Sophomore Leadership Program

Our Sophomore Leadership Program (SLP) endeavors to communicate to our students that leaders can be very different and have a variety of backgrounds, stories, and styles.

The primary values explored through the program are humility, empathy, perseverance, self-awareness, service-mindedness, and courage. In this important year of development for our students, this cohesive experience exposes them to various forms of leadership, and fosters community and personal growth for the remainder of their Upper School career.

Each sophomore attends events associated with SLP. However, students who choose to fully take advantage of the program by writing individual reflections on each speaker and participating in an end-of-year culminating event will be considered official participants in the program and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the academic year.

2015 - 2016 Sophomore Leadership Program Speakers

Dr. Wendy Amato

Ms. Wendy Amato, Ph.D., director of curriculum and academics at WorldStrides Capstone, manages the organization’s status as an accredited school, and oversees the educational content of its programs. Prior to her doctoral work at the University of Virginia, she served as a K-12 teacher and administrator, routinely leading students on overseas trips.

WorldStrides is the largest and most established educational travel organization in the United States. Today it is a combination of four university travel study organizations: WorldStrides, Accent Travel Group, TravelMBA, and the UK-based Casterbridge Tours.

Ms. Lisa Lorish

Ms. Lorish is an attorney practicing as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Charlottesville, Va. She serves on the board for the non-profit The Arbor Charlottesville, which provides housing and aftercare services for victims of human trafficking.

After graduating from Princeton University in 2003, she worked in Boston as a project analyst before moving to Charlottesville, to attend the University of Virginia School of Law in 2005. After working as a commercial litigation associate for the London office of the New York-based law-firm Sullivan & Cromwell, she returned to Charlottesville to worked as a litigation associate with McGuireWoods LLP. In the summer of 2014 she transitioned to her current position in the Federal Public Defender’s office, where she represents indigent clients charged with federal criminal offenses.

Mr. Matt Swift

Born in Charlottesville and based in New York, Mr. Matt Swift is a lifelong entrepreneur with passions in both business and politics. Attending Georgetown University, Mr. Swift studied under such global leaders as President Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of Spain, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. It was studying under them and many others that inspired Mr. Swift's passion for global affairs. Prior to his current endeavors, he spent six years with News Corporation including its subsidiaries: Fox News Channel, British Sky Broadcasting, and the New York Post.

Dr. Melissa Thomas-Hunt

Dr. Thomas-Hunt serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Her teaching and research activities focus on conflict management, negotiation, and inclusive leadership within global teams and organizations.

Dr. Thomas-Hunt is also a clinical psychologist experienced in providing psychotherapy and psychological assessment for clients of all ages. Thomas-Hunt works to help others understand and cope with social, emotional, and learning difficulties through assessment, education, and support. She earned her B.S.E. from Princeton University and M.S. and Ph.D from Northwestern University.

2014 - 2015 Sophomore Leadership Program Speakers

Mr. Joe Ehrmann

Mr. Ehrmann is a former standout player for the Baltimore Colts as well as a dynamic, inspirational speaker and seminar leader who works with corporate, civic, and community organizations and associations to promote growth, teamwork, effectiveness, and individual responsibility.

Some know him as the coach profiled in the national bestseller Season of Life, as well as the author of InSideOut Coaching, the widely-acclaimed book in which he explains how coaches at every level can use sports to transform lives. With high school students in particular, Ehrmann focuses on gender roles and identities.

Dr. Christopher Howard

Dr. Howard currently serves as the 24th President of Hampden-Sydney College, a liberal arts establishment in operation since 1775.

After Dr. Howard received a Bachelor of Science in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a doctorate in politics from Oxford University, he then went on to earn an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Before taking leadership of Hampden-Sydney College in 2009, he served as the Vice President for Leadership & Strategic Initiatives at the University of Oklahoma. The Library of Virginia named Dr. Howard a 2010 African-American Trailblazer, and he was a 2012 honoree of Dominion Power’s Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership Series. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Times, and on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” CNN, and PBS, among other media outlets.

Ms. Lisa Lorish

Ms. Lorish is an attorney practicing as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Charlottesville, Va. She serves on the board for the non-profit The Arbor Charlottesville, which provides housing and aftercare services for victims of human trafficking.

After graduating from Princeton University in 2003, she worked in Boston as a project analyst before moving to Charlottesville, to attend the University of Virginia School of Law in 2005. After working as a commercial litigation associate for the London office of the New York-based law-firm Sullivan & Cromwell, she returned to Charlottesville to worked as a litigation associate with McGuireWoods LLP. In the summer of 2014 she transitioned to her current position in the Federal Public Defender’s office, where she represents indigent clients charged with federal criminal offenses.

Ms. Tori Macmillan

Ms. Macmillan is a representative of the Real Colors organization, a personality and leadership style test and workshop series.Through the workshop sessions students became familiar with the four colors associated with personality types and characteristics ascribed to each color, as well as where they each fall on the Real Colors spectrum. They also gained a better understanding of fellow students falling within other color groups.



Mr. Lide Paterno

At the time of his visit, Mr. Paterno was a third-year student at the University of Virginia School of Law and the founder and President of the non-profit Tumaini Tanzania (“Hope Tanzania”).

A trans-Atlantic network of friends committed to expanding education access in rural East Africa, Tumaini Tanzania grew out Paterno’s year-long fellowship in Tanzania following his graduation from Princeton University in 2006. During the years between working in Tanzania and moving to Charlottesville, Paterno engaged in international and domestic matters centered on the ability of law and policy to empower marginalized populations. He has worked for the U.S. Department of State in both Washington, D.C. and southern Africa, in the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a child advocate in Charlotte, N.C.

Dr. Melissa Thomas-Hunt

Dr. Thomas-Hunt serves as an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Her teaching and research activities focus on conflict management, negotiation, and inclusive leadership within global teams and organizations.

Dr. Thomas-Hunt is also a clinical psychologist experienced in providing psychotherapy and psychological assessment for clients of all ages. Thomas-Hunt works to help others understand and cope with social, emotional, and learning difficulties through assessment, education, and support. She earned her B.S.E. from Princeton University and M.S. and Ph.D from Northwestern University.

Powered by Finalsite