LEAD Center to provide library, resources for student groups

Student leaders at GW now have a resource center for all their leadership needs.

The Leadership, Enrichment, Achievement and Development Center, or LEAD, will oversee organizations such as the Emerging Leaders Program, the Peer Leadership Mentor Program and the National Leadership Series. The program operates out of the Student Activities Center suite on fourth floor of the Marvin Center.

The LEAD Center features a leadership library with books and periodicals covering leadership issues.

We’re really excited because the program was created to challenge student leadership and develop globally, said Cub Berrian, the program’s director. There’s always forms of leadership in all aspects of life.

Berrian, SAC’s coordinator for leadership development, said students already in campus leadership positions and others who have not developed personal leadership skills can benefit from the new center.

We want not only to tap into students in organizations, but the ones who just work their internship or just come to class, Berrian said. We’re really trying to re-engineer the way we work with developing leadership.

Nine students round out the LEAD Center staff

It’s mostly student run, it really keeps students involved, junior Matt Kernkraut said. Many of the different programs that the LEAD Center offers are student-run, so it really keeps with that peer to peer idea.

The center’s first program, an obstacle course for students, took place during Welcome Week.

The whole idea was really to challenge yourself and taking risks, and these are qualities of leaders, Kernkraut said.

The National Leadership Series offers free workshops to all students, designed to enrich and develop leadership skills, according to the SAC Web site. The workshops will meet at different times and days.

Kernkraut said most will offer refreshments.

The whole idea of the workshops is to meet the interests of students, he said. We saw them as the best way for a student to get involved in the LEAD Center on a one-time basis.

About 60 people attended the first NLS workshop Wednesday night at which students discussed individual leadership styles.

There seems to be an extreme interest in what we’re doing, Kernkraut said. The most exciting thing was it wasn’t the people we expected to be there, who are already active in groups like (the Commnity Living and Learning Center) or (the Residence Hall Association).

Upcoming workshops include Organizing for Change: Student Activism, led by GW undergraduate Tatyana Margolin Sept. 5, and Building Effective Teams and Organizations, led by Berrian Sept. 11.

Honey Nashman, director of GW’s Human Services Program will host another workshop entitled I’m so Stressed: Stress and Burn Out Sept. 19.

Professional leaders of workshops include William Nordstrom, Executive Vice President of Nordstrom, Inc., who will lead a workshop entitled Nordstrom’s Leadership in the 21st Century on Oct. 3.

NLS is going to be incredible, said senior Amanda Crowell, a Peer Leadership mentor. We’re all really excited.

She said that the team of eight PLMs will have a lot of creative control over leadership resources in the LEAD Center.

Eventually, hopefully the student organizations will be able to come to us and say `We’re having this problem,’ and we’ll be able to help them out, Crowell said.

I personally believe that due to our environment in Washington, D.C., we should be able to develop an all encompassing leadership program at GW, Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student and Academic Services. When a student is looking at GW to apply, this program should be a driving force in their decision.

He said he also believes the LEAD Center can benefit the University as a whole.

The trickle down effect is that the students that go through this program will go on to become better leaders of their subordinates in student organizations, and maybe even hold a position within the institution [of GW] someday, said Gargano, who will also be leading a workshop called How to be a Good Sport and an Ethical Leader on Nov. 2.

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