Students Learn Valuable Leadership Skills at National Conference

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{Junior Doug Layer, senior Dave Serpentine, sophomore Sandy Flick, senior Aimee Ralph, and senior Rob Ripson joined Assistant Director of Student Affairs Ronika Money, Director of Student Affairs Matthew Shupp, and Instructor Karrie Bowen at the National Center for Student Leadership Conference in Boston.}

A group of Penn State Brandywine students learned valuable leadership skills at the National Center for Student Leadership (NCSL) Conference held in Boston in March.

NCSL provides collegiate student leaders the opportunity to achieve their leadership potential and positively impact their campuses and communities. This is accomplished through practical, focused training and opportunities to collaborate with other student leaders.

Attendees engaged in workshops in an effort to hone their leadership skills. "This conference offered several keynote speakers and workshop sessions that covered personal and group motivation, public speaking skills, redefining leadership rules, body language and conversation skills, how to be successful, receiving better grades, money management, how to build an effective organization, and many more," said senior Dave Serpentine, who was among the group of Brandywine students at the event.

"While attending the conference sessions and walking around Boston, I met really fascinating people and heard amazing stories," he added. "I interacted with people from California, Texas, Hawaii, Samoa, and even Toronto. The diversity among participants was unbelievable at NCSL. Also, when I was touring the city, I met a fellow Philadelphian and we were discussing cheesesteaks. It was a nice feeling to know that even miles away, home never leaves you."

Senior Aimee Ralph said, "The conference was a remarkable occasion, which allowed students the opportunity to listen to keynote speakers, attend informative sessions about being a leader on campus, and connect with people from all over the country. The lessons I learned from the breakout sessions have given me a new understanding of how important it is to make connections and understand skills such as negotiation, while at the same time leading a successful group. What I learned from the conference will help me in my future in ways that I would have never imagined."

Senior Rob Ripson added, "One of the biggest takeaways I got from the breakout sessions offered at NCSL was to set goals. Writing down these goals and looking at them daily is a key component to achieving success." He said he learned that when working within a group one must "outline the responsibilities for others within a group so that participation can be expanded."

Serpentine said that he felt he had "grown as a leader" and had learned "valuable tips for life. The premise of this conference was to show that people, regardless of whether they have a leadership role or title, can make a difference on their campus and in their community. I was honored to have taken part in this amazing conference and I will truly utilize the skills I learned."

Story compiled by Senior Jennifer Santangelo

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