Warriors LEAD returns to Winona State


Nicole Girgen

Assistant director of student activities for Greek life & leadership Lindsay Marosi-Kramer took over the Warriors LEAD program last June and has made some modifications to the program since it was last offered in spring of 2016.

Lauren Saner, Copy Editor

The Warriors Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program has returned to Winona State University after having been cancelled in spring of 2016.

Warriors LEAD is a leadership development program for students who want to learn how to be an effective leader and to hone their leadership skills and knowledge.

The program began in fall of 2009, led by Tracy Rahim, the associate director of student activities and leadership. Before she had applied for this position, creating a leadership program had been added to her job description, so she created the program from the ground up.

During her first semester in this position, in spring of 2008, she sought out students on campus to help create this new program. She had 30 students help create the beginnings of the program.

Rahim had selected a theoretical model and gave the students a skeleton of it to show what it would look like when it was implemented. She also asked what the students thought was most important to them in learning about leadership. The following fall, that idea became a reality. Rahim wanted to give students who are not involved on campus somewhere to learn how to be a leader on their own.

Rahim shared what information is given out in these sessions.

“[To show students] what does it mean to be a leader for yourself, as an individual, what do you need to know to be an effective leader, and what does it mean to be an effective leader in a group,” Rahim said. “I also wanted students to know what it means to be a leader in the community, and what does it mean to be in a community in a more global sense.”

As the program continued, the curriculum has changed throughout the six years that it was implemented.

“I used new theories and models that came out to be implemented into the program. Or used tried and true ideas from researchers. It evolved over the years into what it was by the time I left it,” Rahim said.

Nicole Girgen
Lindsay Marosi-Kramer leads the students of Warriors LEAD in round table discussions on different topics about leadership skills every Thursday in Purple Room 294.

Last June, Lindsay Marosi-Kramer joined the student activities department as the new assistant director of student activities for Greek life & leadership. Marosi-Kramer adopted Warriors LEAD as part of her new job.

When the program initially began, there were three different sections: Emerging Warriors, Developing Warriors and Advancing Warriors, suggested to be taken in that order. When Marosi-Kramer began to restart the program, she began with the information from the previous layouts she had received from Rahim.

“I started one section at a time, going through what it had been and using the updated texts and updated information started taking away things that weren’t relevant anymore and adding the new information that’s out. I updated activities and language and those kinds of things so that it was more user friendly because the way that it had been before it was a shorter span program,” Marosi-Kramer said. “The old Emerging Warriors was an eight-week program, and then Developing Warriors was only a two-week program, so instead I took all of that information and split it down the middle into two five-week programs. It was a little more attainable in that we weren’t trying to shove 16 lessons into 2 weeks. It wasn’t feasible for the way I wanted the program to run and I didn’t feel like it gave students enough opportunity to really delve into the information and process it and make sense of it.”

Since last semester was Marosi-Kramer’s first semester on campus, she began revamping the program by inviting students to lunches to present her ideas and receive feedback about the program and what suggestions they had.

One of the students who was invited to the lunches to provide feedback was Chris Latzig, a junior nursing major at Winona State. He shared why this program is important for students.

“This opportunity for students is extremely important. Being able to lead is an essential part of any job,” Latzig said. “Being able to lead your own life is also a valuable trait that can pay dividends throughout your lifetime.”

Latzig also encouraged students to be a part of the program because it’s offered in three parts that can be completed over several years.

“This helps to spread the experience throughout your college experience and lighten the workload so that it is not too overbearing alongside classes,” Latzig said.

Marosi-Kramer shared what each of the sections are about and what students will learn in each of them.

“Emerging Warriors is about consciousness of self and really understanding who you are as a person and how you impact the leadership journey that you’re on and the people around you. The text we use, ‘the Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Students,’ is really nice because the three tiers that it breaks it down to are really easy to follow. I think it makes a lot of sense, especially with a lot of students that are working through just general coursework, because I think it matches up where you are as a student,” Marosi-Kramer said. “In Developing Warriors we talk about consciousness of others, which is great especially for second-semester sophomores and juniors that are members of groups or they’re officers in groups. It talks about coaching others and how to inspire a group and mentorship and how that all works and that’s really cool because I think that’s tangible to what people are going through at that stage in their education.”

While the three different sessions don’t have to be taken in order, the final stage, Advancing Warriors, is the only one with a requirement, which is that one of the other sessions has already been finished.

Nicole Girgen
Left to right: Marissa Roen, Emily Manecke, Clara Kuerschner and Adriana Coffey sit attentively during a Warrior LEAD class on Thursday, Feb. 1 in Purple Room 249.

“Though you only need to have completed one of the sessions to complete the final tier, the suggestion is that you’ve done both because the idea of consciousness of context is that you bring in this knowledge of yourself, knowledge of the people around you and knowledge of your space and you really assess and analyze what’s happening around you,” Marosi-Kramer said.

All three sessions of Warriors LEAD will be offered in the fall semester, so interested students should look out for emails and posters.

While the program has not been offered since 2016, Rahim has heard from students about how being a part of this program has helped Winona State alumni move-up in the workplace.

“I’ve had students throughout the years come back and say ‘Tracy you know what? I got a promotion at my job or a raise at my job because I had Warriors LEAD on my resume and my supervisor/manager said ‘wow, that’s awesome that you actually spent time studying leadership, you are in a position to be in this promoted area,’” Rahim said. “As you look at what employers are looking for, new college graduates with leadership experiences and skills are towards the top of the list, but to hear this back from [previous] students was pretty neat to hear.”