Students learn valuable lessons in leadership from faculty, staff and alumni

Apr 15, 2013

More than 200 students attended North Central College’s second annual leadership conference, “Lead For A Change: Lead, Follow + Get in the Way,” held on campus April 5-6.  

The conference was designed to support the Leadership, Ethics and Values yearlong focus on moral courage. In addition to a panel discussion Friday night about the civil rights movement and a special program at The Union, Saturday’s agenda included poster presentations of projects related to leadership, followed by breakout sessions. Topics included leadership in a multicultural world, servant leadership, women’s leadership, student programming, athletic leadership and career strategies.

Among the speakers at the 20 sessions were North Central staff, alumni, and education, music and theatre faculty; administrators from area colleges; and representatives from community organizations. Each topic explored ways to develop, utilize and exercise leadership in any vocation.

“The Women’s Leadership panel was fantastic,” says Christina Richardson ’14, an orientation leader and accounting major. “It was very insightful and engaging, with good information about corporate America and how sometimes you need to ‘get in the way’ if you want to bring about change.”

That panel included Trustee Maria Wynne ’77 (photo, center), CEO, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northern Indiana, and Molly Link ’11 Freed (photo, right), income development representative for the American Cancer Society.

“The goals of the conference were to offer inspiration, practical skills and knowledge to help our students become better leaders, and to bring about positive change on campus now and in their future professional lives,” says Jeremy Gudauskas, associate dean of students and conference organizer.

The Friday evening panel discussion about the civil rights movement featured several speakers who had personal involvement in the historic events of 1963.

“There is no better way to learn history than from someone who experienced it,” says Brian Failing ’14, a history major. “We all have a story to tell and I feel this panel got at the essence of that. These gentlemen fought for what they believed in.”