2016 Leadership in Action Conference

Story by John Sainz, Reporter
Photo courtesy of Facebook

On Saturday, January 23, roughly 90 students flooded the Kretschmer Recital Hall for the 2016 Leadership in Action Conference. The annual conference is a free product of the Student Senate to top off leadership week, for students who want to learn, engage, and develop their leadership skills.

This year, the students got the extraordinary opportunity to listen to an esteemed keynote speaker, Pat Miles. Miles graduated from Aquinas College in 1988, then went on to graduate from Harvard Law with President Obama himself. Miles now serves as the West Michigan District Attorney.

In addition, the students heard from several alumni in their breakout sessions. Of them was Tim Ramsay, who graduated in 2008 and now serves as the Campus Life Assistant Director. Tim presented on “The Art of Delegation.” which seems appropriate, as his diplomatic persona has animated in working on the Obama presidential campaign, Miles’ congressional campaign, and serving the Model UN organization at Aquinas. Other alumni presenters included Amy Marshall (’08), Stephanie Beld (’13) on “Problem Solving,” and Kristin Heinrich (’13) on “Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.”

But, that’s not all. 13 current undergrads at AQ also held sessions on leadership, such as:

Inclusion and Diversity — juniors Alex Karatkiewicz and Kelsey Cotton

Ending Sexual Assault — junior Zoe Gipson

Collaboration — senior Colette Chapp

Cultivating Different Leadership Skills — senior Alexis Hartman and junior Ali Barr

Interfaith — senior Allison Garstecki

Shattering the Glass Ceiling — senior Alex Banash and Ellyse Vanderkamp

Living the Charisms — senior Nate Schall

Sustainability — seniors David Paquet and Elizabeth Sensing

Humility and Listening — junior Nicholas Tarsa

Heather Hall, the Director of Campus Life and Student Senate Advisor also led a session on “Marketing Yourself: Transferring Your Leadership Skills.” When asked about the conference, Hall reported, “I am extremely pleased with the event. It was great to see all parts of campus life come together and examine their leadership styles and areas for improvement.” Hall stated that she saw many people “reach” and “stretch” at the conference, adding, “I was also introduced to some amazing emerging leaders who will definitely impact our community positively in the coming months.”

All our students involved have been working hard to make this happen; some instrumental people in executing the leadership effort include sophomore Katharine Reed and junior Kascha Sanor, who have spent hours planning the campus’s push toward student action. Hall asserted her gratefulness for the Student Senate for their “sponsorship and leadership in Leadership Week and the conference. Very proud to be a Saint.”


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