Student Leaders Participate in 9th Annual Leadership Development Institute

More than 60 student leaders participated in the 9th Annual Leadership Development Institute at Elon Saturday, Feb. 25. The student leaders represented 38 different student organizations and held various leadership roles. They attended a keynote address and various workshops and exchanged ideas over lunch.

Dr. Mark Warner, senior vice president at James Madison University, gave the keynote address, titled, “Leadership: The Difference is You.” In his remarks, he challenged students to look at leadership through new lenses and examine their daily practices from a new perspective. Dr. Warner suggested that collaborators expect leaders to be honest, forward-looking, competent, and inspiring. Junior Bonnie Brackett noted that “the forward looking concept that Dr. Warner talked about is so important to leadership. We need to be able to see everything beyond that obstacle in front of us and he brought that idea back into perspective for us.” Khara Conlon said that Warner’s enthusiasm set the tone for the whole day and “was extremely inspirational.”

Fourteen workshops were offered throughout the day, allowing students to choose topics that were relevant to their own leadership endeavors. The workshops addressed skills such as retreat planning, public speaking, fundraising, communication, goal setting, team development, and the use of technology. Presenters included Mallory Anderson, Bill Brown, Meghan Dillon, Jim Murphy, Jana Lynn Patterson, and Angela Passarelli, as well as several students.

A conference committee, chaired by senior Dave Warfel, coordinated all of the day’s events. Other members of the committee include Ashlyn Dixon, Liz Evans, Elisabeth Oliver, Taylor Hass, Ariel White, and Coral Zayas. The conference marks a milestone in Warfel’s college career, as it was the focus of his senior project for the Isabella Cannon Leadership Program. Conference attendee Trey Proctor complimented the committee’s efforts, explaining the “LDI was a very well organized, very informative conference that touched on many aspects of organizations. I’ve attended many conferences and this ranks very high in comparison.”

The Leadership Development Institute is an Elon tradition and the next one is slated for Saturday, Feb. 24, 2007. All Elon University students are invited to participate, so mark your calendar for next year!