Ignite Institute: Fuel Your Leadership


Come join us for our first Ignite Institute, May 23-26, 2022. This is an opportunity for students to really focus on their leadership development without distraction. Participants will be transported to Stronghold Retreat Center in Oregon, Illinois, a facility that offers hiking trails, ropes courses, campfires and more! The group will stay at the Retreat Center for the duration of the institute and be transported back to NIU on May 26.

This event will bring students together who are truly dedicated to their leadership development and serving as a Huskie leader at NIU. Some of the areas we will focus on are:

  • Leadership styles
  • Living our values
  • Effective communication
  • Ethical leadership
  • Authentic leadership

Participants will also get to participate in a low ropes course available at the facility.


The deadline to register is May 13, 2022. Registration is limited to 50 students and will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to no more than two students from the same organization. All materials must be submitted to be considered. This includes:

  • Completed registration form
  • Refundable $25 registration fee (cash or check) or approved registration fee waiver
    • $25 returned to students upon return. Those who do not attend will forfeit their fee.
    • Students who are experiencing financial difficulties should contact Alex Pitner at apitner1@niu.edu to request a registration fee waiver)

Please note again that any registration form is not considered complete until all materials are submitted. If all spots are filled, students can contact apitner1@niu.edu to inquire if any spots have opened up or get on a waitlist.

Register Today


Participants should plan on an early start! The anticipated check-in time on May 23 is 8 a.m. Leadership sessions will likely start each day by 9 a.m. The anticipated return to NIU on May 26 is 1 p.m.


  • Bedding: Single beds are provided. Participants will need to bring sheets and a blanket or a sleeping bag. Pillows are available but you can also bring your own. Participants will sleep in rooms with anywhere from 6-10 other students.
  • Showers: Participants should bring towels, washcloths and shower items (shampoo, soap, etc.)
  • Meals/food: Meals will be provided for the following days:
    • May 23 - lunch and dinner
    • May 24 - breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • May 25 - breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • May 26 - breakfast

NIU will also provide a limited supply of snacks for the Institute. Students are encouraged to bring their own snacks as well.

General Materials

Materials, such as a writing utensil, paper and padfolios, will be provided. A t-shirt will also be provided to participants.

Registrants will be contacted with more information upon fully registering. If you have any questions before then, contact Alex Pitner at apitner1@niu.edu.

Contact Us

Alex Pitner, M.S.
Associate Director of Student Organization and Leadership