By: Kate Braunstein
The Center for Leadership and Development here at Montclair State University hosted its 7th Annual Leadership Institute on Friday, April 7th 2017. The workshop consisted of two Keynote speakers, four Breakout Sessions, reflections, and a closing debriefing. With over two hundred people in attendance, the event was a smashing success. Many in attendance were students, but many were alumni and current Montclair State University staff. After a complimentary breakfast of bagels, fruit, and orange juice, attendees were excited for the day to begin.
The program began with Keynote Speakers Dr. Will Simpkins, and Dominique C. Smith giving an overview of leadership. Dr. Simpkins explained how leadership is more than being in a position of power, and Dominique Smith discussed how important it was for leaders to take the world by storm through networking. Breakout Sessions broke attendees into groups, allowing them to choose a talk of their choice to attend. Speakers included John Delate, the Executive Director of Residence Life, Denise Quinn, Kymberly Pizzulo, and Mary Corbeski with topics relating to emotional intelligence, energy levels that affect leadership, interviewing, and public speaking. Breakout Sessions throughout the remainder of the day included Dr. Sandra Y. Lewis, a Psychology professor at MSU, Jennifer Santiago of Enterprise Holdings, and Dr. Valerie Sessa.
The event had lots of positive reviews from attendees. Sophomore Jad Abousleiman volunteers with the Center for Leadership Development, and is an RA on campus. He states that “by having more leaders on campus, you can better assist people, and make the campus a more welcoming environment.” In regards to his return to the Institute in upcoming years, he says “One hundred percent. It’s a great opportunity for people to be successful.” Student Assistant in the Center for Leadership and Development Patricia Walsh states that this year’s event compared to past years “has grown exponentially in the number of students and faculty attended, and the range of themes and breakout sessions. Each year we gather a lot of feedback and data in order to improve it.” The center plans on enhancing the program even further for next year.
The Center for Leadership and Development is lead by Professor Jillian Ploskonka, and is located in the Center for Student Involvement (with additional resources on OrgSync). The center is available at 973-655-6853, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.