SCLD builds virtual training program for student leaders

A person is using a computer

The 12th annual Peer Leader Training (PLT) delivered by the Leadership Unit within York University’s office of Student Community and Leadership Development (SCLD) was offered online on April 28 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Peer Leader Training (PLT) is designed to develop leadership capacity and the six core career and leadership competencies outlined in the Becoming YU program for student success. The pan-university training is presented as a series of centralized, foundational and advanced level training webinars for student leaders in peer mentorship positions for the summer or upcoming academic year.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the training was developed and launched on Moodle by SCLD’s Leadership and Development Coordinator, Urshian Khalid, as a comprehensive program available to all hired student-staff. The program explores foundational and advanced training topics, including:

Becoming YU Onboarding

  • Rina Pugliese, Becoming YU Coordinator, Career Center

Inclusive Leadership: Foundational & Advanced

  • Lisa Brown, Education and Communication Advisor, Center for Human Rights, Equity & Inclusion

Student Mental Health 101

  • Shaila Khan, Health Education and Training Specialist, Health Education, SCLD
  • Mayura Ragunathan, Health Education Assistant, SCLD

Time Management & Prioritization

  • Daniel Loduca, Learning Skills Services Peer

Ethical Leadership & Professionalism

  • Urshian Khalid, Student Leadership & Development Coordinator, SCLD

Top Tips for Great Service Delivery

  • David Ip Yam, Project Director, Student Service Excellence
  • Amanda Sartori, Project Coordinator, Student Advising & Service Excellence

Social Location & Responsibility as a Student Leader

  • Warsan Hagi-Yusuf, Senior Social Work Student
  • Miles Viaje, Senior Social Work Student
  • Nida Kiani, Senior Social Work Student
  • Ijaabo Mohamed, Senior Social Work Student

In addition to the training, the program partnered with the office of Alumni Engagement to engage alumnus Michael Prosserman as a keynote speaker. Prosserman shared his story as the founder of Unity Charity, a successful grassroots organization that uses hip-hop to improve youth mental health, and offered practical ways to build resiliency and channel adversity during the pandemic.

Peer Leader Training is designed to develop leadership capacity and the six core competencies outlined in the Becoming YU program
Peer Leader Training is designed to develop leadership capacity and the six core competencies outlined in the Becoming YU program

The talk was attended by 174 participants and was followed by a question and answer session hosted by York’s Associate Director of Alumni Engagement, Alyson Gampel.

Peer Leader Training has since been completed by 160 student leaders responsible for directly supporting student success across campus, with additional in-service training to come during the summer.

“Student leaders play a vital role in impacting community and supporting student success at York University, as they use their experiences and training to advocate, advise, refer, recognize, listen, empathize, educate, listen, connect, refer and more,” said Ross McMillan, SCLD director.

“Student leaders’ responsibilities on campus vary by position, however, what unifies the student leader community is the shared impact in student retention and engagement, as well as building an awareness of available resources on campus,” McMillan continued, affirming that supporting newly-hired student-staff’s capacity to care for peers will remain a priority for SCLD.

“Thank you to our campus partners who delivered training webinars for the program, Alumni Engagement, and the Media and Communications team at SCLD,” he added.

To learn more about this event or to complete this training, contact Urshian Khalid at or visit the SCLD website.