Sue Shear Institute

The Institute for Women in Public Life was founded in the fall of 1996 with the goal of encouraging women to take a more active role in the formation of public policy. With offices at UM-SL and UM-KC, the Institute shares the University’s mission to enhance and improve the community it serves.

What is the 21st Century Leadership Academy?

  • A week long residential program held on the UM-SL campus that:
    • Focuses on women's public sector leadership by exploring opportunities in the public policy arena
    • Provides opportunities to practice skills that will help achieve personal and professional success.
    • Develop an understanding of public policy formation and their capacity to influence policy that affects their lives and communities.

The Academy's Curriculum

  • Leadership Development
  • Public Speaking
  • Networking
  • Identifying a Mentor
  • Building Self-Confidence
  • Education Sessions Taught by Savvy Women Leaders
    (elected officials, government leaders, and policy advocates)
  • Interactive Policy Sessions
  • Guest Speakers & Keynote Dinner
  • Panel Discussions
  • Small Group Projects

What Does it Cost?

Missouri University of Science and Technology underwrites the program costs including housing and meals. The participants selected to represent S&T as Shear Fellows are responsible for cost of travel to St. Louis and other personal incidental expenses incurred during your stay at UMSL. Fellows are expected to participate in the entire Leadership Academy.  Additional information about the Leadership Academy is available online at:

* If you are selected and accept to be a Sue Shear fellow, but for some reason are unable to attend and a replacement is not found, you will be required to reimburse the university for expenses paid on your behalf.

Who is Eligible?

Interest in public policy and leadership potential are the two primary considerations for successful participation in the program. All majors are encouraged to apply.

Applicant qualifications include:

  • Current resume and letter of interest
  • Current enrollment at Missouri S&T
  • Open to all students( undergraduate, graduate and international students)
  • Overall GPA of 2.25
  • Leadership potential
  • Interest in learning about public policy
  • Presence on campus during the semester following attendance.
  • Willingness to share the skills and knowledge gained with the Missouri S&T community
  • Willingness to recruit future Sue Shear Fellows‌

   Contact Jerri Arnold-Cook
for more information or questions.