The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Leadership Certificate offered to students

Director of the Office of Leadership and Community Involvement Dr. Carol Clyde motivated students to create their own definition of leadership during a special workshop Tuesday in the Service House.

Establishing a personal meaning of leadership is important, Clyde said, because by defining the word students are forcing themselves to become better leaders.

“Leadership is about a process,” she said. “It’s not just poof and it happens. You’re not going to come up with your definition tomorrow because it takes time and practice.”

According to Andreas Vastardis, a junior English major, it’s imperative for people to have different meanings for leadership because without such distinctiveness, leadership would not exist.

“Each person needs to have their own unique definition of leadership,” Vastardis said. “If we all had the same definition then there would be no leadership because then we’d all do it the same, and leadership is all about individuality.”

The lecture, the second of ten in a series, was a mandatory workshop in part of the new Leadership Certificate Program created by the Leadership and Community Involvement Office.

Certificate requirements include attending the mandatory workshop, which will be held again on March 27, attending five additional workshops, six hours of community service and submission of a two-page reflection paper.

While any SMU student can attend a workshop without registering in the program, Clyde said that students who obtain the certificate will benefit from being able to add the program to their resume and acquiring leadership skills that are crucial for success in the real world.

“This program is a really important thing because students are graduating with knowledge but not leadership skills, which are important in any career field,” Clyde said. “Students who participate in the program will have something to show employers and will be able to back it up with the certificate.”

Earl Shaw, a graduate student and assistant in the Leadership and Community Involvement Office, said that this program is essential for students because it provides practical steps for students to becoming better leaders.

Shaw described the process of comprehending leadership as a journey one must take in order to become a leader. To be successful in such a journey, Shaw said, one must practice like an athlete.

“Practicing your leadership skills is very similar to how athletes practice sports,” Shaw said. “It is key to continue to practice your skills to help move you in the right direction. As you understand more and more what leadership is about, then you get to the place of being a leader.”

Students who are interested in participating in the certificate program or attending a workshop can receive more information at the Leadership and Community Involvement Office in Hughes-Trigg Room 318.

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