Pavlis Honors College

About Global Leadership Pathway

Practical Experience

Leadership can be complex in that there is no single formula that will guarantee success. Each individual must find a set of leadership skills, styles and behaviors that work for them - a style that aligns with their core values and personality and also resonates with those around them. The Global Leadership Pathway recognizes these individual differences and provides examples of both successful and unsuccessful leaders for students to consider when developing their own style of interacting with and leading others.

Not Your Typical International Experience

The highlight of the Global Leadership Pathway is a 5-week trip international experience during the summer between the student's third and fourth years to one of our project destinations in Ghana, India, Tanzania, Senegal or Brazil. While there, students must use the skills they have developed to successfully complete meaningful projects that will have a positive effect on the local community. At the same time they can immerse themselves in a different culture, make new friends and gain new perspectives and insights along the way.

This experience is unique in that it is student led. There are no professors or advisors present to direct the students efforts...the students learn as they go, as they figure out how to navigate through a very different culture. Whether it's making new contacts, finding and buying project supplies, implementing project plans, or making sure they don't get lost in a new place, students will have to apply their leadership skills and work together as a team in order to succeed.

Project Sites


Ghana was the first established project site.  Students who have traveled to Ghana have worked on some incredible projects and the impact of Pavlis is recognizable in many communities. From working with village leaders to deliver new technology to a community center, or delivering a Michigan Tech-developed Mobile Clinic – the opportunities are many and varied.


India was piloted for the first time in 2012. Students have implemented projects in water filtration, health and wellness, and education. The needs and interests of our community partners in India continue to provide students with real-life challenges to explore. In a land that values a rich and long history, students traveling to India will learn first hand how to thrive in a different culture.


Tanzania is the newest addition to our list of travel sites. Piloted in 2015, project ideas and contacts were quickly established. The summer 2015 team installed a RACHEL (Remote Area Connectivity Hotspot for Education and Learning) Pi and helped teach a few lessons in two community schools related to computer literacy, creating a foundation for future teams to build on.

The Pavlis Honors College recently added two new project sites to the Global Leadership Pathway, Senegal and Brazil. Students will be piloting these project sites this summer. We will update this site as more information becomes available.

Pavlis Honors College—Interviews

College is our playground for leadership. The consequences for ‘messing up’ here are small, and that’s a pretty powerful thing. As students, we’re able to take what we learn in Pavlis out into the organizations we’re a part of and try it out. I’ve failed plenty of times already – but I’ve also learned from those mistakes and will be able to avoid them when it really matters. - David Shull, Computer Engineering (2014)

Pavlis has proven that even one person can make a huge impact in the world. – Jess Hammersley, Audio Engineering (2013)

The Pavlis program was an amazing experience that I was grateful to be selected to participate in. I was able to build confidence in my leadership abilities as well as open my eyes to the world outside of the United States. – Cory Padilla, Mechanical Engineering (2010)

Pavlis is a different sort of abroad program, one that gives you a unique experience and skill set that you can be used to help you anywhere in the world. – Clayton Doyle, Electrical Engineering (2013)