Students Selected to Lead

Arthur Dowell, Web Master/Online Sports Editor

Seven students nominated by members of the MU community plan to participate in the annual Intercollegiate Leadership Wilkes-Barre Program.

The program helps student leaders to learn personal leadership styles, arts and culture, communication, community service, emotional intelligence and team growth. The students also get the opportunity to meet peer leaders at the other institutions and leaders in the greater Wilkes-Barre community.

The selection process is a difficult and time-consuming one for Patrick McKamy, Coordinator of Student Activities, and Dean of Students Kathleen Foley. Sixty students received a letter of nomination and the application over the summer.  Students returned  roughly half of the applications, and McKamy and Foley chose the seven who would get the most out of it. The process does not require interviews, just a careful reading of all applications. Some applicants were already outstanding leaders on campus and therefore might not gain as much as others, according to McKamy.

McKamy speaks highly of the impact the program has on participants. “We send out leaders and they come back stronger, more effective, and contribute to the university community. Year after year, they go out and when they come back I see how they step up and have the ability to succeed in the university campus and contribute to their peers, it’s unmatched.”

Junior Kirsten Fisher is on an emotional ride of both nervousness and excitement since she learned that she was selected for the program.  She anticipates learning a lot about herself.

“I hope to get better leadership strategies and use it in both the RA and teaching settings. I also want to pull away from my shyness and get better with my public speaking skills,” said Fisher, an education major.

Students who have participated in the program in past years encourage newbies to absorbe as much knowledge as they can.  Senior Adam Grzech participated in the program last year and learned to reinvent himself and become a better leader as well as listen to others so he, too, can be led by others.  He said he felt well rounded and gained the knowledge  to handle situations that he would not have otherwise had.

“I hope they come away with it learning something and finding themselves as leaders. I hope they find out how they work and accomplish things and apply it to what they find important.”

The leadership classes meet six times during the school year, three in the fall semester and three in the spring. Each meeting is held at a different school with a different focus topic. Participants are asked to take full advantage of the opportunity and attend all the sessions so they can take away the lessons and skills and apply them to  life.  Transportation to the events is free and the school pays for enrollment fees.

Meeting topics include leadership skills, business attire, etiquette courses, peer evaluation and team building skills. Toward the middle of the program students become paired with a business professional in their field of study, and students shadow these professionals for at least a day to learn more about what they do.

McKamy said the tulimate goal of the program is that students build their leadership skills and make connections with their peers and community members.

The seven selections for this year’s Intercollegiate Wilkes-Barre program include Allison Bohonko, Michelle Bruno, Robert Barna, Christine Miller, Erica Hannon, Kirsten Fisher, and Kathleen Lord.

The program consists of students from MU, Luzerne County Community College, Keystone College, Kings College, Penn State Wilkes-Barre, and Wilkes University.

Leadership Wilkes-Barre has five programs run throughout the area including Core, Executive, Masters, Junior, and Intercollegiate. For more information on the leadership organization visit their website,www.leadershipwilkes-barre.org.

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