Jacque-Corey Cormier, Ph.D. is our first alumni spotlight for June 2019! A graduate of Southwest DeKalb High School (2006), Morehouse College (2010, Masters), Georgia Southern (2012), and of Georgia State University (2017, PhD) He currently works as a clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University in the School of Public Health. Jacque-Corey also serves on the inaugural 21CL Junior Board and has served as 21CL Summer staff for more than 13 years. He says he serves on the 21CL Junior Board so he can advance the mission of 21st Century Leaders and assist in the development of youth.

How did participating in 21CL transform you and lead you to where you are now?

21CL transformed how I thought about leadership and influence.  The person who knows when to ask less talkative people for their input, how to motivate a team towards a common goal, and how to ensure that group members get something out of their contributions has more influence than a person with the title and selfish intentions.

And how did 21CL prepare you for your next steps? Going into college and taking on leadership roles, heading into a new era of professionalism, etc. What skills/tools/perspectives have helped you along the way?

21CL prepared me for college and graduate school as I had to take a lot of personal initiative to get research and professional experiences.  From networking to group projects, my academic career was filled with opportunities to lead others.  I have served as president for a couple of student organizations and in other executive roles for others.

Which programs did you participate in, and when? What skills did you gain or improve through those programs?

Between the summers of 2003 and 2005, I attended summer leadership institutes at Oglethorpe College, Southern Polytechnic College, and Georgia Southern University.  I became more aware of college settings and a better communicator.

What was a memorable or ‘aha’ moment in 21CL? (Particular program, meeting a professional and diverse peers, speaking in public for the first time, etc.?)

My senior year (2005) Bob Watson, founding executive director, led an activity where we had to work in groups to build a Lego helicopter.  The one person who saw the final Lego product was not allowed to speak unless someone asked him/her a question.  We did not realize that the non-talker had the most useless information until midway through the activity.  Those who talk less hear more, so never forget to include them in group decisions.

Did 21CL assist you in developing a leadership style that makes you an effective leader? if so how? And have you recently learned something else about leadership? Please share!

I completed my Community Psychology Ph.D. dissertation on transformational leadership development, so I could write several pages on leadership styles.  I have learned that transformational leadership, the style of leadership 21CL teaches, is the one most associated with favorable outcomes, i.e. task deliverables, employee satisfaction, and group member engagement.