Seminar Overview:

Dream the impossible, achieve the extraordinary.  Immerse yourself in the history and future of space exploration, discover your inner leader, and forge lasting friendships during an unforgettable spring break adventure at Space Center Houston. 

This engaging, three-day seminar will introduce Carleton students to concepts of leadership and team building in the context of liberal arts and business careers. Using a historical framework, Carleton alumnus, Jeff Appelquist ’80, leads students through several exercises to help them consider their leadership essence and learn how to apply it in our dynamic and ever-changing world. He is also the author of Earthrise: Leadership Lessons from the Apollo Space Missions, the text used for this seminar.  

This seminar will provide a unique opportunity for Carleton students to gain a better understanding of self and others at a historically important location in the United States. Participants will tour the Johnson Space Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) facilities.  By participating in this leadership seminar, Carleton students will gain a:

  • better understanding of the leadership dimensions that will enable them to lead effectively in a dynamic and global world;
  • personal commitment to the process of continuous leadership development; and,
  • better understanding of their unique leadership characteristics.

Seminar Details:

  • Where: Houston, Texas
  • When: March 20 – 22, 2024
  • Hotel Information: Courtyard Houston NASA/Clear Lake
  • Cost: All costs including transportation, lodging and meals during the program are covered by Carleton College. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • All participants must be in good disciplinary standing with the College. 
  • Sophomore or Junior status
  • All majors are welcome 

Participants are selected based on their cover letter and résumé submitted during the application cycle. After the program, students will demonstrate their obtained knowledge by giving a short presentation at a Carleton Leadership Seminar reunion gathering.


Students can apply by completing the application process below. 

All applicants will need to submit a résumé and cover letter to Handshake. The following prompts must be addressed in the cover letter:

  • Briefly describe why you would like to attend the Carleton Leadership Seminar.
  • What skills do you hope to gain and/or learn attending this seminar?
  • Why should the selection committee choose you?
  • How are you currently involved at Carleton outside of your academic work?

Because of the competitive application process, we strongly encourage all applicants to visit the Career Center and work with a career coach or a student career assistant on your application materials. Applications are due by 11:59:00 p.m. CST on Sunday, February 4, 2024. 

Please contact Shannon Lehwald ( with any questions.

Travel Policies & Procedures:

In the interest of student safety, improved communication, and fiscal responsibility, the following policies and procedures exist for students traveling to Carleton-sponsored events:

  • All participants are required to complete a Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement form online. Any participant under the age of 18 must have the form completed by a parent or legal guardian. This form will be sent to all participants once the selection process is complete.
  • The necessary travel documents such as Driver’s Licenses, Visa’s, Passports, immunization records, etc. must be obtained before the College will make any travel arrangements.

Suggested Reading Materials:

Jeff has suggested a variety of books that selected students may find interesting to read. This book will be given to participants of the Seminar.