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Leadership Workshop Provides a Powerful Lesson – and Some Fun

Forget solar, gas or electric – the most powerful form of energy was on display in the MCC College Center in March as 50 students from all over the campus participated in a leadership workshop. They were excited, energetic and dynamic. Called the Joint Leadership Collaborative, the program is designed to develop leadership skills among students, and to help them learn that no matter what level they are in an organization, they can be leaders.

“It started with discussions with Student Activities and the First Year Experience staff,” said Kasey Drennen, assistant director of Student Activities. “We realized that a lot of departments are training students. We thought ‘why not pool our resources?’ We applied for and got a Retail Services grant and collaboratively developed the program.” Departments involved in the planning were Democracy House, Counseling and Career Services, History and Social Science, Admissions, the Center for Veterans Services and the Blue Colt Bookstore. Students who work in those departments participated in the workshop, and their feedback will be used to refine the program. The first session introduced the concept of leadership and included discussion, team-building exercises, and a workshop called Step to Lead, organized by Ode Hoppie, assistant director of Student Activities. He had all 50 students – and staff – step dancing as he related it to leadership.

“He takes the concepts of stepping – a bunch of individuals who are doing different things working together to create one voice,” Mr. Drennen said. “It illustrates the concept of leadership perfectly, plus it is a lot of fun.” Student Chelsea Ramschaler enjoyed the program, and felt she learned a lot.

“We learned about leaders and what qualities they exhibit,” she said. “It taught us about how to be a leader and to make things better.” The next workshop, on April 5, will cover customer service and leaders as communicators, and the final one this semester, on April 26, covers knowledge of MCC and the role of leaders in the community. “We are planning to continue these programs in the future,” Mr. Drennen said. “I think they are very valuable in developing students’ potential.”