Leadership Education

HST 110L

 •Reflecting on my time in History 110L about Immigration•

This class was Monday nights from 3:30 until 6:20… a three-hour lecture on immigration. History 110L is a class about the American Experience and it is a Writing Intensive Course. Now don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy history and learning about our past, but I was very nervous/not thrilled about having a three-hour history lecture because lectures can get very boring. However, I think our teacher did a pretty good job at keeping the class going and mixing things up with something different once in awhile. Overall, HST 110L turned out to be more than I expected and I learned some very interesting information about immigration.

In our class, we learned about Immigration in America. Being that this class was a writing intensive course, we have multiple papers to write and a group project. The group project was where I learned the most from this class because it was on leaders who were also immigrants to America. Working  with Ethan Petzold and Ryan Timm, I learned about Madeleine Albright. This intelligent and strong lady was the first woman to serve as  Secretary of State for the United States. Born in 1937 in the Czech Madeleine-1120x600-ARepublic, the rise of Hitler forced Madeleine and her family to flee the country when she was very young. After living in Britain, a short return to Czechoslovakia, and time in Yugoslavia where her father served as the Czech Ambassador,  the family finally ended up in the United States where Madeleine attended school and eventually started her career in politics. Today we see Madeleine Albright as a strong female presence in politics who fights for women’s rights along with other causes. As a  mother of three daughters, Madeleine juggled family, education, career, and service and did so with grace and perseverance. During our research, I discovered some killer Madeleine Albright quotes.  She had memorable things to say that still ring true today.

After taking this history class, I want to learn more about leaders who immigrated. Whether a leader who immigrated to America or another country, I find it fascinating how they become so influential in their new country, while carrying with them the lessons and experiences from the country they left. Furthermore, I want to investigate how they become leaders in the country they immigrated to. What pushed that specific person to become a leader and how did they achieve their goals?  Another topic I want to learn more about because of this class and the current turmoil in our country, is different immigration exclusions. I wrote one of my essays on the Chinese Exclusion Act. My findings about this Act were very interesting and informative on current situation in the United States.

Advertisements
Community

LAS in the D {Post Service Reflection}

LAS takes on Detroit • February 10- 11

{WHAT}

First and foremost this trip was an incredible experience. I was able to bond with many people in my cohort and the facilitators from the previous LAS cohorts. While the entire trip was only about  30 hours, we fit in so many different and tremendous expimg_4635eriences in multiple environments within Detroit. Here is a little overview of the 30 hours we spent in Detroit or ‘what’ we did while there. First, we went to Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and facilitated leadership activities for 2 hours with some of the juniors and seniors there. We were placed in groups with each group having  two head facilitators from cohorts above us, 6 students from LAS, and about 6 students from Jalen Rose. One of the activities we did was creating community standards which is always important when working in a group setting. Group standards are based off of what you want for yourself, each other as participants, and from the facilitators. From Jalen Rose, we went into the heart of the city and got a tour around Quicken Loans. While there they talked to us about their internship program and about everything they are doing for Detroit. Specifically one of the Vice Presidents, John Fikany, talked to us and his drive and passion for the company was astonishing and inspiring. Also, something at caught my attention about Quicken is that every employee gets a certain amount of paid volunteer hours so they all go out and help the community they work in. The packed day did not end there! After Quicken Loans, we went to the DIA or Detroit Institute of Arts where we were able to explore and just spend our time looking at the magnificent artwork. Finally, at the end of the day we went to the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center where we again were able to explore and basically just had a big sleepover. Saturdimg_4587ay morning we all got up and went to the Cass Community Center to volunteer for our last few hours. During our time volunteering at Cass, we were split into 4 groups that volunteered in 4 different places. My group, definitely had the coolest job; going to the warehouse to shed paper. Now you may be questioning why this was so cool to me. Let me wow you… they had bikes that powered their electricity and we
were able to ride them and make CLEAN ENERGY. How awesome is that? Once we were done serving at Cass we all loaded back onto the buses and made our tired way back to Mt. Pleasant where I proceeded to crash after an exhausting and exhilarating 30 hours.

{SO WHAT}

On to the actual substance of the trip and what we actual were able to do in Detroit for 30 hours. As a cohort we were able to do experience so many different environments in Detroit and impact so many different placimg_4636es. Now the question is so what did we learn while in all of these different places and how do they come together to create a learning outcome. For myself, being in Detroit pointed out how many times things are not as they seem. Living in the Upper Peninsula, we do not really go in-depth with places such as Detroit and what’s going on there. But after I went to Detroit and actually learned more about it I understood that it is no longer this sad once upon a time city but it is making a come back in many big ways. Also, I learned and built on my ability to put myself in others shoes and understand what they are going through. Finally, I did not so much learn this but was reminded about how fortunate I am. Seeing some of the more poor areas of Detroit opened my eyes because getting a B on a Phonetics exam in not even close to the problems that too many people who live in Detroit deal with.

{NOW WHAT}

The big question is now what? What am I and my LAS cohort going to do as a result of  being in Detroit and learning/ experiencing so many different aspects of it. Personally, I am going to look more into the history of Detroit and what really happened to make such a great booming city fall. I want to learn about the different aspects of Detroit’s fall and the different opinions of what happened to Detroit. Furthermore, I want to understand what people are now doing for Detroit. While at Quicken Loans  and the Cass Center we learned a little bit about what they specifically are doing but I want to go deeper and understand many of the different projects happening in Detroit to make it a wonderful booming city again. One of the specific projects I would enjoy learning more about is the River Walk and what the city is doing to make that place into somewhere everyone wants to be.img_4552

Another part of my “Now What” and what I want to do after being in Detroit is in general do more service for people who truly need it. I have always been passionate about volunteer work and since coming to college I kind of fell out of my hard-core service groove and have not done as much for others. This is not to say that I do not do any service, I am apart of a solely service based organization, it is just to say that I do not do as much volunteer work as I used to. However, after Detroit, I was reminded of how much I love serving others and how it not only brings joy to me, but also to the community around me. My ‘fire’ was lit again and I now have the desire to help more people and do more service for the communities around me.

Finally, the last part of my “Now What” is remembering to count my blessings. After walking through poverty-stricken communities within Detroit, I feel I need to go back through my everyday life and look at everything I have to be thankful for. People in Detroit are building their lives and city back up from nothing. Volunteering there really opened my eyes to this fact and the fact that I need to be more thankful for what I already have. Lately I have been stuck in a rut almost and frustrated with so many things like my major and other odds and ends in my life. In reality I am extremely lucky and needed to be reminded of that. I go to a wonderful school that I got scholarships for, I have met some of my best friends at college, and I have a bright future ahead of me. So here’s to acknowledging my blessings and counting than everyday

For more about this trip read my Pre LAS in the D blog. Also, for another service event I participated in read my Special Olympics Blog.

Community

Current Leader Reflection

Michelle Obama • A Wonderful First Lady

One of my personal role models, our former First Lady Michelle Obama stands out among leaders. Throughout her eight years as First Lady and her life overall, she displayed first-class leadership and has done so much not only for our country but for many other countries as well. As a young women, it’s been a privilege to grow up watching Mrs. Obama and hear her message that I too, could be a leader.

Several leadership qualities make Michelle Obama truly stand out. These include displaying respect, being dedicated, communicating effectively, and motivating or inspiring others. As First Lady, Michelle Obama engaged respectfully with the people of our nation and others no matter what their beliefs and values are. She accepted that people do not always agree with her while also staying true to her our values. Also, she is extremely dedicated to everything she does. During her time as First Lady, Michelle Obama dedicated herself to ending childhood obesity and founded Let’s Move! While facing criticism at times for urging schools to provide healthier lunches for students, she remained dedicated to the cause. Mrs. Obama is a clear, effective communicator and her speeches often went viral on the internet reaching millions of viewers. One resounding line from a speech during the 2016 Presidential campaign was, “When they go low, we go high”. Finally, she motivates and inspires others and this truly makes her a great leader. Michelle Obama especially reached out to inspire girls, encouraging them to get educated, stay focused, and know that they can aspire to great things. Together with her husband, she launched “Let Girls Learn”, an initiative that calls on countries around the world to educate and empower girls. “Every girl, no matter where she lives, deserves the opportunity to develop the promise inside of her” and “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous” are just two of the many inspiring statements by Michelle Obama. These qualities are only some of what makes Michelle Obama a phenomenal leader but I believe they are some of her strongest leadership qualities. Furthermore, these leadership qualities and her true humility motivate others to follow her.

Michelle Obama is always full of grace and kindness which is something people seek in a leader. Because of her graciousness people flock to her and actually want to follow her not out of fear but out of inspiration and respect. As First Lady, Mrs. Obama always wanted to hear from the people and was often known for giving hugs. Her leadership has spread throughout the globe to touch so many people whether through equal rights, education, or healthy lifestyles. Michelle has displayed true leadership and has positively affected so many people around her, even her approval ratings remained around 70%.

What do I admire about Michelle Obama’s leadership? The answer quite honestly may be everything. She is full of self-respect and respect for others which I also strive for in my daily life. Also, Michelle always displays style and grace wherever she goes. Furthermore, I admire that she has not only one but TWO IVY League degrees because she believes in furthering her education. Michelle is also a fabulous mother of two girls close to my age who have grown up in the White House but are still both down to Earth and humble because of their parents. Finally, as many women my age, I love that she is also a style icon for the world, while often wearing clothing from common, affordable stores. However, unlike so many people today, she is classy and tasteful with her style and someone young girls can look up to not just clothing wise but leadership wise as well.

Michelle Obama’s leadership has effected me in many positive ways especially since I have basically grown up with her being an icon for Americans. First, I am much more passionate about the things I believe in after watching her for years. I will speak my voice about gay rights, women’s rights, and how human rights are everyone’s rights no matter what gender or race. I now strive to have the same grace and humility while also being a strong woman because of Michelle Obama. Also, because of her I am a leader who respects others and respects myself. Finally, I am a young woman who is going to college to further my education and while some days I feel as though I may not be smart enough, Michelle Obama’s drive and passion always keep me going because someday I want to be a Speech Pathologist who fights for equal education so everyone can “develop the promise inside” them.

{Quotes from Michelle Obama}

“I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”

“I think being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”

“There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.”

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

“Every day, the people I meet inspire me… every day, they make me proud… every day they remind me how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.”

“If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American Dream.”

“My desire for this country is that we remain hopeful and that we find a place in our hearts to love each other.”

{Here are some lovely pictures of our Former First Lady}

Image result for michelle obamaImage result for michelle obama

Image result for michelle obama

Leadership Development · Random

Flourishing Friendships

Mentor Mentee Retreat > September 11-12th > Eagle Village

The weekend of September 11th I had the opportunity to go to Eagle Village with my LAS cohort and our mentors from the cohort ahead of us. During the retreat, we organized into smaller groups with 7 mentor/ mentee pairs to work on our relationships and our leadership skills. Time was spent bonding with our mentor as well as getting to know more of the people in LAS. Overall, it was an amazing weekend and I really got to know some of the most incredible people in the world.

I bet you are wondering what we did to grow in our relationships and as leaders. Well, here’s a little blurb about a few of the activities and what I learned from them. First, when we got into our groups we shared our “road maps”. All of the mentees had to make some type of representation or “road map” of who we are and highlights about our lives. Mimg_2254ine was a tree with the roots being the people who root me in life and who support me, including my mentor, parents, friends, and family. The trunk of the tree was who I am today, a Leadership Advancement Scholar, Communication Disorder Major, daughter, and friend. Finally, the leaves of my tree were pictures with the most important people and pivotal events in my life. After sharing our “road maps”, we got into groups and completed various tasks. One task my group did was the ameba. We all were blindfolded
and our ‘guide’ tied us in a clump together. Then, he randomly placed a stuffed animal somewhere in the room and we had to use teamwork aimg_2368nd strategy to find it together. From this I learned that there are times to be a vocal leader and times to listen and follow. I thought this ameba task was something fun and different than many other teamwork activities I have done. The final activity to highlight is the high ropes course. This was by far my favorite event
of the weekend because it really pushed me completely out of my comfort zone. I am terrified of  heights, so being on the high ropes course scared me a lot. BUT I did it and spent over an hour going through the course. I realized that fears can be overcome and I can accomplish things that at first seem impossible or frightening. Just take that first step. This activity also made me realize what a difference support from others can make. Together we are better! I honestly had so much fun and I was so proud of myself for fighting my fears.

The best part of the weekend was not the activities or learning to be a better leader, it was having time to bond with my mentor Em. During the retreat, she and I were aimg_2539ble to just chill, talk about everything and anything, and even take a nap. Em was there the whole time to push me out of my comfort zone, encourage me, and take risks with me. The moment I first met Emily, we connected and learning she was mentor gave me so much to look forward to this fall. Since coming to college Em and I have become so close that she is like the sister I never had growing up…in fact I think we are more like twins! Spending time with Emily, getting to know one another even more, growing together as leaders, and learning how we can support each other was truly the highlight of the LAS retreat at Eagle Village.

Overall, as I said above it was a wonderful weekend. I was able to bond with my phenomenal mentor Emily, meet/ get to know so many people in the Leadership Advancement program, work on my leadership, and just have a fun weekend.

 

Leadership Training

The SPARK of Leadership

 

On September 16th, a Friday,  instead of lounging my day away in my dorm room, I attended the Spark Leadership conference hosted by the Leadership Institute. This proved to be one of the best leadership trainings I have attended PLUS I had so much fun throughout the whole day. Throughout the day we participated in different group activities to work on each of our individual styles of leadership and to work as a team. Also, we took a test to figure out what type of leader we are and the advantages and disadvantages of our leadership style. All in all, it was a valuable day full of leadership, food, and fun. So here it is folks… my Spark Leadership experience.

There were so many cool activities to participate in at Spark but the two that stick out the most to me and the ones I’ll be talking about are the individual test on leadership style and an activity my group did with Jeremy (our wonderful LI secretary). First off, the leadership style test! For each question there were two answers and basically you had to rank them from 0-5 in order of importance. The questions were very specific so you could pin point your style. At the end of the test, you total everything up and that number you magically get, indicates the leadership type you are. My outcome indicated that I am considerate leader, which I 100% agree with. As a considerate leader I always want to hear about ideas from others and make other people are happy. Furthermore, I try to make sure everyone in the group is heard and that whatever we do, the whole group is happy or can support our decisions. However, there is a downside of being a considerate leader. As timg_2583his type of leader, many times I put everyone else before myself and end up suffering the consequences for that. Additionally, as a considerate leader, I may not always be productive because I try to keep everyone happy and ensure all ideas are heard. This can take considerable time. Next, my results conveyed that I am not a very direct leader, which I also really agree with. I always have a hard time being the controlling leader because I want everyone to share in whatever we are doing. I have a hard time telling people when they are wrong or are doing something they should not be. Basically, I have a hard time being direct with people when things get “ugly” because I want to keep everyone happy. Now that you know my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, I bet you are wondering about the next activity! For this, we were in groups of two and my lovely partner was my friend Ethan. Jeremy then told us that the pizza we ate earlier that day was poisoned and one person in our pair had lost their eyesight so we needed to find the cure in the tunnels of CMU. Then we had to decide which person in the group would be “blind” and which person would be the leader. In my group Ethan was the leader and I was blind. After we got all of the logistics, we were lead into a room with ACTUAL mouse traps (which ended up being really funny), creepy noises, and obstacles. Ethan had to lead me through the room with my eyes covered, AND he was not allowed to touch/ guide me except with his voice. I enjoyed this activity because it was something fun and I had to sit back and let someone else lead me. Ethan and I ended up being the first ones out of the maze and the only group to not set off one of the mouse traps so that was pretty awesome.

Finally, I will give you a small insight into what I learned and took away from Spark Leadership! One of the biggest things I learned was my specific leadership type and how knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of this type can help me grow as a leader.  In one of the sessions, I developed goals on how to become a better leader by enhancing my current leadership skills and gaining additional skills. My main goal is to become more direct as a leader and increase my skill at direct conversations with people, even when things might get “ugly”. Every day I am reminded to be a more direct person and grow into my leadership style.

Leadership Training

Leadership Safari

Leadership Safari  was the very first thing I participated in as a Freshman in college. This experience was honestly the most amazing way to start out the next big chapter in my life. So here are a few things about my week at Leadership Safari…

We began with moving my two car loads of things into my dorm room where for the next 4 hours my family, my roommimg_1934ates, and their families would set up our dorm room. Then we said goodbyes to our parents (mine was a bit tearful) and the four of us were officially on our own. Later that evening we listened to a speaker and met our safari group for the first time. I was a part of the Mantis Mob, within this group there were 10 incoming freshman, including myself, and our Safari guide Jazzy. Throughout the week we worked individually, got to know campus, and did team building exercises together. On to the a few of my favorite activities I got to participate in!

First on Sunday morning I got to take a Zumba class (which I highly recommend). Zumba class was SO much fun and it was a great way to start out my first week at CMU. The instructors were super fun and they picked the best music and really the experience was awesome, plus I got a work out in! Another one of my favorite activities was the trust fall on day two. Personally I hate the feeling of falling and I do not like heights, BUT I img_1936still di
d it and this also helped form bonds within my Sarafi group and we began to trust one another a lot more. It was super cool to see the effect of the fall on everyone and you could really see us come together more as a group. Next, one of the activities that impacted me the most was the poetry slam. Here everyone at Safari got to listen to two guys called the Asia
Project. Their performance displayed/evoked so

many emotions including happiness, sadness, and frustration. Asia’s img_1889poems were astounding and he just seemed to have a way with words. From the audience you could truly see the emotions as they poured through his words. Finally, the last activity I will talk about is one of the presentations I attended on the last day. It was my second one of the day and still pretty early in the morning but it was one of the best presentations and presentor I have ever seen, and I have been to quite a few presentations. I went to “The Ripples Guy” or Paul Wesselmann and he was incredibly inspiring. The stories he told and the way he presented in general was very relatable and interesting which I enjoyed and he had so much positive energy which flowed out.

Finally, here are two of the biggest things I learned throughout the week. Number one was definitely how important communication is. I know it is said all the time especially in leadership activities but really it is one of the most crucial things in leadership. Without communication nothing will work and ultimately nothing will get done. The second thing that really stood out to me was learning how to work with a group I had never been with before. This was very difficult for me because I am more of an introverted person and I tend to keep thoughts to myself when I do not know people. However, through the week I began to trust my group more and more and I became more comfortable around them.