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CECAS Leadership Programs

Students walking across campus bridge

Creating the Next Generation of Leaders

The technical skills that students learn in the classroom are only part of what they will need to succeed when they leave college. They will face a world that is becoming increasingly interconnected and more complex than ever. As the world evolves, so must skill-sets. Graduates will need to build bridges that bring together the best minds, regardless of culture, nation, or discipline. The entrepreneurial spirit will be imperative.

"Good leadership and stewardship are the answers to most of the problems facing the world today."

Bob Hambright, Class of '70

The skills that students learn in the classroom empower them to invent new products, but they should also know how to take those products to market. It’s also important for graduates to be socially conscious so that they can see the positive impact their technical skills have on society. With these qualities, students will be prepared to lead in the 21st century. Clemson is not only creating the next generation of Engineers and Computer Scientists but the next generation of leaders.

Featured Leadership Program: Hambright Scholars

About the Hambright Scholars Program  The Robert B. ('70) and Susan B. Hambright Annual Leadership Program in Engineering is being established by Mr. Robert Benjamin Hambright, Class of 1970, and Mrs. Susan Bindseil Hambright. The mission of this merit-based leadership program is to create awareness of the power and impact that can be achieved through leadership. It is the donors' desire that students who benefit from this program demonstrate leadership qualities in the areas of learning agility, humility, strong character, and demonstrated leadership characteristics in academic areas, student organizations, and community activities. The annual program awards $4,000 to eligible junior and senior engineering students to attend leadership conferences and programs (at Clemson and at other institutions) that encourage accelerated leadership development and awareness for the candidate(s), of which $3,000 will be used to fund leadership-related activities and $1,000 will serve as a merit award.

Libby Zanin, Junior, Biosystems Engineering

AbbyMy name is Elizabeth Zanin but most people call me Libby. I am Junior Biosystems Engineering Student and I love my Clemson Tigers! In my spare time, I like to run, play soccer, hike, and bike! I also love to travel and was fortunate enough to study in both Germany and Spain last summer. I am passionate about environmental leadership, because of this I am on the CUSG Sustainability Committee as the Alternative Transportation Chair and president of the Biosystems Engineering Club. I believe that we need leaders in environmental policy that can bring together people from all sides of the problem to work together. I also think that peer leadership is important which is why I work as a mentor for the honors college and as a tutor-mentor in the ASC. I found peer leaders to be very helpful when I first arrived on campus so I have tried to give back to other new students. The Hambright Fellowship will allow me to attend conferences in both of these areas, the Climate Leadership Conference and a Women’s Leadership Conference. I am very grateful for this opportunity to meet national leaders and learn from their successes! I hope to use the skills in my future career of leading the world to a more sustainable future!

Aaron Gordon, Junior, Civil Engineering

AaronMy name is Aaron Gordon and I am a third-year Civil Engineering major. My passion is infrastructure; the basic services such as clean water and sanitation that we take for granted in the United States yet are tragically absent in the developing world. Following this interest has led to my involvement in organizations like Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries (CEDC). Through these student-led international engineering groups, I have helped design, implement, and manage a wide variety of community infrastructure projects relating to water, energy, and agriculture in addition to traveling to the developing world innumerable times during my time at Clemson. These trips included an almost eight-month internship in Haiti through CEDC where I served as a project manager, an experience that provided me with invaluable leadership and technical experience. Today, I serve as the student director of CEDC, now the largest Creative Inquiry on campus, and the president of Grand Challenge Scholars, a program that now serves over 20 ambitious students. With the generous grant from the Hambright fellows program, I intend to get more experience with engineering and leading change in the developing world either through targeted leadership seminars or shadowing leaders in the field of water infrastructure and/or humanitarian engineering. I have always prided myself on making decisions that are off the beaten path so I hope to use my grant for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Fred McDaniel, Junior, Industrial Engineering

FredWhen I stepped foot on campus in 2013, I had already accumulated 14 years of military experience, but the situation laid out before me was going to test my abilities at a higher level. Upon my arrival, I knew I wanted to be an Industrial Engineer, but I was unsure of what field I was passionate about. A guest lecturer introduced me to the field of logistics and when I combined it with a passion for healthy food, I knew that I had a calling. I want to create sustainable solutions that allow for greater access to clean food, to a greater amount of people, and at a lower cost. At Clemson, I want to be a champion for the inclusion of organic and local food into the food supply system. With a closer partnership with the Clemson Area Food Exchange, a proposed Food Hub in Greenville, SC, and local farms, Clemson could place itself in the lead in regards to food sustainability. The funds I received means that I can help start laying a foundation for increasing food sustainability at Clemson. I want to attend the 2017 Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) annual conference in order to be exposed to the new ideas and concepts that arise out of their sustainability division. The picture attached is when I was rewarded an axe as a token of good work for the 5 years I was a part of the 4-118th Infantry Battalion. I look forward to incorporating my military experience and knowledge I am gaining from Clemson in order to help increase food security for everyone.

Benjamin Curtis, Hambright Fellow

AbbyThe past few months have been an exciting professional growth opportunity for me since winning the Hambright award. I was fortunate to secure an internship and then a co-op position with Tesla Motors in [city, state]. My numerous professional assignments have applied and honed my engineering skills. I have also been fortunate to be mentored by many talented leaders and managers within my field and feel that I can apply these experiences to future leadership opportunities. With my coop ending in May, it is my plan to attend one of the leadership conferences specifically for student veterans, and I look forward to returning to Clemson in the Fall.

Kimberly Bourne, Hambright Fellow

AbbyThis semester I have gained new roles and relinquished others to new leadership. I have stepped down in my role as president of the Environmental Engineering Club and am trying to aid the new leaders of the club in transitioning in and having a successful year. It is exciting to see the new ideas they have for events and roles of the organization! Additionally, I have aided in starting a new organization. The Sustainable Remediation Forum is a club I learned about through a conference I attended with the funds given to me by the Hambright Fellowship. It will give our students more opportunities to learn not only about the consulting industry centered on environmental remediation, but they will also make invaluable connections with working professionals. This semester is also one of changes for the College of Engineering and Science Student Advisory Board, of which I am the secretary. With the college splitting into two, our organization structure will be changing drastically. The current executive board will be working diligently to design the new board structure.

Jansen Nash, Hambright Fellow

AbbyI am excited to continue to have leadership activities this spring semester, especially as it is my last semester at Clemson. I am not taking on anything new (for as we know, the greatest influence is left on a group when you stick with them long-term, not short-term), and I am excited to keep doing all the leadership things that I have been involved in up to this point. Specifically, I have a large leadership role in my main club on campus, called The Navigators. I am excited to get to keep training the other student leaders as I pass off all responsibility to them in a few short months. The details are not set yet, but it looks like I will be doing a great workshop with students in The Navigators in a few weeks on the topic of margin. How to build margin into your time, your finances, and your energy, and why the margin is extremely necessary to a balanced life. I look forward to continuing to use the Hambright grant funds to attend a conference later in the semester that will teach me how to be a leader in my field of industry (the intersection of engineering and healthcare). And through all this, I am loving time in my last semester. The attached picture is me at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World a few weekends ago with my incredible family.

Other Leadership Programs


Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries (CEDC)
The mission of CEDC is to work with local communities in Haiti, Guatemala, and rural SC to develop sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life.


The DEN program information

The Den (Design and Entrepreneurial Network)
In The Den, participants have the opportunity in an “open mic” setting to share ideas for a business product or concept and to form interdisciplinary business teams.


LEAD Forward students

LEAD Forward
Constructed on a unique leadership development model, LEAD Forward is based on the concept of having a leader mindset. A main principle is that one must think like a leader before acting like one.



Student Advisory Board: CECASSAB
The College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences and College of Science Student Advisory Board (CECASSAB) serves as the voice of the 7,100 students within the two colleges at Clemson University. 


Leadership Conference

University Leadership Programs
Student Leadership & Community Engagement empowers and enables students by developing foundational leadership capacities, fostering social responsibility, and providing opportunities for meaningful practice.