First Year Accomplished!

Wow did that go by fast! I remember coming in on the first day the most socially awkward individual ever. As I look back on the year, I realized that I have grown and developed exponentially, not just within making friendships, but within my own values and beliefs. I am so much more confident and know my self better than ever. I was able to discover what I am capable of and where I’m going in life. I was exposed to people from all realms of life whether that be a different culture or family up bringing. It was amazing to see how we all viewed the world in different ways and how through those differences we still found our way back to the similarities. I have learned that I can truly express myself and all my weirdness and quirks to the world and still be happy with myself at the end of the day! Thats right, I said it! I’m weird and silly and not afraid to come out of my comfort zone. This year has given me so many reasons to smile and to appreciate everything that this year has had to offer. It’s hard to even put into words all the amazing experiences and transformations that have taken place in this year.

I came to a final decision of where I am going in life. That is to pursue a degree in Biomedical Sciences to eventually become a Physicians Assistant (PA). I also decided to minor in Leadership, Chemistry and ASL (American Sign Language). Being able to pair all of these up and one day carry a career where all of these can be implemented into my daily life will be the day I look forward to. Being able to pursue a job in the field of medicine has been a passion that has grown with in me even more during this past year. Taking that drive and ambition to be that helping hand in finding the cure for so many harmful diseases I decided to join pre-pa club last semester. This club has given me opportunities to learn more about the PA field than ever before. You’re also around others who share the same passion to better someone else’s life through the work of medicine. Due to my increasing passion for the profession, I am now the head Event Coordinator for the club and can’t wait to pair my leadership and passion together to hopefully allow others love for the field to grow as much as mine did.

Being on campus here at Central has allowed me to appreciate how diverse this campus is. We have one the biggest global campuses here and being able to meet some of these wonderful students from across the globe is truly amazing. I have become so interested in learning about others cultures that I applied to become a desk associate in SHC community next year, which is where the international students are housed. I have also pursued a minor in ASL to understand a culture that I feel is the most wide spread, Deaf Culture. We as hearing people don’t fully understand the daily struggle the the Deaf Community faces and being able to further educate myself on this culture is something that I am looking forward to. Being able to pick up a second language and adapting to communicating in sign language will be truly inspiring and enlightening to experience.

Being surrounded by the most passionate, inspiring, outgoing, crazy people I call my LAS fam, they have allowed me to see the greatness that still exist in others. They have truly impacted me and have aided in my boost of confidence through out the year. Each and every one of them offer something special and I can’t express the lengths they have indirectly impacted me. Although some I may never see as often as others, I am able to walk up to them the next time I see them and be welcomed with open arms and a smile! These are the kind of people you should have in your life. The ones you can talk to so deeply that you realize how messed up this world actually is. The ones you can give your service with and know they understand the lengths to which that services does for the community and what it means to you. I love the members of my cohort who are the greatest people ever, but that doesn’t restrict me to just these amazing humans. There are so many other great humans I have met on this campus and they have allowed me to see the roles they play in others lives. Leadership is instilled in everyone in one shape or form, and being able to see how all my friends put it to use is an array of sunshine I would say. I just makes me want to smile at all the possibilities that the world could benefit from by having these people in it. Thank you to all that have allowed me to grow and dig a little deeper.

In the end there are so many ways in which I have grown and developed into the person I am during this first year of college and although I am going to be in a hefty load of debt, every single penny was worth discovering my self and I can’t wait for what is to come next semester!

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LDR 200 Reflection

We came in to this semester knowing a little bit more about leadership than when we started the school year. The LAS 2015 cohort was ready to hop on the horse. This class was tailored for us to learn how to facilitate and to determine what our most ideal form of leading was. Through this discovery, we all were assigned a workshop to present to the class. These consisted of leadership theories that we had to dissect and facilitate, that characterize the many takes and forms on leadership. My workshop was Culture and Leadership which is a theory that paired these two separate sects together which showed the relation in how being in different cultures can affect your leadership effectiveness. The culture aspect was studied through the GLOBE project, which contained 160 investigators who went out and researched 17000 managers in 950 organizations through 62 societies. This study allowed for cultures to see there differences in leadership through dividing up the countries into 10 country clusters. The purpose was to increase our understanding of cross-cultural interactions and the impact of culture on leadership effectiveness. The first step is to learn about and understand the culture that you are in. If you don’t understand the people that you are working with, how do you expect them to understand you as well. Breaking the barriers and trying to understand all realms of culture whether or not your going to lead an organization, is something everyone should be invested in.

Another requirement of this class was to facilitate an initiative, which is an activity that engages a group in a fun and interactive way, while also teaching them about the many traits that build a leader. My initiative team had integrity which is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles and moral uprightness. To present this we had everyone get in small groups and played a mock game of “never have I ever” where they would snap if they have done this certain activity and then put a finger down. The questions asked were solely based on situations where you would use integrity. An example would be “Never have I ever knowingly let someone cheat off of me for a test.” Then they would get in a big group and clap instead of snap. Our goal was to see if there level of integrity was challenged when they were surrounded by others who may not do those tasks. Being emerging leaders, its our job to hold a level of integrity not just within our selves but with our followers. If we hold our selves accountable and create a trustful and honest environment, then integrity will prove itself strong.

In the end, this class has showed me all sides to leadership and what forms I may need to use in certain situation, where I can better impact and motivate my followers. It has brought me closer to my cohort and has showed me what I am capable as a leader. I was able to work on my public speaking skills and really task my brain on other ways in which i can better my self and others. If you’d like to see my interpretation of leadership, check out my page on Leadership Philosophy.

Political Science/Government

govAs I went into this semester, I thought PSC105L was going to be a dread and a pain in the butt, for lack of words. In the end, this class wasn’t a total let down. I ended up learning a little bit about the way the government works. We learned about the legislative, judicial, and executive branches and how they all function together with checks and balances on one another.The constitution was also a classic piece of history that we went over as well. We touched on constitutional violations during the civil rights movement and on the Standing Bear vs. General Crook case. This dealt with the Article 1 section 9 right of Habeus Corpus. to not be arrested for not breaking a law. This class has showed me that in order to be a well rounded leader, I should have a knowledge of some government facts to lead multiple audiences. Every person should have government smarts in the sense that they know their constitutional rights. As an American we should know the little facts that make us the country we are today.

NO, No, No!

A question was asked of us to answer in Leadership 200, one that was very compelling and has many sides one can take. The question was “Does leadership come form a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?” Once I read the question I didn’t immediately know what to say. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even get what the question was asking. Being the person that I am, I didn’t write this post the second we were assigned it, and that was for the better.

no2.jpgYou see, this question had stuck with me for the past couple weeks or so. It kept me thinking and had me applying this question to the things that I have done in my life and about past leaders in history. Yes there is this whole debacle that says leaders are born great and it comes naturally, but no one has gone through their life without a single no. Trust me, even the greatest leaders have been told no on their journey to being great. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was told that his dream wouldn’t come true, but here I am today, an african american woman able to be in schools where race isn’t a factor on my education or the friends I make. The Beatles were told no by a recording company because guitar music was on its way out, but now they have the most number 1 hit songs on The Billboards Top one hundreds. If you were told no, you probably didn’t drop what you were doing and gave up. You kept on trying to prove whoever wrong. This is where leadership comes from; the rejection, the questioning, overcoming standards and rising to the top.

Some may say ‘yes’ to this question, but I simply disagree because a yes is success that simply leads you to being lazy. You think you know all the knowledge once you get there and then you crash and burn and wonder why it happened. A no leads you to look for things deeper and drives you to overcome the barriers that were set around you. Once you break through you realize that you have to keep going because there will always be people telling you no or you can’t do it. Well its their time to realize that YOU CAN!

Fierce Conversations

As I attended Connections Conference, one of the educational workshops stuck out to me. That happened to be the Identity and Fierce Conversations workshop. It was put on by Stacy Jaska and Rachelle Stawinski. imageIt really portrayed how our identities really influence the way we communicate with one another. We need to break this barrier, and come out with what we are trying to say and not hold back. We must concentrate on the meaningful, beneficial conversations while keeping in mind that our identity carries a role in the triumph of being an exceptional communicator.

In these conversations as a leader we must step up to the plate and have these interactions with people. We must master the courage to interrogate reality, come out from behind yourself and make the conversation real, be prepared to be nowhere else except the conversation, tackle your toughest challenge, remain still to your instincts, take responsibility to your emotional wake, and finally let silence do the heavy talking. Those are the 7 principles of having those tough conversations, now put it to the test.

 

Can I get a Wolf Wolf?!

Great Wolf Lodge was the place to be the weekend of November 7th-8th. They hosted a conference put on by Central Michigan University called Connections.

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The host of the 2015 Connections Conference.

The whole thing behind connections was to build your leadership skills within yourself for the organizations you went there for, but it was also to build connections with the others around you so campus could be connected a grow together. This conference was a success in my eyes. Once we got there we were separated into institutes named after people who impacted campus and promoted connections on campus as well. My institute was Coles Institute.

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Asset Map for Coles Institute.

Within those groups we created an asset map that connects all of our assets together to show that they all coincide and rely on one another. Whether it was an individual asset, institutional, organizational, whatever it was we wrote it down. We can all feed off of each other and become assets for one another.

Throughout the day we went to educational sessions that branched off onto many different topics on leadership. I loved these because they educated you on things that will actually help you tackle problems that surface either when you’re in a rut, struggling with time, or conversations.

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Sarah Wheeler, friend from class, connecting our friendship.

Everyone would say that the water park and the pizza speed dating was probably the best part about connections because it was the time to connect with the people around you. With the help of connections I was able to see that our campus is filled with several people, and probably more, who are filled with the passion to make a difference at CMU. If we could bring all of these people together, we could make Centrals campus a great one.

I got A Spark in my Leadership

“Leadership is influence; nothing more, nothing less.”                                                                                                     ~John C. Maxwell

Spark leadership is exactly what the words say. You’re sparking and starting a fire in your leadership. Although some people may say this series was a lot like other leadership camps we’ve been to, I would say that they were right but it was different in a  way as well. imageSpark not only introduced me to different people here on campus, it introduced me to the many things I can portray my leadership into such as clubs, organizations, and volunteering. For me, Spark was an enriching experience.

Session 1: Apple Pie!

As we all came in,everyone was split into different group. My groups name was Team Motivation. We all were there for a common reason that we all shared. That was leadership. As the day went on we created our goals and other guidelines that we wanted to complete as we went through this series. My goal was to get more involved, develop more leadership skills, and to get out of my comfort zone. Our group goal was to build each other up, motivate one another, smile, and to keep our goals in the long run. Also, apple pie was implemented in that as well (group inside joke).

Session 2 & 3: Leadership Style/Development

I came is with the previous knowledge that my leadership style was spirited. To take the test again and get the same thing was no surprise to me. I like to get a group pumped up and have enthusiasm for what we are doing.

I am also on the considerate side as well so while I get people hype I like to make sure everyone feels included and has put in their two cents. While I know that being too spirited can get in the way of the goal, I know how to control the situation when its at hand and I’m able to work with other leadership styles to enhance mine. Some things I said I needed to work on was to think more thoroughly instead of just encouraging people and to speak up. I can begin to practice the act of time meaning using time to think through a situation rather than rationally acting on it. Develop a plan before jumping in is how I will continually try to reinvent my leadership skills.

“A good leader inspires others with confidence in her; a great leader inspires them with confidence in themselves.”     ~Raymond Dreyfack

Session 4: Culture

As we were put through a so called game we had to abide by our cites rules and not step out of the boundaries or you’ll be frowned upon. Several of us probably thought that this game was silly and all the things we were doing. Ever so often they would send a group of our people in exchange for another group of people from the other territory. laI happened to be one who went over to the other side and boy was it confusing. Everyone was speaking a different language and were treating you differently and walking away. As we reflected back on this game, it came into realization that it was supposed to resemble cultural diversity today and how people aren’t accepted for who or what they are just based on the way they do things. This brought aspect into my eyes in showing that its important to communicate and be able to learn world views so you can become widely diverse.