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Leadership & Experiential Learning, Oskin Leadership Institute

We turn the leadership skills learned in the classroom into real-world change.

Leadership studies are essential to the Oskin Leadership Institute, but putting those skills to the test in the real world truly creates a leader. At Widener, students have the opportunity to get practical job experience and give back to underserved communities at home and abroad through experiential service and volunteer activities, facilitated by the Institute.

Verni Fellowship

Experiential learning experiences are made possible by the Verni Fellowship which was established by Vito Verni ’61 and his wife, Mary, in order to provide opportunities for Widener students to increase their understanding of leadership through a variety of experiences. Verni is a member of Widener’s Board of Trustees and the Oskin Leadership Advisory Board.

Fellows Share Their Stories

Monica Lesinski volunteered at schools in Honduras (2016)

monica"While in Honduras I volunteered with youth at the REMAR orphanage and the bilingual Alison Bixby Stone School. Through donations and a grant, we were able to bring more than 350 pounds of arts and crafts and educational supplies to the children.

I was glad I was able to be a part of the sustainability of this annual educational and cultural trip to Honduras. Before my trip to Honduras, I never had the chance to visit a foreign country. The Oskin Leadership Institute helped my dream come true."


Ronald Rabena attended the 10th Annual Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit in Canada (2015)

ronald"During the summit, individuals from across the globe talked about many life-changing advancements their respective universities were making facing global hunger. In conversations with attendees, I began to see the many ways other Widener students and I could contribute to this worthy cause.

This leadership opportunity has given me a new perspective on sustainable impacts that Widener students can make both locally and globally and I was able to present this information about hunger solutions to the Widener University Deans Council."


Dan Hartney joined the conversation with professionals in the hydroponic industry (2014)

dan"I traveled to a hydroponic greenhouse to learn how to grow food crops with less water, time, and environmental impact from professionals and industry leaders.

A year later, I attended the annual Futures Summit in Rochester, New York. The summit was another opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to develop my own network within the hydroponic industry. I truly believe that the experiential learning experiences and opportunities at the Oskin Leadership Institute are building the foundation of my post-Widener future.