LEAP Into Leadership

LEAP Into Leadership White and Gold logo

First Year Leadership and College Transition Experience

Do you want to be a part of something GREAT to kick off your UD experience?

L.E.A.P Into Leadership 2021 Schedule

Leadership *Engagement*Adaptability* Preparation

Contact: Susan Luchey, Associate Director, University Student Centers for Leadership Development

What to Bring: casual clothing, sweaters or sweatshirts (the Trabant MPRs get cold!), comfortable shoes for walking,
bathing suit, medicines needed, masks, hand sanitizer

LEAP will follow all University of Delaware COVID protocols. All participants must be vaccinated, unless they have an
approved exception.

Monday, August 23

6:30 pm -7:30 pm – Virtual LEAP Welcome, LEAP Talks
Zoom Link: https://udel.zoom.us/j/91208772252

Tuesday, August 24
   Choose ONE virtual meeting:
11:00 am to 11:45 am – Take the LEAP- Meet PMs and other participants
6:00 pm to 6:45 pm – Take the LEAP – MEET PMs and other participants
   Zoom Link for BOTH meetings is https://udel.zoom.us/j/91208772252

Wednesday, August 25
9:00 am – 10:00 am: Arrive at Trabant University Center Lobby for Check-In.                                         Park in the Trabant garage. (Warm up activities)
10:00 am – 11:00 am: Official LEAP Welcome (Parents, too) in Trabant Theater
11:05 am – 12:00 pm: Peer Mentor Groups in Trabant MPRs
Round 1 Teambuilder
Parent Presentation in Theater
12:00 pm – 1:45 pm: Lunch, Team Stories, Team Name. (MPRs)
Parent Lunch and Presentation (theater)
1:45 pm – 3:15 pm: Keynote Speaker, Marlon Smith, presents Success by Choice,
Trabant Theater ( parents too)
3:15 pm – 3:30 pm Break, Parents Dismissed
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm The Leadership Challenge & Lollipop Moments (MPRs)
5:00 pm – 7:30 pm Move- in to Residence Halls
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm LEAP Team Night (MPRs)
10:00 pm – 10:30 pm Reflection, return to residence halls

Thursday, August 26
8:30 am – 9:00 am Breakfast (Trabant MPRs)
9:00 am – 10:45 am Finding Your True Colors
10:45 am – 12:30 pm Campus Seek and Find
12:30 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch
1:15 pm – 3:15 pm Service Activity
3:15 pm- 3:30 pm Break
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Setting SMART Goals for your First Year
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm What you REALLY want to know about college panel
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm The Blue Hen Leadership Program
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Dinner
7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Life Defining Moments & Reflection
9:30 pm – 11:00 pm Turf Wars (Harrington Turf)

Friday, August 27
8:00 am – 9:00 am Breakfast in dining hall on your own
9:00 am- 9:30 am Morning Activity (Trabant MPRs)
9:30 am – 11:00 am Dance Floor Theory with Tom Krigelstein
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Breaking Through Barriers
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm Lunch
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Travel to Sandy Hill Retreat Center in North East, Md.
1:30 pm – 5:00 pm Boat Building. Team Building
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Races and Water activity
6:30 pm – 7:15 pm Dinner
7:15 pm – 9:30 pm Campfire and Reflection
9:30 pm – 10:30 pm Travel back to campus

Saturday, August 28
9:00 am – 9:30 am Breakfast (Trabant MPRs)
9:00 am – 11:00 am Memory Poster Signing
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Closing activity

Remember that LEAP does not end on August 28. We will continue to meet throughout the fall semester!

About LEAP

LEAP into Leadership is an opportunity for the University of Delaware first year students to jumpstart their college experience on a transformational journey of self-discovery, personal leadership development, and creating lifelong friendships. Gain the confidence that will support you through a successful college transition and first year. LEAP is the gateway into the award winning Blue Hen Leadership Program.

This selective program is open to approximately 75 students who demonstrate an interest in learning about leadership and who show a desire to thrive through engagement in the UD community.

Questions? Email Susan Luchey at sluchey@udel.edu.

LEAP into Leadership is replacing the program formerly known as QUEST for this year. While the significant components and outcomes of the program remain the same as those in QUEST, we have made some alterations to abide by new protocols brought on by COVID. Our plan is to have the program mostly in person, with some added virtual components to get an early start on building connections. As with any program everything is subject to change based on what the COVID protocol will be at the time of the program.

LEAP into Leadership will be conducted by Susan Luchey, Associate Director of Student Centers for Leadership Development; BHLP staff; and a group of peer mentors who have completed the Emerging Leader level or higher of the UD Blue Hen Leadership Program.

Want to be a part of our LEAP into Leadership program?

Applications open May 1, 2021. Priority for acceptance will be given to those applications received by the early bird deadline of July 1.

The LEAP into Leadership summer intensive begins on Wednesday, August 25th at 9 a.m. and ends at noon on Saturday, August 28th. LEAP continues throughout the fall semester.

To make the application process easier, please have your responses to the following questions prepared prior to accessing the online application. Then simply copy and paste your prepared responses into the application.

  1. Why are you applying to participate in the LEAP program, and what are you hoping to gain from your participation?
  2. As you prepare to enter college, what are you most anxious about? Most excited about?
  3. Development as a leader is an ongoing process.  Describe what you believe are your leadership strengths and your leadership “gaps”.  What skills and leadership characteristics do you still need to develop?

Questions? Email Susan Luchey at sluchey@udel.edu.

The LEAP experience takes place both on and off campus and will include:

  • keynote speaker (Marlon Smith, themarlonchristopher.com) as a kickoff event
  • activities geared around getting to know the UD campus and traditions
  • workshops on leadership, values identification, goal setting, self-assessment, cultural competency and teambuilding
  • the creation of an action plan for a successful freshmen year
  • a day of community service
  • challenge/ropes courses/boat races and outdoor activities
  • social activities

Participants will be able to:

  • identify a set of personal values
  • create a list of SMART goals for the fall semester
  • identify their personal leadership style
  • learn to work effectively as part of a diverse team
  • articulate concepts of various leadership models
  • learn to face fear, take risks, face challenges
  • identify tools for success at UD


Participants will foster connections among freshmen, leadership mentors and staff.

Participants will engage in experiences that contribute to an understanding of what it means to be a respectful and contributing member of an inclusive community that values human worth.

Participants will identify personal goals and learn how personal awareness and decision-making can impact one’s ability to achieve success.

Participants will understand that developing as a leader is a process that involves self-awareness, relationships, skills, service to others and transformation.


Begin to develop your leader identity.


Engage in LEAP, BHLP and the UD campus community, making friendships and creating memories through meaningful experiences.


This past year has enforced the importance of embracing change and adaptability when leading through uncertain times.


Prepare for a successful transition into the college experience as a Blue Hen.

2021 Senior Peer Mentors

Tori Reiner

Tori Reiner

Hi everyone!! My name is Tori Reiner (she/her/hers) and I am so excited to be one of your Senior Peer Mentors! I am a senior biomedical engineering major in the grand challenges scholars program on a pre-medical track. I am from Telford, Pennsylvania, but I have also...
Shannon Murray

Shannon Murray

My name is Shannon Murray (she/her/hers) and I am a Senior from right here in Newark, Delaware. I am majoring in Math Secondary Education and have a minor in Psychology. Along with participating in Tier 4 of BHLP, I am also an active member of Episcopal Campus...
Sean Friday

Sean Friday

I’m Sean Friday (he, him, his), a senior Construction Engineering and Management major from Plymouth Meeting, PA. I am president of the Golden Blues a cappella group, the founder of Construction Engineers of America on campus, and soon to be coach of the Collegiate...
Cullen Kisner

Cullen Kisner

Hi everyone! My name is Cullen Kisner (she/her/hers) and I am a senior with majors in Biological Sciences, Spanish Studies and Liberal Studies from Camden-Wyoming, DE. I also am on the pre-medical track and want to attend medical school post-graduation to achieve my...

2021 Peer Mentors

Liz Swanson

Liz Swanson

Hi Blue Hens! My name is Liz Swanson (she/her/hers) and I am a senior Political Science Major with Minors in History and Islamic Studies from Hopedale, Massachusetts. At UD, I am involved in greek life, a volunteer for UDance, and a Tier 4 participant. Outside of...
Wren Doonan

Wren Doonan

Hello everyone! My name is Wren Doonan, and my pronouns are they/them! I am so excited to be one of your LEAP peer mentors! I am originally from Brooklyn, New York. I am a senior Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Biosciences major with a minor in Wildlife...
Headshot of Samantha Carella

Samantha Carella

Hi everyone! My name is Sam Carella (she/her/hers) and I am a sophomore from Monroe Township, NJ. I am double majoring in Psychology and Cognitive Science, and I hope to one day become a Speech-Language Pathologist. My freshman year of college was not the most...
Lindsay Marrione

Lindsay Marrione

Hello! My name is Lindsay Marrione (she/her) and I am from Lynbrook, Long Island. I am so excited to be kicking off my senior year as a LEAP Peer Mentor! I am pursuing a major in English with minors in History and Advertising, and I have a huge passion for the arts....
Hayley Sussman

Hayley Sussman

Hello all! My name is Hayley Sussman (she/her/hers) and I am a junior Biomedical Engineering major with a minor in Public Health. I am from Wayne, New Jersey, which is just 25 miles west of Manhattan! Here at UD, I am involved in undergraduate research in the BME...
Headshot of Mackenzie Dabbs

Mackenzie Dabbs

Hi everyone!! My name is Mackenzie Dabbs (she/her/hers) and I am a sophomore Nursing major from Ellicott City, Maryland.  My goal is to become a nurse for the Navy post-college so hopefully that happens! On campus I am involved in BHLP, the sorority Alpha Delta Pi,...
Headshot of Brian Chansky

Brian Chansky

Hi! My name is Brian Chansky (he/him/his) and I am a sophomore Marine Science and Wildlife Ecology & Conservation double major from Framingham, MA. Other than participating in BHLP Tier 2, I also serve as a Student Affairs Senator in UD Student Government...
Jacob Herz

Jacob Herz

My name is Jacob Herz (he/him/his) and I am super excited to be your LEAP Peer Mentor. I am a junior Media Communications and History and Journalism double minor from Stamford, CT. On-campus, I am in the ComUDy club, a member of Best Buddies, on the club ultimate...
Jenny Ziegler

Jenny Ziegler

My name is Jenny Ziegler (she/her/hers) and I’m a Junior from Wheaton Illinois. I am an honors mechanical engineering major with a minor in psychology, integrated design and mathematics. This year I’m looking forward to working with the Mechanical Engineering Student...
Lauren Leader

Lauren Leader

Hey all! My name is Lauren Leader (she/her/hers) and I’m from Macungie, Pennsylvania. I’m a junior Exercise Science major and Spanish for Healthcare minor and I’m planning to go to grad school for physical therapy. I’m a part of BHLP Tier 3 and I am also a member of...