What to expect from upcoming Warriors LEAD Summit

Teresa Anderson, features reporter

The fourth annual Warriors LEAD Summit meets Saturday, March 27 in the East Room of Kryzsko Commons.
The Warriors LEAD Summit is a one-day retreat open to any Winona State University student at no cost, with registration open until March 25.
Coach Carter, featured in the inspirational Disney+ film of the same name, plans to talk about his journey in leadership and will open the floor up to students to ask questions.
Students can register via email link, on the Winona State website or through a QR code on posters for the event around campus.
The retreat helps students further their leadership skills by networking with other student leaders on campus and listening to presentations given by students, faculty and staff. Because of COVID-19, the summit takes place in a hybrid format, including smaller breakout groups to comply with social distancing. Sessions, including the keynote address from Coach Carter, will be both in-person and via Zoom.
Lindsay Marosi-Kramer, Assistant Director of Student Activities, facilitates the event along with a small committee of students, including Ahlea Wright, second-year computer science major with a double minor in philosophy and conflict studies and Audrey Lassengard, fourth-year marketing major with a minor in adventure tourism.
The committee decides upon a schedule, keynote speakers and student presenters, showcasing new voices every year.
Each presenter chooses a topic with approval from the committee.
“Some of my favorites have been about servant leadership, running meetings that matter and talks on self-care,” Marosi-Kramer said. “It is fun to be able to give students the chance to hear from a few voices throughout the day!”
Wright plans to present on her leadership philosophy: a great leader shows empathy.
“You have to hear both sides of the story to become a great leader instead of just taking one person’s word for it,” Wright said. “My big selling point is you have to empathize and really understand everything going on to be a good leader.”
Students with interest in presenting at next year’s Summit are encouraged to apply. Qualifications for presenting include leadership experience and willingness to present.
“Students who are willing to talk about leadership, have had experience and comfortable speaking up in front of people already show great leadership qualities,” Lassengard said.
In past years, LEAD Summit filled up with a good turnout. With COVID, the committee hopes to attract and retain students with their hybrid model.
“Last time we had Summit, we filled up a lot of space and had a fairly good turn out,” Wright said. “Obviously, I don’t expect all WSU students to come, but Coach Carter is a great selling point and I think we will still get a good turnout even with COVID.”
As a high school student athlete, Wright understands teamwork and guidance. She is excited to welcome Coach Carter to Winona State for the conference. Coach Carter encouraged his basketball team to improve not only in basketball but academics.
“I was a big proponent to bring in Coach Carter,” Wright said. “I know it’ll also entice non-athletes because it’s about growing in things you’re not naturally gifted at and building yourself as a person.”
In preparation for the event, the committee set up posters, sent out emails and posted on social media.
“We have posters all around campus in the dorm halls and in academic buildings,” Lassengard said. “We have stuff on the screens, as well as on the website with the updated times and registration.”
With many events at Winona State primarily on Zoom, the LEAD Summit provides students with in-person community and coaching with the option of watching online if needed.
“I think it’s a lot easier to go someplace in person and actually learn from physical people instead of buying an inspirational book,” Wright said. “You might read it but not comprehend it and with LEAD Summit, you get that actual face-to-face interaction with people who have either experienced this before or are experienced in teaching people this kind of thing.”
Lassengard pushes student participation because learning from experienced peers helps improve personal leadership skills.
“I think it’s important to learn from others because the only way to know how to do something is just by experience,” Lassengard said. “People should come to expand their leadership skills
and knowledge.”
LEAD Summit welcomes all students to invest time in growing their leadership skills without purchasing a ticket.
“Leadership is something that you have to invest time into, you have to sharpen those skills,” Marosi-Kramer said. “This is a free event for students to do just that: sharpen skills, spend time engaging with staff, faculty and each other! Once you graduate, opportunities like this will cost big money and be few and far between!”