Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
McKenna Centre Night

Experience Leadership - Hands On Learning


At StFX we believe that experiential education in an important compliment to the high quality academic preparation we provide our students on campus. The McKenna Centre for Leadership offers students a number of popular opportunities for practical learning beyond the classroom.

MacBain/Riley Global Engagement Awards – 28 students have designed their own international leadership experiences. Over the past 2 years, students have had a chance to exercise their leadership in countries such as Ghana, Australia, India, Belize, Sweden, Bosnia Herzegovina, Greece, Tanzania, Malawi, South Africa and the United States.

Irving Research Mentorship Internships – 28 students have been awarded these highly prized awards to pursue hands on research in Canada and abroad. Leadership in research opportunities like these are rare at the undergraduate level and highly valued by our students, faculty and partners.

Service Learning – Every year over 700 students participate in Course Based Service Learning experiences, working with 98 community partners in 49 different courses across all disciplines at StFX. A further 60 students and faculty are selected to participate in Immersion Service Learning experiences in countries such as Grenada, Guatemala, Cuba, Belize, Peru and Ghana. Some of these student participants and other student leaders who work with Service Learning are supported by McKenna Centre endowments.

McKenna Haiti Youth Leaders Exchange – Haitian and StFX youth are participating in an exciting new learning exchange. The StFX youth go to Haiti to work with Haitian youth leaders through StFX’s partner, the Haitian Centre for Leadership and Excellence. The Haitian youth come to the StFX campus to assist with and participate in our annual Leaders Summit@X.

Model United Nations – The McKenna Centre has been supporting the StFX Model UN team in their participation at the Model UN conference at Harvard University. StFX had its largest delegation ever last year and also came away as prize winners. Plans are underway for StFX to host a Model UN conference for high school students in the near future. This will provide StFX students with more hands-on leadership opportunities as they will be the planners and organizers.

Upwards of 125 Atlantic Canada 4-H youth will be on the StFX campus June 27-29 to further develop their leadership skills, in particular around agricultural sustainability and food security.

4-H Nova Scotia, StFX, and the StFX 4-H Society have partnered to create an annual leadership conference focused on 4-H Canada’s leadership pillars, says Jordan MacDonald, 4-H Society member and marketing communications and events coordinator with StFX Extension Innovation and Enterprise Centre.

This year’s conference will focus on agriculture sustainability and food security with 4-H members, ages 14-18, from Atlantic Canada participating in activities planned and delivered by members of the StFX 4-H Student Society, a group of enthusiastic 4-H alumni who study at StFX, he says.

Event planning involves partnerships with 4-H Nova Scotia and StFX faculty, staff, and students in the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Business Administration, and the McKenna Centre for Leadership. As well, one event will be coordinated with community partner, the Marthas New Growers Program.

Delegates will participate in hands-on activities related to sustainable agriculture and food security. Each event will be led by a member of the StFX 4-H Society.

“For instance, the ‘Cooking for the Future’ event brings delegates to a human nutrition lab to consider how food practices can contribute to sustainability and food security while preparing a meal,” Mr. MacDonald says.

He says a fun-filled scavenger hunt called the Amazing Green Race will feature StFX’s sustainability initiatives while also introducing delegates to academic programs that contribute to emerging knowledge on agricultural sustainability and food security.

And the ‘Learn to Lead by Leading’ workshop will enable delegates to explore their own leadership potential so they can better serve their clubs, their communities, and their country, he says.

The conference will also include a StFX and 4-H welcome dinner followed by a square set dance, a hunger banquet, a workshop on self-actualization and sustainability leadership, and a growing local activity with the Marthas New Growers Program. 

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