Community

Developing the next group of Women in Alpha Sigma Tau

This year, during the Fall 2017 semester, I had the awesome opportunity to be the New Member Assistant for Alpha Sigma Tau. In this position I helped the New Member Educator guide our new members through a six-week process. During this process the new members did activities such as big little mixes to meet potential bigs, big little reveal to finally meet their big, quizzes to learn about Alpha Sigma Tau, meetings, and much more. It was wonderful being able to share my love for AST with the new women and help then also fall in love with this amazing organization.

This year we brought in 20 new women in the chapter through formal recruitment and continuous open bidding. Because of the two separate bidding processes we had two different groups of fall 17 one was initiated before Halloween and the other before Christmas. This presented a different challenge but together Hannah and I changed things up a bit and got all the new members everything they needed to be initiated.

At the end of every Fall semester, we elect new women into each position for this sorority. This year, after working extremely hard in the position as New Member Assistant, I was elected into the Director of New Member Education. I am so excited to be taking on this role and to continue to help the newest additions to my chapter grow. Being in this position as the Director will allow me to help new members through the initiation processes as well as the big little process. I also have so many new ideas for the processes and can wait to see the differences I can make. Likewise I have a wonderful assistant Kelli who will help the new members and myself. She is such a fantastic person and one of my good friends so together we will be a dynamic duo.

I am thrilled to watch our next group of women flourish within such a wonderful organization. So here’s to you Fall 17! I am so excited to welcome the next group of women ♥

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Service

Circle K

Circle K is a collegiate service based organization (not the gas station). It is a part of the Kiwanis family which is an international organization. In the Kiwanis family there is K-Kids, Builders Club, Key Club, Circle K, Action Club, and Kiwanis. I became a part of this group when I joined my high schools Key Club. I loved my experiences in key club especially being a chair on the District Board for Wisconsin Upper Michigan. When I came to Central, Sean a friend from home who was in Key Club with me told me about CKI here. He let me know when the meetings were and got me to start going. From there, I got more involved in the club and continued to be a part of the Kiwanis family.

Service Chair: For my freshman and sophomore year in college I have served as one of Central’s two service chairs for CKI. I had a fantastic co-chair John and we worked together to create different service opportunities for the club. One of the larger scale service projects we put on is 12 Hours of Service. For this we partner with different places to volunteer around Mt. Pleasant and do volunteer work for 12 hours. This year we went to the Humane Animal Society, Discovery Museum, and food pantry. Also, we did in house service like making blankets and dog toys. I really enjoyed planning 12 hours and helping out so many people in the Mt. Pleasant community in just one day.

President: At the end of this year I had the pleasure of being voted in as the next Circle K President. I am so excited to take on this role in an organization that has made me who I am today. Circle K has given me so much already and I am thrilled to be able to be in this leadership role. I will be working closely with the Michigan District Board and my E- Board to revamp weekly meetings and get more members.

Circle K has made me into the person I am today and I am so excited to continue to be a member of this organization.

Leadership Education

COM 461L

Communication in Leadership 461L → An LAS Required Course

Class Overview:

COM 461L or Communication in Leadership is one of the cohort classes we take as second semester sophomores in the Leadership Advancement Program. It is the last class we take all together and brings many aspects of our other classes into one course on how everything relates to communication. For me, this has been one of the best classes I have taken for the Leadership Minor. I truly enjoyed learning about the communication side of leadership while also connecting aspects from all our other classes. Our professor, Dr. Carlson always made the class engaging with different case studies, activities, and in depth discussions. She was a fantastic teacher for the course and I learned so much from her.

What I learned:

As I said above, this has been one of my person favorite LAS classes and I learned quite a bit from the class. We learned about different follower styles, leadership styles, and ways to influence people through communication. Also, we discussed the gender gap, ethics, and discrimination in today’s society.  An aspect of the class that has really stuck with me is the Pygmalion effect. The Pygmalion effect is when someone sets high expectations for the group or individual and they believe that they can achieve these expectations. The studies show that this increases performances in employees and individuals. Another concept from the class that caught my attention was the servant leadership behavior. This type of leadership is when a leader puts their followers before themselves and anything else. It is based on the relationships between the followers and leader. I personally, really enjoyed this topic because I am the type of leader that tries to make their followers feel important. I want to be a leader who listens to their followers and gets all the input I possibly can.

How I can apply it:

Through this class, we learned ideas and concepts that we can apply to leading individuals and in everyday life. The Pygmalion effect is something I can use all the time with everything I do. Setting high expectations and knowing I can reach them is really important and this class has shown me how much I can accomplish through that effect. Also, I can use servant leadership for my Circle K position as President. It will allow me to create better relationships with my e-board and general members.

Overall, I really liked taking COM 461L. It was a fun class that I looked forward to every week. I learned so much from the different course work and our professor and will be a better leader and person because of it.

Family & Friends

To my lovely little

Just a short and sweet blog about one of the sweetest humans in my life

Dear Alyssa,

When we went on our first big little date, I knew you were the one for me. The day before had been a rough one but somehow at lunch you still managed to make me smile and not think about everything for a little while. During lunch, we bonded over our love of Special Education. Like me, you are so passionate about Special Ed and want to focus your career there. Our conversation continued and we got on the subject of food. It may not have been a deep conversation, but we still connected over our obsession for cheese, tater tots, and ranch. To this day we still eat and talk about our love for those three items way to often.

This year I have loved watching you flourish in Alpha Sigma Tau and everywhere you go. In the sorority you are always so positive and caring to all of our sister. Across campus you put passion into everything you do… even making omelets. Your passion for Special Ed is truly inspiring and I am so excited to see the wonderful teacher you grow into. Can’t wait to tag team with Speech Pathology and Special Ed once we are both finally out of college. You are kind of

crazy, but in a good way. You always make sure I have time for fun whether it is binge watching Atypical in one single night (the best show ever), food runs, or just a chat.

Thank you for coming into my life when I needed you the most. You are such a wonderful human and spread sunshine wherever you go. You have brought me so much happiness and continue to every single day. Thanks for the late night runs to Taco Bell because those are needed! Thanks for loving ranch as much as I do and always asking for more when we are at restaurants. Thanks for being the most perfect little a typical sorority gal could ask for. Most importantly, thanks for being my other half/ the same person as me. You and I are like two peas in a pod and I would not have been able to get through these past few months without you.

Thanks for loving me unconditionally and being the best addition the Banana Fam could have ever asked for.

Lots of Love, Big ♥

Leadership Development

Competition Day {Behind the scenes}

A behind the scenes look at my LEAD Team

As recipients of the Leadership Advancement Scholarship, we all have requirements to meet every year. One of those requirements is to be on one of the many lead teams. A lead team is a group of LAS students who come together to plan a specific event(s) or make the program better. To name a few, there is the Diversity Lead Team, Grad Ball Lead Team, and my Lead team, Competition Day. This year I had the honor of serving on this lead team as the Sophomore Chair along with Hannah, the Junior chair and Bellal, the Senior chair. The three of us were in charge of our lead team and ultimately planning and executing Competition Day. Together, we spent months planning, having workshops, and getting other organizations involved to make this year the best Comp Day yet.

This year, we tried to shake the day up a bit and change things around to make it better. One of the biggest and more notable changes was moving the reception from a classroom into the Powers ballroom. Before this switch the reception was very cramped and hard to move around. As a result of the change, there was much more space to move around and talk with everyone. The switch made the reception less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone involved. Another change we made was having two workshops prior to competition day for the Student Guides and Interviews. This allowed us to go more in depth about our expectations for them and talk about how the day would play out. Also, with one of the workshops we focused on implicit bias and had a chance to discuss different aspects of that topic. Both of these switches were extremely instrumental in making this year’s Competition Day amazing.

Through being a lead team chair for competition day, I learned more about the LAS program and everything that goes into planning one of our biggest days of the year. There are so many different moving parts during the actual day such as the multiple student groups and parent groups. Also, we checked all of the rooms to make sure they were set up correctly and had everything we needed. Finally, we set up alternate dates for interviews for competitors who were unable to make it to competition day for various reasons.

For me, this has been one of the greatest experiences I have had here at Central and in the Leadership Institute. Helping plan a day where we are able to see the next leaders come to campus and help to grow the LAS program as well as the Leadership Institute was very special. The Leadership Advancement Program has given me so much these past two years and I am so excited to welcome the next group of leaders into the family.

Last but certainly not least, I am so grateful for the wonderful team I was able to work with for this event. Since it was my first year as a chair, most of my time was spent learning what to do. Bellal and Hannah helped me understand everything and we all supported one another. I look forward to working with Hannah as we take things up another notch and make the 2019 Comp Day even better!

Leadership Education

HDF 110: Oppression

Oppression: Roots & Impact – LAS required Course

This course I took online during the Fall 2017 Semester. It focused on different aspects of oppression, including the roots of it, and the overall impact. Throughout the class we explored various groups that have been oppressed throughout history, including African Americans, Native Americans, and people who have disabilities. We discussed how each group experienced oppression through different types of power such as economic power or political power and what the outcome of that oppression was or even still is.

What I learned: In general, I actually learned a lot from this class. I have always known about oppression and how different groups have been and continue to be oppressed, but I never really dove into it as much as I did in this class. We discussed people who have disabilities and person first language, which puts the person before the disability, reminding us that people are people and disabilities are medical diagnosis. Within both ADA and IDEA, both laws that outline the rights that people with disabilities should have in education and public places. Also, this class has section on gender and sexuality. WE discussed the difference between sex and gender and how it applies to everyday life. That section also went over how gender discrimination  relates to homosexuality and sexism. I found it most interesting and disheartening that homophobia and sexism stem from the traditional gender roles and how men and women “should” act. Next, we learned about poverty and how oppression plays a role in that. Finally, a majority of the class was learning about oppression through religion, race, ethnicity, and culture. We talked about how all of those ideas can be interconnected and how each has many stereotypes attached.

Challenges: The biggest challenge for me in this class was that it was online. It had great topics and was fun to learn about but having an in class lecture would have been helpful to discuss more deeply into each section. However, on the other hand, having the online class also freed up a little bit of my time which was a very nice aspect of the class.

What this class have to do with Leadership: This class in a leadership aspect focused on how oppression and leadership can go hand in hand. If you use your leadership and power in the wrong ways, even without knowing it, you could create oppression. Learning about different types of power and how people can misuse them can help teach people to not use power for the wrong reasons. Also, as Leaders it is our duty to help vanquish oppression and advocate for people who are discriminated against.

Overall, I really enjoyed this class. I learned so much about oppression and how it pertains to leadership. It was helpful knowledge for now and in the future. 

Leadership Development

Leadership Launch Round 2!

Leadership Launch: Round Two

Last year I had the honor of being one of the guides for the second Leadership Launch. This event is organized through the Leadership Institute and Special Olympics Michigan. In November, I was again able to join the Lead Team for the third Launch which was held in Ann Arbor. The Superhero theme illustrated that everyone can be a superhero. The team was thrilled to have representatives from National Special Olympics attend and take part in the activities.

Similar to last year, I was a guide for the athletes and their counterparts. As a guide, I led my group through different activities and watched them grow throughout the day. My team, Iron Man Yellow, consisted of 7 amazing student leaders. Together, we went through three different aspects of leadership imagination, teamwork, perspective, and empowerment.  During each section, my participants had great conversations about various aspects of leadership and how they interpreted each aspect. We also had many laughs throughout the day within our group and bonded in the hours we spent together. At the end of the day, every participant made an action plan about how they wanted to continue after that day. The plan included aspects like what they wanted to do at their school or in their community, resources that could help accomplish their plan, and specific actions they could take to accomplish the goal. Also, before leaving, each person at Launch wrote a Thank You letter to their personal superhero. My participants wrote letters to a teacher or parent and described how much that individual had helped them and made a difference in their life.

Every time I work with Special Olympics and the athletes involved, I am reminded of how much fun it is. Whether I am participating in Leadership Launch, Polar Plunge, or the Winter Games, I always learn something and have some of the best experiences. Special Olympics allows for athletes to grow in so many aspects while also creating fun opportunities.

Leadership Launch Round Two was a definite success.

Leadership Education

Philosophy 118

Moral Problems: a LAS required Course

When you think about Philosophy many people think about wisdom and beliefs. When I think about it… I think of a semester with Gary Fuller and a semester of discussing how to decide if something is moral or not. The phrase “we are going to slow down our thinking” echos throughout Anspach every Tuesday and Thursday at 8 AM. This class has been very interesting to take compared to many of my other classes. I mean this in a good way because most of my class is based on discussion and I have learned so much about various issues in today’s society.

So what have I learned while taking Moral Problems? Somewhat building off of the Debate class we took as a cohort in the Fall of 2016, I learned more about how to create an argument and back it up with logic and reason. During the class we discussed many “hot” topics in society today. This included abortion, euthanasia, terrorism, war, and other issues in the news today. With each topic, we broke it down into smaller sections and talked about whether it was morally right, morally wrong, or situational based. When deciding whether an issue is morally right or wrong, we employed the idea of a teeter-totter. Picture the issue in the middle of the teeter-totter and one side being right and the other side wrong. As we added reasons for each, on the appropriate side, the teeter totter would metaphorically go back and forth until the class had decided. Additionally, during class it was okay to have opposing ideas to one another as long as we could back up our ideas with well thought out reasons. Mornings spent hashing through opposing views sure got our brains working at 8:00 AM!  One example of opposing views was that physician assisted suicide is wrong because it allows man to play God. While the opposing view was that physician assisted suicide is right because it acknowledges someone’s human right to die with dignity. Whatever side of the teeter-totter our personal beliefs stacked up on, we had to explain or defend with solid reasons and a strong argument. Finally, Moral Problems provided an opportunity for me to deepen my understanding about so many current topics or issues that I knew about and thought I understood. This class opened my eyes up to more aspects of euthanasia and terrorism and I now know more and can much more skillfully engage in discussion with others.

How does this pertain to Leadership? Overall, philosophy and learning a little bit about it can help a leader greatly. Specifically, I think it has helped me with understand how to decide if an issue is morally right. This is not a decision that a leader can determine simply from their own perception or beliefs. As leaders, we must carefully consider both sides of the teeter-totter and have substantial reasons to back up any moral determination. As leaders, it benefits us to deepen knowledge and understanding on both sides of an issue. Without deep understanding and the ability to engage in moral discussions, how can leaders truly influence others?

Family & Friends · Uncategorized

My Everything {literally}

In order to talk about my mentor and reflect on what it has been like having her, I also need to talk about my Big, best friend, and sister. As you can see she is basically everything to me hence the title “My Everything {literally}”.

{Let me tell you about my best friend} Emily, is an intelligent, passionate, driven, compassionate human. On the other side of things, she is silly, quirky (in the best of ways), and warm & fuzzy. She is everything you want in a person plus more because she literally does everything.

Everyone talks about finding their bridesmaids, adventure pals, and best friends… which is all true with Emily and I. BUT with Em, I have found so much more. To me, Em is my forever friend. She is everything wrapped up into one ball of tea, notes, positivity, hugs, snuggles, sass, and love. Out of many people in my life she is someone I connect with on the deepest of all levels, she is someone who knows what I am thinking before I even say it. Emily has made me feel like there is a place for my quirkiness and has helped me grow into the women I am today. I’m sharing the  letter I wrote to her on Sisterhood day and read in front of everyone in the tent.

My Dearest Em,

From day one I knew I needed you in my life. It all began with a simple compliment of me liking your dress during the Leadership Advancement Scholarship Competition Day. From there we started talking and you told me everything I needed to know about the scholarship. That night I told my mom all about you and how I really hoped you would be my mentor. Fast forward a few months, and I finally found out that you were my mentor. I basically called you screaming I was so excited and at the time did not know how important you soon would be to me. Another fast forward and we are at me moving into college and starting my life here. We bonded so much my first few weeks especially on our mentor mentee retreat. During this weekend we skipped all the basic things like every other pair and went straight into deep conversations. This was the moment I remember that I knew I needed and wanted you in my life forever. Soon after was recruitment, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to talk to you for awhile. Going through recruitment was hard without you but it all worked out in the end. I jumped home to Alpha Sigma Tau right into your open arms and not long after you became my big. This is where our perfect story ends and where we begin. Only a little while after big little, your mom was hospitalized. Her health was not looking good and the doctors continued coming with bad news. Although you were constantly worried about me, you never saw how worried about you I was. Everything came second to letting you know and making sure you knew I was there for you. Then that day came, I was sitting in my Communication Disorders Language Development class and I received a missed call from you. Instantly my heart dropped and I ran out of class to call back. You were trying to keep your composure while telling me that it was time for you to say goodbye to your mom. You never knew but I skipped class this day just to spend more time on the phone with you and to be there to help you through anything and everything. The next few days seemed like the longest days of my life, and then it was time for the celebration of your mom’s life. Myself and several other sisters went to be there for you and I remember seeing your face for the first time in two weeks and wanting to run to your side. You gave an amazing speech there and I was so incredibly proud of how strong of a women you were and are. After this, you had changed, not for worse, but because there was something huge missing now from your life. I knew you had to do things on your own, but I always made sure I was ready with ice cream or an IHOP date if necessary. Day by day you opened up more, pouring your heart out to me about life and what it was like without your mom. Because of this I opened up more to you as well and we were vulnerable together. Although my experiences have been very different from yours I was always there to listen and try to understand how you felt. The rest of the school year was tough, but together we both got through and you began to smile more and more as each day passed. Also, these were the months where although we may have not seen one another every day we were inseparable and closer than any other two humans. From many late night vents, movies, and food runs, you know me better than I know myself and I could not have picked a better human being to have in my life. I love you more than words can explain and more than the universe can hold. You are my rock, my best friend, my mentor, my big, and my everything. And Now a year and a half later, I don’t know how I went 17 years without you in my life.

So to everyone reading this I hope you find a Dwight to you Jim, Ann to your Leslie, Teri to Dr. Ross, or the best of all Em to your Ab ❤️ 

 

Community

Leadership Safari 2017

My experience on the other side of Leadership Safari as a Guide

As an incoming freshman at Central Michigan, I participated in Leadership Safari. I enjoyed my experience as a participant and a few people urged me to apply for a staff position. Last fall, I applied for a position on the Leadership Safari Staff for 2017. Over the course of the next few months I went through an interview and four spring trainings in order to be chosen to be a guide. I was so excited when I first found out I would be a guide and from then on I could not wait for Safari. Fast forward a few months to August 15th, move in day for Safari staff. After move in came four days of training. We listened to different speakers, broke boards with our hands, did the challenge course, and went through everything we would be doing with our group during Safari week. We also spent these four days bonding with our Core teams. After the four days of training it was finally time to put our skills to use and welcome the incoming freshmen and transfer students to Central Michigan. Throughout the week of Safari, each guide had their own team of students to work with. My team was Team Aardvark and they were 10 very amazing humans. Together we did activities to open their minds, went to speakers, completed the challenge course and trust activities, and went to entertainment.

My lovely Enchanted Red Roses: First of all, I could not have asked for a better Core Team. Here’s a little about each person on Enchanted Rose Red and why they are fantastic human beings. Alli, you bring so much light into my life and I would not have gotten through Safari without you. From 1am runs to Ihop (which I hope to continue lol) to venting about life and our problems, you are wonderful. Ashley, you are one of the strongest people I know. All week you did amazing as a runner and I could not be more proud to have you as a friend, stay amazing. Becca, you are high key fabulous. You were always there to give advice even if you had a bad day. Just remember you are loved and amazing. Brendan, thank you for being a big brother to all of us. From walking with Alli and I home every night to making sure I went to bed at a decent time. Brendan, you are img_8837so cool and positive and having you in my life is amazing, especially seeing you on campus and having you instantly know I was stressed…and later you checked on me. THANKS! Cat, you are so supportive and compassionate. Having you as a Core Guide was honestly phenomenal and you did an outstanding job. Thank you for taking care of all of us and always being there to talk. Celeste, getting to know you at Leadershape and having you in my family cluster was the best. Then, having you in my core team was icing on the cake. You are such a strong human and I love how passionate you are. Thank you for being in my life. Dom, I wish we had more time with you and Maddie. BUT, the time you were with all of us was great. You were always so positive and bubbly and brought the group up when we had rough days. Thank you for being you. Garrett, your sass was one of my favorite things. You also were always there to give advice about Safari and how to make our teams more cohesive. Kathryn, thank you for being my sister from another sorority. I loved getting to know you and becoming close throughout the week. I can’t wait to see you throughout Greek Life and school in general. You are such an awesome human being and just remember that. Kee, you are so fabulous and I loved getting to know you during Safari. You always had wonderful advice for the group and kept your head up as well as our spirits up throughout the week. Kelsey, you are such a fun-loving individual. At every late night or early morning meeting you always brought a smile and warm words to wake us all up. Kylie, you are truly an amazing person, from running across the country to taking 10 incoming students under your wing and always staying calm. I am always amazed by you and I loved getting to know you during Safari. Lexi, thank you for being my friend for 52 years. I am so happy we spent the whole Safari together. I can’t imagine Safari without you and I am so happy this experience brought you into my life. Thanks for being my  friend and support, you are incredible. Maddie, thank you, thank you, thank you for saving my life lol. Besides that, you are a marvelous person and I am so glad you and I were able to bond. Randi, you are a remarkable human being. You have taught me so much about life and everything that comes along with it. Randi, I am so excited to see you flourish, because YOU ARE AMAZING. Thanks for lots of slushies and many more to come. Taylor, you are so bubbly and joyful. I loved how much you brought to the group and how you were always building everyone up. Stay wonderful and always know you have people here to support you. To all of you, I love you more than you can imagine and am so thankful you are all in my life. I always hear people talking about how being a guide brings you closer to people you may have never known and this is so true. Thank you for letting me be myself ♥

My amazing Aardvarks: You guys were the coolest Aardvarks this world has ever seen. I loved “boolin” around with you everyday even though I thought at first you were saying boomerang. You all made my first Safari as a guide unforgettable. Thanks for endless img_8810jokes, laughing all the time, being sassy, and dealing with me everyday. To all of you, never stop dreaming, firing up, and being true to yourself. I am so proud and blessed toknow all 10 of you phenomenal humans. Just know that I think… and know that you ten are the coolest, smartest, and most interesting people I have the pleasure of knowing. Finally, I am so excited to see you all flourish at Central, and find who you are in this new world called College. Much love from mom♥

 

My experience as a Leadership Safari Guide was phenomenal and I am so blessed I had the opportunity to help incoming students. Central Michigan is a wonderful place and I loved getting to share leadership and CMU with 2000 + other people.