Students Emerging Academy of Leaders (SEALs)

Program Goals

Team task
SEALs participants work as a team to perform a task that tests communication and negotiation skills.

The Students Emerging Academy of Leaders (SEALs) workshop is designed to provide a platform for Mechanisms of Disease and Translational Sciences (MoDTS) and Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) students to develop skills necessary to be effective leaders in biomedical fields.

The workshop is structured into four modules covering Communication Styles, Networking, Remote Communication, and Developing Mentee and Mentor Skills. Each module includes didactic presentations, a networking dinner, and small group activities. Although none of these sets of skills can be fully taught in one two-hour session, the main objective of the SEALs curriculum is to help participants identify gaps in their own understanding and provide resources to facilitate further learning. This allows workshop participants to pursue the elements of our curriculum that are most personally relevant to them right now, while giving them resources that will help them over the course of their careers.

Participants will commit to attending all four sessions and to maintaining confidentiality. Participants will complete a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality inventory assessment to better understand their own work style as well as others’ preferences. Only aggregate and de-identified results will be presented during the workshop.

Please contact Ryan Laranger for more information. Email

Curriculum and Dates

Module 1: Communication Styles
Date: November 8, 2016

Module 2: Networking
Date: December 12, 2016

Module 3: Remote Communication
Date: February 16, 2017

Module 4: Developing Mentee and Mentor Skills
Date: TBD Spring 2017


MoDTS StudentsFaculty Advisors
Sarah Addams Helen Yin, Ph.D.
Ryan Laranger Andrew Zinn, M.D., Ph.D.
Jin Suk Park  
Alexandra Willcockson  
Working in teams of five, SEALs participants begin building a previously unknown LEGO construct.
Working in teams of five, SEALs participants begin building a previously unknown LEGO construct. Only one team member can view the master construct at a time. He or she communicates the details of the construct to the group who build the construct. Participants switch roles every few minutes so that each team member gains experience being the communicator.