William Woods University’s chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, recently partnered with the WWU’s Center for Student Involvement to host the third annual WWU Leadership Conference.
“Leadership After the Woods” was the theme for the conference, which covered both leadership on campus and in the workplace. Approximately 80 students attended.
“It is great to see so many students from all areas of campus take advantage of this great opportunity,” said Lacey Sweeten, director of student involvement.
Speeches covered a variety of topics, including authentic leadership, internships, empathetic imagination, social media, servant leadership, interviewing tips and avoiding procrastination. Amy Dittmer, director of career services, was one of the many speakers at the conference.
“My session explored ways to build and manage a positive online brand. Students know what NOT to post/tweet/share (we hope), so we discussed how they could use social media to market their positive online images. We explored Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. ”
She said authentic leaders understand their own values and purpose and use these to lead both at work and at play.
“These genuine leaders work for results, not accolades. This session was intended to help students consider their own authentic side as they develop their leadership skills at college.”
Others who spoke at the leadership conference included Michelle Kemp, director of the Professional Development Program Office at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business; Debbie Schick, LEAD coordinator; Bob Jones, coordinator of fitness and recreation; Travis Tamerius, chaplain and director of the Center for Ethics and Global Studies; David Forster, chair of business for the Graduate College; and Allison Bornhauser, healthcare recruiter at the University of Missouri.
“What they get out of the experience is different for every student,” Sweeten said. “This annual conference is a great chance for them to do something a little different and experience some out-of-classroom learning with their peers.”
Brandy Reagan of Montgomery, Mo., thought the ODK Leadership conference was an excellent way to teach students about “Life After the Woods.”
“I gained new knowledge about what has worked or failed for the conference speakers, and what their road to success entailed, she said.
Sweeten hopes to host another leadership conference next year.
“The past couple of years we have had great attendance and even better feedback on our student evaluations. As long as students continue to participate and find value in the experience, we will try to continue providing it,” she said.