EMU held its biannual Student Leadership Conference on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the Seminary Building. Undergraduate students participated in this event in order to enhance their skills as leaders and planners.
Sophomore Ben Mast, a Community Advisor in Cedarwood, was required to go to the conference because of his position, but also attended for other reasons. “Anyone in leadership roles should continually be challenged and exposed to other leaders on campus and in the community,” Mast said.
Luke Hartman, Vice President for Enrollment, kicked off the day with a keynote address about taking risks and exposing one’s own vulnerabilities. Hartman said leadership is not about the leader but about a leader’s willingness to step up.
Students participated in three workshops of their choice throughout the rest of the day. These workshops concentrated on various methods and styles of leadership as well as stories of successful leadership.
Emily Benner led a workshop on the possibilities for future leadership, EMU Assistant Dean Amy Springer put together a panel of current and former EMU student leaders for a question and answer time, Tony Smith led an interactive workshop on servant leadership, and Jane Ellen Reid, Director of University Accord, helped students practice managing group dynamics. Doug Wandersee, Associate Director of Student Programs, gave advice on event planning, Psychology professor Kim Brenneman led a workshop on team leadership, and Andrea Wenger, Director of Marketing and Communications, showed students how to publicize their ideas and events.
Mast and fellow Sophomore Jason Spicher agreed that Springer’s panel of students was an especially valuable session, noting that it was helpful to hear about the “ups and downs” of student leadership. Spicher added that the panel reminded him not to overextend himself because of potential burnout.
The event closed with ice cream from Kline’s Dairy Bar.
The Conference Committee, who organized the event, consisted of EMU students Sophomore Josh Lomas, Senior Cody Walker, Sophomore Jacob Mack-Boll, and Sophomore Carissa Harnish, as well as EMU staff members Philip Tieszen, Laurie Miller and Doug Wandersee.
Harnish, said the planning committee wanted “to appeal to a wide variety of people and provide a variety of learning opportunities to strengthen leadership skills here and beyond college.”
The Student Government Association and Student Programs provided funding for the event.
Ryan Eshleman, Style Editor