Students Learn from Professionals on Leadership Day


On Friday, January 20, 2017, University of New Haven students bustled into Bucknall Theatre to attend the 12th Annual Leadership Day. Leadership Day is an opportunity for student leaders on campus to learn how to develop skills they can utilize to become a better leader, and strive to become the best professional versions of themselves possible.

In regards to the 12th Annual Leadership day, a diverse set of professionals offered their knowledge and advice in order to help students in all areas revolving around the theme of the day, Global Civility, Citizenship and Responsibility. The event was intentional set up with two open time slots, with the intention of empowering students to choose whichever break out session appealed most to them. Andrew Mayer, the Assistant Director for Leadership Development, encouraged students to choose sessions with topics they were not familiar with, as to get the most out of the experience. With topics varying from “The Keys to Leadership: A Global Perspective” to “What If I Don’t Love What I Do?,” the break out sessions, and those professionals who ran them were unique in theme and certainly diverse.

While each session had an audience, some were especially popular. Doctor Lauren Kempton, a Practitioner in Residence here at U.N.H., ran a session entitled, “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.” Students piled into her classroom, and for the last-minute stragglers, Dr. Kempton directed them to the room across the hall to grab themselves a chair; all the seats provided had been quickly filled. In the midst of her presentation, Dr. Kempton stated, “’Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere’ by Doctor King. In our current climate of controversy and apprehension it is critical for us to speak with care and thought. Civility and empathy must be taught to marginalized groups are not targeted and treated unjustly. The responsibility is ours to speak truth to power and to do so forcefully and with civility.”

She went on to verbalize the reality that, “we choose the stories we want to tell, and the stories we don’t want to tell,” emphasizing the power of a single story in regards to how differing cultures, ethnicities, orientations, etc. can be interpreted, or misunderstood. Dr. Kempton’s session worked in tandem with the theme of Global Civility, Citizenship and Responsibility, as did keynote speaker Robert Felder’s interactive presentation.

Robert Felder, a U.N.H. alumnus with a Master in Business Administration and Public Administration also had powerful words to offer. As an Inspirational Trainer and Motivational Speaker, Felder has experience in creating a comfortable, yet educational environment in order to drive towards the professional and personal development of young future leaders. Felder offered the simple idea of “life doesn’t get easier, we just get better at living it,” and also revealed his personal philosophies on success, and how successful people attain their aspirations. He suggested the audience take notes when he revealed “vision, alignment, and execution” specifically.  

The 12th Annual Leadership Day was sponsored by The Center for Student Engagement, Leadership, and Orientation, who thanked “all the faculty, staff, students, and outside guests for supporting this year’s Leadership Day.”