Leadership Summit Reflections
by Brooke Parsons, SGA President
On September 30, 2011, the Campus Center had a great flurry of activity. At 4:15, a bus pulled up in front of the Rondelieu Campus Center full of Stonehill College student leaders looking to gain new knowledge and joining fellow students here at BSU. I was sitting outside of the large ballroom, checking students in until the event started. This event happens once a year, and I have been involved with it for three. As a student leader, most would think that the leadership summit only offers programs for those who are looking to get into the field. This is definitely a common misconception. The summit offers a wealth of knowledge to all that attend. Not only do you learn how to become a leader, but you also learn how to hone your leadership skills, gain new knowledge to pass onto others, and learn how to organize your everyday life.
The leadership summit offers different breakout sessions every year. All of these sessions vary by subject. The two breakout sessions that I had attended at last week’s summit were a Roundtable about Careers in Student Affairs, and Expand your Leadership through Technology. The two breakout sessions that I attended we completely different from each other and also very different from the rest of the sessions that were also held. Some of the other sessions that were held included Team Building and Delegation: How and When to Empower People, Professionalism, Shared Visions: Collaborative Leadership at Work, and Building Buzz. These are not even half of what was held at the summit, and all provided different resources to everyone.
At about halfway through the summit, dinner was served and a keynote speaker was presented. This leader was a Bridgewater State alum and had a resonating lecture. Dr. Maura Cullen spoke about Diversity in Education and Social Justice. She talked about how everyone should be treated as an equal and what we can do to get the world thinking that way. Dr. Cullen’s speech was not only empowering but also provided that “ah-ha” moment to many in the room. Dr. Cullen held your attention throughout the entire lecture, and kept all material fun, and was able to relate it all to each and every person in the room. This was especially noteworthy because the material was such a strong and powerful subject.
As the night neared end, the students of Stonehill College and Bridgewater State University came together one last time in the large ballroom. The closing session also resonated through the room as Kelly Burne and Joanna Darrigo, the two graduate assistants of OSIL, took the stage and presented Be the Change. These two women stood at the entrances of the Ballroom and gave everyone a strip of paper. On this piece of paper, we were asked to write a random act of kindness that happened to them on that day. Throughout their presentation, these random acts were read aloud and related to the material being covered.
Moral: The leadership summit is a way to connect to other people just like you. It mentors you to achieve your highest standards, and find peace in helping others achieve their goals.