Director of the Career and Civic Engagement Center
RJ Holmes-Leopold is the Director of the Career and Civic Engagement Center at Cornell College. He is a 1999 graduate of the College with a degree in Politics and Communication Studies, and he also has a master's degree in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park. Currently, he is pursuing his doctorate in higher education in the department of educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa.
From 2004 to 2005, RJ was an Assistant Director of Residence Life/Coordinator of Living and Learning Programs in the Office of Residence Life at Cornell and then created the Career Engagement Programs Office in the summer of 2005. Prior to his return to campus he served as a Residential College Director at Washington University in St. Louis (2001 to 2004) where he developed the leadership and service emphasis for Liggett/Koenig Residential College, an all first-year student college at the time.
RJ is actively involved with ACPA--College Student Educators International. His most recent leadership roles within ACPA have included serving as the Marketing and Publications Chair for the 2012 convention in Louisville, advisor to ACPA President Heidi Levine, ACPA Awards Committee member, and ACPA Annual Convention Manual advisory committee member. Past leadership roles include Vice Chair for Communications for the Commission for Administrative Leadership, Private Institutions Representative with the Missouri College Personnel Association, and Graduate Student Representative for the Maryland College Personnel Association. He has presented several times at ACPA's annual convention and NASPA's annual conference on a wide variety of topics including the sexual identity development process of LGBT people of color, social justice training, professional mentoring, faculty collaborations with residence life programs, and the pursuit of doctoral studies for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American professionals.
He is also very involved in the world of pre-law advising. RJ was President of the Midwest Association of Pre-Law Advisors (MAPLA) from 2012-2014, and has served as coeditor of the MAPLA Briefs newsletter along with being the MAPLA webmaster. He is a member of the Pre-Law Advisors National Council (PLANC) and is the conference chair for the 2016 PLANC National Conference.
A 2006 recipient of the Corridor Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" award, RJ has also been involved with the boards of Cornell College as a Young Trustee, the Cornell College Alumni Association, Access Iowa, Iowa HOBY, and Legion Arts.