Jennifer M. Rentz



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Leadership identity has to do with who students are as leaders, their philosophy and perceptions of leadership, and their confidence in their abilities as leaders (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 2007; Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2005). There is a scarcity in research literature regarding the intersection of LGBT and leadership identities. This study looked at the ways in which LGBT students develop their identities as leaders by engaging in leadership opportunities. Specifically, the question of what affects LGBT students' leadership identity development was addressed. Themes from past research have correlated LGBT students' leadership identity development with the influence of strong peer and adult mentors, opportunities for self-reflection, and experiences being part of a minority group. Individual interviews gave students who identify as LGBT the opportunity to share their leadership experiences and perspectives on what it means to be a leader. Their insights will help student affairs professionals provide resources, skills training, and guidance for this group of students to engage in leadership opportunities among their peers and to develop a positive view of leadership on campus.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Nasser Razek

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education and Human Services


Stander Symposium poster, student affairs, School of Education and Health Sciences

Leadership Identity Development of LGBT-Identifying Students