The mission of the Madison A. and Lila Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program (the “SELF Program”) is to develop passionate engineering and computer science graduates who are strongly goal-oriented and who bring the business skills and vision needed to guide the technology-based corporations of tomorrow. The SELF Program will recruit, select and financially support students at the University of Kansas and administer to them an ongoing four-year personal development program that leads to a continuing supply of exceptional graduates at the bachelor of science level. By active participation in the program, the students will expand and refine their leadership, managerial, business, interpersonal, entrepreneurial, communication and engineering skills through mentoring, coursework, seminars and leadership opportunities. Graduates from the SELF Program will possess the personal attributes needed to become effective leaders who are motivated to make a real difference during their careers.
About the SELF Program
The Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program was established in 2007 as the result of a contribution to the KU Endowment Association from Madison “Al” and Lila Self. The Selfs’ intention for the program is to identify and develop students who have a passion for engineering and possess a “fire in the belly” mentality.
In the fall of 2007, 15 freshmen were welcomed into the program. Currently, the SELF Program has four classes of undergraduate students, totaling 110 participants. In 2018, that number will grow to 134. The Program graduated its first class of Fellows in the spring of 2011 and currently has over 120 alumni.
What SELF Fellows Do
The SELF Program Fellows participate in a wide range of activities and have established themselves as leaders across campus. The students invite leaders of industry such as Brian McClendon, co-creator of Google Earth, and Sam Gilliland, former CEO of Sabre Holding Company, to put on seminars and lectures. The Fellows have coordinated and helped with numerous events throughout campus. They run the Engineering High School Design Competition, the School of Engineering's largest on-campus outreach event each Fall; the Sophomore Philanthropy project, a fundraiser and service opportunity spearheaded by the second-year cohort for a selected charity or group in the community; and attend the annual SELF on the Road experience to connect with industry and business leaders across the country. The Fellows have participated in over 100 student groups and helped bring innovative ideas to KU and the School and Engineering.
How to Become a Fellow
About 30 incoming first-year students with a track record of motivation, leadership and action are selected each year for this innovative program. SELF Fellows will receive an outstanding enrichment and leadership programming paired with $6,000 in fellowship funds in both the first and second years and $8,000 in each of the third and fourth years. During their first two years fellows are eligible for up to $1,500 in funding for experiencial opportunities via Pillar of Opportunity Grants. Funding is also available for capstone projects. Applications for four-year fellowships open in July and close in December.
Additionally, current KU students can apply at the end of their second year of study to join the third-year cohort. These applications open in December and close in February.