The IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is a program that enhances the IST Diplomats organization by adding an academic component that focuses on developing vital leadership skills. The goal of the IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is to prepare top-quality technology leaders for the digital 21st century. It will connect selected students from the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) with leaders across multiple disciplines; engage them in meaningful dialogue and workshops to increase students’ confidence and capacity to lead; and motivate students to take on leadership roles at the University and beyond. Furthermore, the students in the program will serve as vital constituents in assisting IST in the recruitment and retention of prospective and current students and being multifaceted ambassadors and student leaders for the College of IST. Students in this program will continue to be known as IST Diplomats.

The program includes a one-credit, one-semester course that all new IST Diplomats enroll in. This course focuses on various aspects of leadership and also touches on professional development and self awareness topics. Upon completion of the course, students will have the tools and skills needed to continue with the already established outreach component of engaging with prospective students, donors, and corporate partners as student ambassadors of IST.

The IST Diplomats work closely with the Office of the Dean, Development Office, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Career Solutions, and Advising Center and have the opportunity to develop communication skills, network with professionals, mentor students, and establish working relationships with college and university faculty, students, staff and administrators across the Penn State system. IST Diplomats assist with prospective student visits to campus, open houses, orientation programs, professional information sessions, student panel sessions, new student orientation, alumni functions, building tours, and events and/or visits by corporate partners and executives.

Earning a seat in the IST Diplomat Leadership Academy is both an honor and a distinction. Becoming an IST Diplomat requires a substantial time commitment. The term of service within the IST Diplomats organization will be for a minimum of one year.  Applications are open now.

For more information, please send questions to