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Conference Helps Students Build Leadership Skills

October 5, 2018

Students at St. John Fisher College recently had the opportunity to participate in the LeaderShape Catalyst, a one-day conference run by LeaderShape, a program that develops leadership skills among college and university students.

Students at St. John Fisher College recently had the opportunity to participate in the LeadersShape Catalyst, a one-day conference run by LeaderShape.

In the past, Fisher students have attended the non-profit’s six-day program, but this year, the Office of Campus Life decided to bring the curriculum to campus.

“The Catalyst program put on by the folks at LeaderShape was a great opportunity for our students to really focus on self-awareness as it relates to leadership development,” said Stephanie Ketterl, interim director of campus life. “The small group activities throughout the day allowed them to be reflective, practice deep listening skills, and begin to write their own leadership story.”

Jordan Wood ’19, a double major in criminology and legal studies, attended the conference to better understand his leadership style. As a member of the Leadership Council, president of the Student Concert Committee, treasurer of Fisher Players and director of its production of “Legally Blonde,” he has often found himself in the position of guiding others.

“I feel as leaders we are constantly evolving and growing to become the best that we can be to help others achieve their goals,” he said. “I love helping others grow as leaders and individuals, since I had someone who did that for me my freshman year.”

Students at the LeaderShape Catalyst conference worked  on deep listening skills and reflected on their leadership styles.

Jessica Bono, a senior studying management and ethics, said the conference made her more self-aware and confident in herself. A programming captain for the Teddi Dance for Love, Campus Center manager, and a member of the Student Activities Board, she said the conference also taught her about the subconscious ways leaders might assess a situation without the full story.

“My biggest takeaway was that we cannot be so quick to judge a person or situation. I always knew this, but now it is something I will definitely work on to improve,” she said.

Wood said that the energy in the room was contagious.

“We dove right into it, and it was a great experience that I would love to see again at Fisher,” he said.

Ketterl agreed. “I was impressed with the content of the day, and even more impressed with the quality of student participation,” she said. “A week later, participants are still talking about the conference.”