Leadership Day Fosters Student Leaders

Leadership Day, a day long conference held for all University of New Haven students, began in Bucknall Theater, Friday (Jan. 19). The theme of the conference was There is No “I” in Team, Engaging and Empowering Others.

Keynote Speaker, Jason LeVasseur, inspired students and engaged them with his stories and his music. He talked about how everyone is an instrument in their band, and how their band impacts the audience – how everyone is an influential rock star student leader who is individual and unique.

“I want everybody to be awesome at who they are, to strive to be their instrument, and elevate the band,” LeVasseur said.

To relate to how organizations run on campus and how to be effective for everyone, LeVasseur used the analogy of how on an airplane, the flight attendants specifically tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, in order to be able to help the other people around you. This showed student leaders that they must take care of themselves first, in order to truly be effective to everyone around them.

“Other people are impacted by the decisions you make. You can make other people’s lives better, because your stage was made for serving others,” he said.

The keynote speaker closed by playing a song, and having everyone in the room join in together. By doing this, he explained that sometimes you need to play an instrument you do not want to play, but you do it because the band needs you to make it function.

The conference continued with students migrating from Bucknall Theater to Kaplan Hall, where they had an assortment of workshops to choose from. There were three session time slots, so student leaders were able to go to three presentations having to do with leading, engaging with others, or how to be their best selves.

In the workshop, Leave Footprints that Last…Do Not Tiptoe!, Dr. Lauren Kempton talked about defining leadership through some espoused figures in the world, and from history.

Kempton talked about how footsteps say, “Here I am, see me.”

The workshop went on to show how society judges people for the things said or not said. Kempton talked about how inspiring Oprah was at the Golden Globes, especially when she said, “Step out of the history that is holding you back, step into the new story you are waiting to create.”

The workshop, Understanding Your Love Language, was presented by Ashley Dunn, Assistant Director of the Dean of Students Office. She talked about having good communication as a leader, and how people need to feel valued.

Student leaders learned about love languages, which is the primary method of expressing and interpreting love, value, worth, and fulfillment. Dunn had the students participate in the Love Languages Quiz, where they got to learn their love language.

“If people do not get what they’re giving out, they may pull away, no longer give their all, no longer be engaged. So think about how you interpret love and care, then you can make others around you feel valued and worthy,” Dunn said.

The day ended with CT Etiquette Expert, Karen Thomas, for a networking reception. She shared all tips and secrets for success at networking events. Such as the five s’s of a hand shake, the elevator pitch, professional headshots, business card decorum, and name tag placement.

“Talk less, listen more,” Thomas said.

She spoke about how everyone was born with two ears, and one mouth. Therefore, at networking events especially, people need to listen and take in information. The reception ended with student leaders learning how to prepare for networking by being advised to always enter confidently, look approachable, and smile.