skip to contentThe University of Texas at Austin

INSPIRE Leadership Program

College of Liberal Arts

This caption describes the image above.


What is INSPIRE?

INSPIRE is a three-year program (sophomore to senior) with three cohorts simultaneously developing leadership, personal, and career building skills. INSPIRE was created in response to the continuing inequalities in educational attainment and career advancement for women. INSPIRE offers a unique opportunity for young women to come together across disciplines, schools, areas of interest, ethnicity, and life experience to learn the value of diversity and how to successfully communicate across cultures. Students develop inclusive leadership skills by reflecting on their own social identities; how structural exclusion can separate us, and practice outreach strategies for their lives and careers.

INSPIRE is a unique and transformative space at UT. While students are provided professional development workshops, travel to conferences, and assistance as they work on group and personal projects, the biggest impact of this program might be that it provides the space and time to step back and reflect on what it means to be a female student, more than likely a first-generation college student, and more often than not in male dominated careers.

INSPIRE’s curriculum is based on student-driven and facilitator-led meetings and activities. Click on the links below for more specific information on each year of the INSPIRE program entails:

Sophomore Cohort - Leadership activities will create group cohesion. Students will acquire a mentor,  will learn about women in leadership, and conduct a community service project.

Junior Cohort – Students will sharpen their research skills and write and present an original scholarly project. In addition, career development activities will begin.

Senior Cohort – Students will come full circle and become a mentor to younger women or girls. They will also plan and organize a variety of program activities, and continue professional development skills.

All Cohort Activities – During each year there are many activities that will involve all three cohorts. Most of these activities are optional and are meant to improve group cohesion and leadership skills.

INSPIRE does not have a course requirement, but we do expect the students in the program to attend twice monthly meetings. There are additional occasional activities/opportunities outside of these meetings but most are not mandatory.

For more information, please contact Kerrie Sheedy at

For program support, we thank The Mary Braunagel-Brown Excellence Fund for Young Women Leaders, the Jody Conradt Excellence Fund in Equity and Leadership, Dr. Joan Lewis Endowed Excellence Fund, the UT Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, the Creekmore and Adele Fath Charitable Foundation, and our many individual donors.