Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Leadership (MAL)



First Advisor

Mary Endorf

Second Advisor

Joel Mugge

Third Advisor

George Johnson


The principal hypothesis of this study is that within a group of travel participants, individuals' perceptions of the effects of the trip will differ, but at the same time there will be identifiable convergence of perception. The specific problem addressed is how the lives of Project Minnesota/Leon trip participants have been affected by visiting Nicaragua. The research methodology used was the speech communication theory of Symbolic Convergence and the data was examined by quantal analysis. Three distinct types of participants were found, supporting the validity of this theory and soundly defending the principal hypothesis. A corollary hypothesis is that cross-cultural experiential programs have the potential to promote multiculturalism required for effective leadership in today's interdependent world. While the research design does not permit a quantified link between attitudes and experiences, trip participants exhibited mutuality with Nicaraguans as well as some understanding of cultural pluralism and diversity.


SC 11.MAL.1990.Moreira.E