Students learn leadership skills
For junior Justina Syrett, the Spring Leadership Conference was a way of pushing herself to her fullest potential.
The conference, held Saturday, March 9, was geared toward students to participate in various leadership workshops organized by campus community members and outside parties.
Students could hone their skills in time management, organization and took a look at campus leadership opportunities.
“I’m interested in leadership,” Syrett said. “I just want to look for ways to build leadership and skills.”
Both Syrett and her friend Catie Hotchkiss said the workshops have been empowering and motivating for them.
The main speaker emphasized the five principles of leadership, Senior Shari Williams, who helped market the conference as part of Towson University Leadership Consultants (TALC), said.
The four principles are self-awareness, vision, leading with a purpose and courageous faith.
Syrett said she wants to apply her leadership skills to help student organizations progress.
“I like the whole fact of being in charge of an organization and leading them into a better future,” she said. “Just working, changing and everything like that. That’s what I like about it.”
The conference held workshops titled Leading With Your Ears, Writing Your Way Into a Leadership Position, Taking Your Leadership to the Next Level, Speak up and Navigating Peer Leadership, Williams said.
Hotchkiss, a sophomore, said for her, leadership is about helping others help themselves.
“For me [leadership] is inspiring people to be independent,” she said. “Like motivating people so they can do things on their own.”
Both girls said they enjoyed listening to keynote speaker Joshua Fredenburg.
National speaker and author Fredenburg said he travels around the country talking to college students about leadership. He told the students about the importance of recognizing inner leadership and pushing themselves to find purpose.
“I was telling the students that they’re a solution to a problem in the world,” Fredenburg said. “And the key to solving some of our problems is finding that solution within. In order to find that solution within you’ve got to know who you are, you’ve got to know what your vision is, you’ve got to know what your purpose is, and you’ve got to have courageous faith.”
Hotchkiss said leadership is important because it’s all about acting as a sort of facilitator for the success of others.
“I think you need to help people grow in those skills,” Hotchkiss said. “It’s why we have things like these [conferences], to gain knowledge and have affirmation that what you’re doing is right. You’re helping others grow and helping others reach their potential while reaching yours too.”
Senior Shari Williams, who helped market the conference as part of Towson University Leadership Consultants (TALC), said she and other members of TALC want to spread the idea of leadership all around campus.
“At Towson we are all about leading students, it’s one of the things we promote,” Williams said. “I feel like we’re trying to create something where we’re above the blue collar.”
Fredenburg said everyone is capable of being a leader.
“You can be a leader without a title,” he said. “Our communities are full of those. You can be the leader of your daughter, or your son or your family. You can be an introvert or an extrovert to be a leader, you don’t have to be a great public speaker to be a leader. There’re people who run our country and we don’t even know who they are.”