FMU leadership conference

Rebecca Cross, Managing Editor

FMU students interested in learning how to better develop their leadership abilities attended the 2015 FMU Student Leadership Conference on March 28.

The event took place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Lee Nursing Building.

Students had the opportunity to listen to four sessions about leadership. Sessions included topics such as how to motivate team members, leading with confidence and dealing with conflict.

Sophomore elementary education major Lauren Jackson said that she enjoyed how engaging the speakers were.

“I expected [the conference] to be up-tight,” Jackson said. “It was laid back and interactive. The speakers grabbed your attention.”

Sophomore elementary education major Shelly Smith agreed with Jackson. She said that as an aspiring teacher she appreciated the speakers’ interactive communication methods.

Some students also chose to participate in a leadership case study as a part of the conference. Four student teams competed in the case study activity.

The same case study was given to each group. The groups had to analyze a hypothetical but typical situation on a college campus: being a student leader who interacts with another student who is struggling with depression and stress.  The groups presented a solution to the problem in front of a panel of judges.

Senior business supply chain major Darius Robinson was a member of the winning team. His team explained that students dealing with depression should talk to a counselor and take action steps such as joining an organization to help them get better. Also, Robinson said that student leaders should realize that they are a student first and a leader second.

“You need to take care of yourself,” Robinson said.

Freshman Amber Zonca said that she learned leadership skills from being a part of a case study team.

“I learned about teamwork,” Zonca said.

Zonca said that she had to learn how to make compromises and work well with teammates who came from a variety of backgrounds.

Junior management and marketing major Sarah Baxi said that she learned about leadership as she participated in the case study and attended the sessions.

“Leadership is more than managing,” Baxi said. “It’s understanding who you are and being open to new ideas and new people.”

A continental breakfast and complimentary lunch were provided at the conference. Door prizes were also given away at the opening and closing sessions.

The FMU Student Leadership Conference was sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society and the Student Government Association.

Students interested in being a part of leadership at FMU during the fall semester can fill out an application online at