How will you Lead as a Cardinal? 


2023 Cardinal Leadership Award Nominations are Open! 

Click here to review the awards and nominate a student!



We hope that after participating in OCA's leadership programs this year, you can answer that question! Leading as a Cardinal offers various opportunities for students to develop and enhance their leadership ability. Leadership is all about developing basic skills that build on each other that help formulate who you are as a leader. This year, we are going back to basics to help reimagine and redefine what leadership means as Catholic University student. Whether it be participating in Build Your Nest, our new mentorship program, or Cardinals Soar, our monthly leadership series, you have plenty of opportunities to discover how you will lead as a cardinal!

Take a look at our Leading as a Cardinal programs! 


Through Cardinals Soar, students will have the opportunity to participate in various sessions that focus on different topics related to developing leadership skills. These sessions include different activities and guest speakers and are designed so students can explore what leadership means to them and what kind of leader they want to become. Topics for these sessions include developing a leadership philosophy, confronting and conquering conflict, becoming a culturally competent leader and more! 

Students are encouraged to attend every session, as the topics discussed build upon each other and are each an important stop on their leadership journey. After each session, students get to take home a bonus reward related to the session's topic and those who attend at least two sessions a semester will be eligible to receive a leadership starter pack from OCA at the end of the year. To learn more about Cardinals Soar, click here


The goal of Build Your Nest is to connect students with faculty and staff mentors with similar interests and backgrounds to assist students in connecting with the Catholic University community. This program is open to students of all years and students are able to continue within the program during all four years here, either with the same mentor or switching mentors. The mentor relationship that is created helps students develop a better understanding of the Catholic University culture and develop the skills and tools necessary to be successful during their time here.

Students are paired with faculty and staff mentors through a matching process that focuses on areas of interest, backgrounds of participants, and anticipated involvement within the program. Once matched, students and their mentors are required to connect at least three times per semester to discuss different topics of interest and to attend a variety of events on and around campus, which are highlighted in a monthly newsletter. At the end of the school year, students and their mentors are invited to attend the Cardinal Leadership Celebration to be recognized for their participation in Build Your Nest. To learn more about Build Your Nest, click here


In addition to these opportunities, OCA will also be hosting Leadership Office Hours, which are meant to give student leaders across campus a space to decompress, discuss, and discover how they can grow as a leader. These occur on a biweekly basis in OCA and students are encouraged to come and go as their schedule allows. Snacks will also be provided! 

To learn more about all these opportunities and more, look out for the Leadership Team at their weekly tabling in the Pryz or stop in the Office of Campus Activities (Pryz 202).  


This year, we are excited to announce Launching into Leadership, a week-long event from March 20-24, 2023 that will include different leadership events and activities across campus. Our goal for this week is to build community through leadership, showcasing the importance of creating a sense of belonging on campus through inclusive leadership. Throughout the week, each day will include activities and workshops hosted by different offices and student organizations across campus, including the Center for Cultural Engagement, Office of Campus Activities, Dean of Students, and more. Check back during the year to learn more about our exciting events for this week! 


The Cardinal Leadership Celebration is the University's annual award ceremony which seeks to recognize the accomplishments of Catholic University students who have distinguished themselves in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and service both on campus and within the local community. In addition to fulfilling the unique criteria of each award, the recipients also demonstrate a commitment to the distinct mission and purpose of The Catholic University of America. 

There are 19 total awards for which students can be nominated for including general nominations, class specific nominations, and graduate student specific nominations. Along with this, students who participate in Build Your Nest will be recognized during the ceremony.