About the College of Leadership & Service
Greetings from the Faculty Director
Welcome to the Undergraduate College of Leadership and Service, or “LDS.” We are the College of Leadership and Service because leadership and service go hand in hand. The best leaders serve some larger purpose—they work not for their own narrow agendas, but for the mutual benefit and gain of many. The contexts and opportunities for meaningful leadership and service are plentiful: providing legal advice, providing medical care, providing seed money to a start-up, or providing a meal. While at LDS, you’ll have a chance to participate in service learning activities that are invaluable for your personal development and intellectual growth.
Not only are you here on a new campus and making new friends, you are also entering a competitive academic environment, after which you will enter an even more competitive “real world.” But that real world is where you have the chance to make a difference and LDS is committed to helping you to get ready to seize that opportunity.
The first-semester “LDS 101” seminar, taught by university staff, introduces you to Stony Brook and to skills that will help you take advantage of its rich resources. During your second semester, you’ll choose a faculty-led “LDS 102” seminar and take part in discussions in ways that are usually not possible in large introductory courses. The chance to get to know researchers and scholars dedicated to their fields can lead to lifelong interests, choices of major, and career paths that you might never have considered.
Many of your colleagues will become friends—some for a year, others for life. Our student body is wonderfully diverse in many ways, some immediately apparent and some less obvious yet no less illuminating. I encourage you to be bold: Try not to offend, but try even harder to seek out and understand. Try not to exclude, but try even harder to include. Go beyond mere tolerance all the way to allophilia.
Your Stony Brook experience will provide an opportunity for you to find your own path to leadership and service. Whatever route you take, I encourage you to be a man or woman of principle. Keep your word. Deliver your best. Live and work with integrity by giving 101% at work and to your family and friends. Although there are many university and local resources here for you, in the end it’s really all up to you.
Best of luck and please come by to say hello—I’d be delighted to meet you.
Todd L. Pittinsky, Ph.D.
Professor and Faculty Director