We The People

Leadership Education

From what I had heard from students who previously took the class, PSC105: Intro to American Government & Politics was going to be the worst class of my semester. Although it wasn’t my favorite class, I did learn some very valuable facts about how democracy was born and how truly lucky we are to live in the country that we do.

From day 1, my professor started just about every class with a daily rant about our current president and the mess that our country is in. Although I was kind of annoyed since none of the information pertained to what was going to be on our exam, I quickly realized that he really was connecting it to class. One topic that we touched on in class was our civil liberties: the rights stated in the first amendment. My professor was prating his freedom of speech rights, and encouraging us to do the same by getting us involved in the conversations. I am not one to really voice my opinion on political topics since I never feel like I have enough knowledge to talk about it. However, this class really pushed me to stay up to date on what is going in our country since it also affects me.

One of the biggest grades in this class came from a project that took place throughout all 16 weeks. The class was separated into a few groups with about 8-10 students in each. Each group was assigned to a graduate assistant who helped facilitate each meeting. The goal of this project was to discuss a solution or an action towards a solution, to a major problem in our world. If you are up to date with politics, or if you are a human, you probably have a good shot at correctly guessing what we had to try to solve… immigration. We met with our groups about once a month and each meeting had different goals to help us implement our project. My group worked really hard together and came to the conclusion that we wanted to raise more awareness to what life is like as an immigrant and how immigrants positively contribute to american society. Through raising awareness through reaction videos of CMU students, our group was chosen to present this project to fellow faculty and students. This experience in itself was really inspiring for me because there were multiple groups selected and it was cool to see all the other groups and their ideas on how to solve this controversial issue. Seeing so many CMU students come together inspired me to be more involved in politics because there are people who are risking their lives so that we may keep our democracy, as well as people risking their lives just to live in this country. Therefore, the least I can do is be an active citizen and stick up for what I believe in.

As a leader on campus and in the world, it is important that I voice what I am passionate about and stick up for what I believe in. This class helped boost my confidence so that I can be a better leader and practice my rights to voice my passions.

Click here for the video we showed in our reaction video

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#BLESSED

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Dear Brooke,

Although we didn’t spend 24/7 together like some duo’s may, you have no idea how lucky I am to have a mentee like you. Your kindness is infectious beyond belief and your faith is so powerful that I know you are changing people’s hearts here at CMU and wherever you go.

From the moment I read about you, I knew I wanted you. I always wanted a mentee with whom I could share a love for God with, and boy was I right. Every time we met up, I left with the happiest heart because I always knew that God was doing great things in your life and because I loved hearing about all the ways that you were shining his light. Thank you for always being an encouragement in my life even though you probably had no idea you were. You impacted my life this year probably more than I did yours!

It has been so amazing to watch you grow into the almost college sophomore that you are! Isn’t it crazy to think that soon enough you are going to be writing a blog post to the next addition to our crazy family?! But seriously… your grandma and I were just talking about how independent you are, and boy is it crazy how opposite we are. I love knowing that even though I don’t see you all the time, I know you are ok and that you truly are thriving here on campus. I am so glad to see that you have found all the places that you fit in and where you are going to grow over the next few years on campus. I am so proud of you and everything you have accomplished this year… #proudmom

Thank you for making my sophomore year even more enjoyable, and I can’t wait to further our relationship with the newest addition to our family!

Much love,

Madeline

Future Child Advocates….part 2

Leadership Training

After falling in love with Future Child Advocates and all that it stood for, I decided to not only come back for a second year, but I also took on an eboard position as Public Relations chairperson. I loved working with the amazing girls that were on eboard and just seeing how passionate not only they were, but even the general members. The club consists of all girls (not on purpose) who each have such a strong passion to be a voice for kids who don’t have one. They are passionate about being a positive light in children’s lives and for sticking up for them when they need someone.

At each meeting we work towards furthering our education on child abuse and neglect so that we can be better prepared when we are working with children hands on in our professions and every day life. This RSO is also very dedicated to giving back to the community. One of my favorite memories of this year was volunteer at the Whaley’s Children Center in Flint, MI. This is a large foster care system that houses children who experience problems at their home. They are dedicated to providing the best service and care for the children there and I could see that all throughout the time I spent there. We got to spend the day just helping organize whatever they needed, we decorated their parlor for Christmas time so that it felt like home for the children, and then we actually got to spend time with some of the children. For me this was the best part. The kids were preparing a Christmas concert to perform for their families who could make it, so they asked us to stay and sing along with them. I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever sang louder or more out of tune in my entire life, but boy did we have a blast. Those kids taught me more about love and joy than anyone else, and yet for most of them, they have been so deprived of that for their entire lives. This experience really just opened my eyes to the what true happiness looks like when you have nothing.

Being apart of Future Child Advocates has been one of the best parts of being at CMU and I can’t wait to see what we do next year!

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Our donation of 2,000 socks to the local homeless shelter

The hype-st day of the year

Leadership Training

As part of protocol for the Leader Advancement Scholarship, I am required to be a part of a lead team. Freshman year I was placed in the special events lead team and I had such a blast planning fun events for all of the cohorts. This year, I was very excited to find out that I was going to be on the competition day team.

Competition day is probably the best day in the Leadership Institute. This is the day where about 100 high school students are invited to compete for the 50 scholarship spots.  It is so much fun to watch the high schoolers not only interact with campus and all the leaders here, but with each other as well. Although not all of the students get the scholarship, all students are encouraged to find ways to be involved in the Leadership Institute because everyone is a leader here.

Although our lead team didn’t meet very often, getting to help at competition day was a treat in itself. My job was the greet every student that came in and get their folder all set up with everything that their day was going to entail. I got to talk to families and say hello to all the nervous but excited students. Getting to see the next group of leaders come into CMU was so exhilarating for me because they are the next group of world changers. From the second they walked into the room you could tell that they wanted to grow and learn just at competition day.

Being apart of this lead team was fulfilling and exciting. I can’t wait to see what group I am apart of next year, and hopefully further my leadership experiences through my next lead team.

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Competition day with the best roomie

A class every American should have to take

Leadership Education

Today’s world is filled with so much hate. Everywhere you look: the news, social media, out in public, and sometimes even at home, is filled with so much hate. The part that is even sadder to me is that most of this hate is aimed towards one another. People like to think that they are better than others and they use that mindset to create a sense of power over someone else. I never really understood how people could be so awful towards someone else, and then I took “HDF110 Oppression: Roots & Impact” and so many of my questions were answered or at least discussed.

This class was created to look deeply at different forms of oppression and how people deal with being apart of those groups. We discussed ways that people experience oppression based on race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexual orientation, disabilities, and religion. Unfortunately, these groups are not ones that were oppressed many years ago and are not anymore. These are groups that are still facing discrimination and prejudice against still to this day. Therefore, this is why I believe that every American should have to take this class.

This class really made me think about my own privilege. I am white, heterosexual, able bodied, and financially stable. My whole life I grew up with so many great opportunities that helped me get to where I am today. Although I had obstacles along the way, I never faced issues such as discrimination that hindered me from following my dreams. Taking this class truly opened my eyes to how although many oppressed groups have achieved great successes such as slavery being abolished, women gaining rights, gay marriage rights. etc., they still face prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination in just their day to day life.

Oppression is a problem that started so long ago and will probably go on for many years to come. People learn from a young age that the culture they grow up in is the best, or the “right” way to live, therefore any other way is wrong or just not normal. We choose to stick with those we are similar to and tear down those that are different from us. My biggest takeaway from this class was the fact that everyone in society must be educated and try to put themselves in other people’s shoes in order to try and move forward into a more inclusive society. Everyone is different, but we are all people who share this Earth.

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This class just proved to me more that I want to be an inclusive leader. Whether it is in my future classroom and or in the community that I live in, I want everyone that I lead to know that they are welcome and that I accept their ideas. As a leader, it is important to   create an environment where all followers feel included and comfortable to grow and share their ideas, and I strive to be that kind of leader.

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Was taking philosophy morally ok?

Leadership Education

After a whole semester of learning about moral principles and debating whether some very controversial topics are morally ok, I can proudly say I still really don’t know what is and what is not morally right or wrong.

To me, the thought of waking up at 7am sounded like going back to high school, but thanks to Gary Fuller, this class was nothing but boring(most days). Gary was exciting, a little crazy, and a whole lot of passionate when it came to moral philosophy. He wanted us to learn, challenge ourselves, and have fun.

Within this class, I didn’t just learn how to think philosophically, but also how to navigate my way through philosophical issues in this world. Although I was uncomfortable discussing issues such as abortion, gay rights, euthanasia, capital punishment. etc., it forced me out of my comfort zone which is exactly what leaders need to experience, and why not start that at a younger age?

As a leader its good to come across others with different view points as yours. Within this class it allowed me to see others view points that weren’t based off of just opinion. With philosophy, it brings into matters what is morally right and wrong or just and unjust. This allows other to defend sides that may be just to some and unjust to others. It’s a teeter-totter of ideas that get balanced out on determining whether it is right or not. Across the board, there were so many reasonings as to why these topics were morally wrong and right. Being able to have real conversation and see how others perceive things is vital for being a good leader in being able to understand others perspectives and challenge new ones as well.

As I take this knowledge with me in the future, ethics takes an effect in it as well. This ties in with leadership because in order to be an ethical leader you should be virtuous of individuals and their motives. As I continue on through college I strive to be an ethical leader and do whats right in any situation. With this class, it has given me the skills to do just that.

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Gary Fuller’s Christmas Party

#retreatyoself2017

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Before embarking on this years Mentor Mentee Retreat, I sat down and gave myself time to just think about what I really wanted this weekend to look like and what I wanted to get out of it. Although this is my second year going on this retreat, it was still very new to me for a couple of reasons.

The first reason, and the most obvious one is because of my role. Last year I was that nervous yet excited Freshman who was ready to get to know her cohort and grow closer to her mentor. This year, I had the privilege of embarking on this adventure as a mentor to my beautiful mentee, Brooke Galloway. When I thought about this weekend with Brooke, I keep smiling thinking about all the fun things we were going to do together and about how excited I was to grow closer to her. Brooke is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met who has a heart on FIRE for Jesus and I love that so much about her. I was really hoping to be able to push Brooke out of her comfort zone and little did I know she would be doing the same thing to me.

I loved being able to watch my cohort interact with the new members of their LAS family tree and I absolutely loved the vibes of the weekend; the constant chatter and laughter coming from lifelong friendships being built, constant encouragement as friends help each other during the activities, and the sound of leaves blowing from the cool crisp air that chilled everyone’s fingers and toes. I gotta say, some of my favorite parts of the weekend were spent having quality conversations over a warm cup of coffee or hot cocoa.

However, my favorite part of the trip was the time I spent one-on-one with my mentee, learning about each other and growing with each other. I learned so much during our activities about how Brooke was a very strong leader and I admire that about her. I learned about how much more extraverted she is than me, but yet again research shows that yin and yang relationships are the strongest 😉 We spent the weekend laughing, pushing each other, and learning new things about one another. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with a better mentee.

Enjoy these pictures of our great weekend!

Year in Review: Leadership Style

Leadership Training

I would just like to start this post by saying “holy moly”!!! I cannot believe that I am just 7 days from technically being a sophomore in college. When people say that college flies by faster than high school, they aren’t joking. With that being said, I could write a whole blog post on how this year has changed me, and I might do that later, but for now I would like to share about what I have learned over the year about my leadership style.

Before coming into LAS, I honestly had no idea that there were so many leadership theories, let alone what they were or what they meant. After learning about all of them, I feel as though I really connected with the Social Change theory this year.

Being in LAS has given me the opportunity to follow a protocol that has allowed me to tackle many aspects of leadership. One part of my protocol that I would do even if it wasn’t a part of it, was to be involved in an RSO. The Social Change model applies to this in a sense that when you’re in the organizations, you are focused on the individual,  group and community. Within myself, I try to hold still to my values and beliefs before the group so I am competent and confident within the group. In the group, where I am now focusing on collaboration and interaction between myself and the organization, I am trying to instill the groups values into them for future leadership roles. For example, I try to implement the skills of helpfulness, being a servant, and collaboration among my group so eventually we can all foster these characteristics and implement them in our leadership behaviors daily on the job. Within the society, the group is trying to bring about change for the common good. An idea of this would be how certain organizations shape you into well rounded leaders that are career based, or major based, so you are ready to impact the field and others around you for the long run.

Through the 7 C’s of leadership, social change is able to happen. I’ll explain 2 briefly:

  1. Common Purpose- This is to work collectively with the group through shared visions and for everyone to participate actively in the purpose and goals of the group. An example of this would take place in SAVV (Student Advocates for Vegetarianism/Veganism) where they all share the common purpose of saving the lives of animals and protecting the environment from to the mass production of meat.
  2. Citizenship- This is not simply membership, but actively being engaged in the community where your ultimately  working towards social change. Although this is implied in every single RSO to go out and volunteer, this is another section of our protocol where 30  hours of service with in our community can impact us as leaders. As we gain more self knowledge in this act, social change can increase as others see the problems they face as connected to the problems of other people and choose to engage in it.

Social Change Model is something we should lead by everyday in trying to make yourself and the community better. Through this model you can find satisfaction and enjoyment from making a difference in the world. As emerging leaders on campus, this protocol is allowing us to apply the many realms of leadership in many unique ways where we can all make a difference.

I am so beyond thankful for this crazy and hectic first year of college and I wouldn’t have asked for a better freshman year!!

LDR200L

Leadership Education

Well folks, after LDR100 we just loved everything we learned that my cohort obviously just HAD to take LDR200. I was very excited going into this class with my cohort because I ended up having to miss a lot of LDR100 due to marching band practices. This class was the perfect chance for me to really learn some basic necessities for leadership as well as get to know more people in my cohort.

This class was tailored for us to learn how to facilitate and to determine what our most ideal form of leading was. Through this discovery, we all were assigned a workshop to present to the class. These consisted of leadership theories that we had to dissect and facilitate, that characterize the many takes and forms on leadership. The theory my group was assigned was called the “Leader-Member Exchange Theory” otherwise known as LMX theory. This theory really focused on how to be a successful leader through building good relationships with their followers so that they will want to be successful and you form a strong team feel. Our theory was a little different because most theories focused on either just the leaders or just the followers whereas ours focused on how they need to be able to work together to be successful. Through this workshop and through listening to everyone else’s workshops, my mind has been opened to so many different leader and follower behaviors and I have learned how to adjust my leadership style when I am working with all different groups.

Another requirement of this class was to facilitate an initiative, which is an activity that engages a group in a fun and interactive way, while also teaching them about the many traits that build a leader. My initiative team had teamwork which is a key component to leadership. To present our initiative we had a few different groups with about 5 students in each group. Each team was given a about 10 sheets of plain copy paper and were given very vague instructions to build a contraption that could hold a very heavy school book. The groups had to work as a team to decide on one idea and then help each other build whatever it was that they came up with. Each group was able to be successful and they said it was because they listened to everyones ideas and then worked together to build the best structure based on everyones input. Being leaders, it is especially important that not one person dominates a group, but rather that everyone’s voices are heard and taken into consideration.

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In the end, this class has showed me all sides to leadership and what forms I may need to use in certain situation, where I can better impact and motivate my followers. It has brought me closer to my cohort and has showed me what I am capable as a leader. I was able to work on my public speaking skills and really task my brain on other ways in which i can better my self and others. If you’d like to see my interpretation of leadership, check out my page on my leadership philosophy.