We look forward to supporting SUSNA’s leadership development and can’t wait to see what the SUSNA team accomplishes next semester!

Cindy Powers

Cindy Powers

Listen Learn Engage Initiative Program Coordinator

To learn more about the Listen Learn Engage Initiative or to connect with the Initiative, email Cindy Powers at