2024 NEW Leadership® Mississippi Summer Institute Application

NEW Leadership® Mississippi (NEW MS) is a statewide public leadership training program at the Center for Women’s Research and Public Policy (CWRPP)—a unit of the Mississippi University for Women (The W)—that furthers The W’s mission to advance women’s education and leadership development. The non-partisan, six-day program is designed to educate, empower, and encourage the state’s undergraduate students to become politically active and to take on leadership roles in public service.

During the NEW MS Summer Institute, students will meet women working in politics in the state (including many elected officials), learn about women in politics and Mississippi politics, and develop and practice leadership skills through panel discussions, workshops, and hands-on projects. Participants earn two college credits in women's studies or political science (POL/WS 365 Mississippi Women in Politics) that may be transferred to the institution they attend. After the summer institute, participants become part of NEW Leadership’s national network of distinguished alumnae.

Important Dates

Applications Due

Applications are due Friday, May 10.

Decision Day

Students will receive notice of their acceptance or rejection by Friday, May 17.

Packet Due

Admitted students will be sent a packet that must be completed and returned by May 20.

Summer Institute

The 2024 Institute will take place June 2 – June 7 on The W’s Columbus campus.


Students are responsible for arranging transportation to Columbus, MS on Sunday, June 2 and for their departure on Friday, June 7. Housing, meals, instructional materials, and transportation to and from Jackson, MS for the program's trip to the Capitol are provided at no cost to participants. In addition, a full tuition scholarship covers the cost of each student’s enrollment at The W, so the two hours of college credit are also free to students.

NEW MS is free to students thanks to the generous financial support of The W, the Ascend Fund (a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change toward gender parity in U.S. politics), and private donors.

Eligibility Requirements

NEW Leadership® Mississippi is open to undergraduate students enrolled in any Mississippi college or university and Mississippi residents enrolled in out-of-state schools. We are committed to diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, political ideology, and sexual orientation. We strongly encourage women of all backgrounds to apply.

Selection Criteria

The application process is competitive and all applications received by May 10 will be given full consideration by the NEW MS Admissions Committee, which is composed of the program director and faculty advisors. Each year, the Committee selects students with the intent of creating a class of individuals who represent diverse backgrounds and experiences and who have the potential to increase women's political representation in the state.

Five primary criteria guide the competitive selection process:

  • Individual leadership potential;
  • Special interests, unique characteristics and/or diverse experiences which contribute to NEW MS program objectives and learning goals;
  • Interest in politics, public service, or public policy;
  • Articulated or demonstrated potential to contribute to the goal of increasing women’s political representation and leadership; and
  • Commitment to the goal of gender parity in politics.

Student Commitment

Each year, the Admissions Committee is forced to reject applicants because of the limited space. Students who are accepted should be aware that they are being given an opportunity that someone else wanted and is unable to have. In completing this application, you are making a commitment to attend the Summer Institute if you are accepted. In the event that an emergency prevents your attendance, students should notify the program director, Dr. Chanley Rainey (newleadership@muw.edu) as soon as possible to increase the chances that another applicant can be invited.

All NEW Leadership® Mississippi participants must reside in the residence halls during the entire program June 2 - 7, 2024 and participate fully in all scheduled activities in order to receive credit in the associated course, POL/WS 365 Mississippi Women in Politics.

In completing this application, you acknowledge that you are aware of these requirements and agree, if accepted, to make every effort to meet this commitment.


Applications are due by midnight onFriday, May 10. Fill out the web application below to apply today or download and fill out the PDF application, then email it (along with your resume) to Dr. Chanley Rainey at newleadership@muw.edu.

Download Application

Fill out my online form.