From Feb. 10-14, a series of events were held which created LEAD Week. This series culminated at the end of the week with a cumulative LEAD Summit, which was held on Feb. 15 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in East Hall.
Sixty people attended the summit and participated in leadership sessions and activities.
Lindsay Marosi-Kramer, assistant director for student activities, Greek life and leadership, has planned the week and summit for the past three years.
She was assisted by a group of nine student volunteers to plan and execute the week’s events and culminating summit.
“I like the ebb and flow of planning this week. It helps make each year a new experience because nothing stays the same—from the student and professional speakers to the schedule,” Marosi-Kramer said.
Throughout the week, events ranged in their content and context in relation to leadership and the university theme of career readiness.
Students and staff had an opportunity to speak with alumni on job obstacles and how to overcome them, attend a spoken word performance by Ebony Stewart and experience an afternoon centered around interactive leadership activities put on by the Recreation Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation (RTTR) department.
The morning of Feb. 15, the first set of student speakers gave breakout session talks on topics ranging from organization to marketing leadership experiences.
Sophomore Grace Wagner presented her breakout topic titled ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ and focused on the need for people to reflect on their gratefulness in life.
She presented studies which noted that the presence of gratitude in people’s lives increased resiliency. It also helps boost positive relationships and happiness, which were the focuses of her presentation.
In an exercise in gratitude, Wagner had the group text a person deserving of gratitude in their life.
“Finding gratitude is all about what works best for you,” Wagner said.
Following that session was a panel of student-led presentations.
Josephine Strutz, a first-year nursing major, presented on overambition as a type of disease.
She spoke on how ostentatious people, especially in college, can turn busyness into a competition and feel proud of how overworked they can be.
“Overambitious people are looking for approval with their behaviors,” Strutz said.
Strutz suggested ways to combat the idea of overambition in terms of leadership by learning how to delegate tasks and become self-aware of individual tendencies to overwork.
After lunch, it was time for the professional and faculty speakers to present.
Kate Noelke, director of integrated wellness, gave a talk called “What to Do When Absolutely Nothing Goes the Way You Planned.”
She spoke candidly, as she described it, about her “unconventional life path” and how life will bring people what they need, even if it is not how someone expects it to arrive.
The summit concluded with a keynote address by Dr. Dustin York. His credentials include being the youngest person on Obama’s 2008 campaign, a spot on the St. Louis’ 30 Under 30 List and time spent working at Apple.
York’s address mentioned networking, the importance of a good resume and interview tips and how to be a leader in one’s first job out of college.
He also gave tactical scripts on how to negotiate successfully and the importance of different communication in the workplace, especially nonverbal.
The end of his speech came with a quote reading, “if you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.”
As LEAD Week came to a close, Marosi-Kramer said she had high hopes for what participants gained from the experience.
“I hope people who come to the summit come away knowing how to articulate the kind of leaders they are and that they’re given a chance to learn and share experiences that when asked, “what do I do well?”, they’ll have an answer,” Marosi-Kramer said.
The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily those of Winona State University, the Minnesota State Colleges and University system, or the Winona State University student body.