Institute for Leadership Impact

Impact Report Highlights Leadership Training in 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 Impact Report from the Institute for Leadership Impact highlights leadership training in education and health including the District Leadership Fellows, Rural Superintendent Leadership Symposium, Virtual Reality surgical mentoring and research, and Creating Impact in Global & Public Health class.

Institute for Leadership Impact 2018-2019 Report

During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Institute reached new heights by training over one hundred leaders, hosting several leadership workshops, conducting innovative research, and debuting a host of new programs to create impact in the region, nation, and world. The leaders who participated in Institute programs are diverse: students and seasoned professionals, leaders in health and education, and more. The programs are presented in various settings, on and off the SMU campus, from rural communities in Texas to urban settings in Africa. Our training programs – and the leaders who participate in them – will have ripple effects that last far into the future.

Education was a major focus of leadership training and included convening the second cohort of District Leadership Fellows.  This program provides rural school district leaders with the tools and peer support they need to respond to their unique challenges more effectively. Participants work together to create meaningful change in their districts.

In May 2019, the Institute hosted the first annual Rural Superintendent Leadership Symposium on the SMU campus. The symposium focused on the challenges faced by superintendents of rural school districts and the strategic steps that the District Leadership Fellows are taking to address them. In attendance were school leaders from across the North Texas region, Simmons education policy students, and other community members.

Health was another key area for leadership training as mentoring and research continued on the Virtual Reality Surgery Simulator.  This project aims to reduce the time and cost required to train surgeons in lower-income countries by using virtual reality surgical simulation training in conjunction with remote real-time supervision of surgical trainees.  The project, which uses a simulated operating room environment, runs on affordable off-the-shelf gaming equipment and is designed to help surgical trainees develop their knowledge of complicated surgical procedures.

SMU students enrolled in Dr. Bing’s Creating Impact in Global & Public Health course had the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and work in teams to help community organizations develop strategies to address complex public health challenges. In addition to learning best practices for strategy and effective implementation, students received team coaching from leaders across the health system.

A full version of the 2018-2019 Institute for Leadership Impact Report is available for download here.

Create Impact in Your Organization
The Institute for Leadership Impact serves schools and social impact organizations of all sizes.  We offer an array of experiential, individual and team-based leadership experiences and simulations to strengthen your team and support your growth as a leader.

To learn more about our programs, visit our website, email us at, and engage with us on Twitter.


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