Lead Team: LAS in The D

 

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A sign inside CASS Community Services, where LAS students volunteer during the trip.

This year I had the opportunity to serve on the LAS in The D Lead Team. This lead team, a committee of upperclassmen-Leader Advancement Scholars, is responsible for planning the annual service trip in Detroit that LAS Freshmen attend each year. The LAS Freshmen attend this trip as part of their LDR 200 course to learn about the city of Detroit and to put leadership practices, like servant leadership, to action.

Unfortunately, the due to an impending snowstorm, the trip was canceled this year. However, being on this lead team and planning this trip for the freshmen was a very growing experience. For the past 3 years, I have been involved with the LAS in The D Service Trip. My freshman year I was a participant, and my sophomore and junior years I was on the lead team.

What I learned most from this experience was the importance of synergy when working together in a group setting to plan an event like the LAS in The D Trip. Each member of the lead team brought with them different experiences they had on their trip or experiences they had previously as facilitators. While we each had our own experiences with the trip in the past, we were able to come together and compile a list of strong aspects of the trip as well as aspects that could be improved on in order for the freshmen to get as much out of the trip as possible.

Additionally, our lead team worked together to have one overarching goal for the 2018 trip. Many lead team members brought up that it would be beneficial to make the discussions and the reflection guides more intentional. During our meetings, we sat down and looked through each reflection question and found ways to make those questions more introspective and thought-provoking. Having intentionality as our overall goal allowed our team to brainstorm many ways to make this trip more intentional for the freshmen.

Overall, the LAS in The D Lead Team was a growing experience and allowed us to come together and work toward putting an impactful service trip together for this year’s freshmen.

 

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SMEA

smeaOne student organization that I have been involved in since my freshman year of college is the Student Michigan Education Association (SMEA). SMEA is a student organization for pre-service teachers at the elementary and secondary level. Our organization provides many professional development opportunities for future educators such as conferences, workshops, and speakers. Additionally, SMEA emphasizes the importance of community service so each member is required to do at least two community service events per semester along with participating in our outreach service project where we paint murals in local elementary schools.

Being involved in SMEA the past 3 years has been one of the best experiences of my college career. Not only has this organization allowed me to network with other future teachers, it has provided me with ample community service opportunities and professional development opportunities that would not have been possible by just attending my education courses.

KME Public Relations Chair

Screen Shot 2018-03-28 at 7.21.26 PMAfter joining Kappa Mu Epsilon, a mathematics honor society this year at CMU, I had the opportunity to become the club’s public relations chair. During my first semester in KME I found so much value in attending meetings and events as a general member I decided to apply to be the new Public Relations Chair.

When I first joined KME, we had no social media presence. As the new Public Relations Chair, not only have I created a facebook page for us but I also have been in charge of creating posters for our upcoming meetings.

Holding an executive board position in a student KME has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow both personally and professionally. Becoming KME’s PR chair allowed me to further network with other KME members, plan meeting agendas, create community service opportunities, advertise our club’s information, and give back to CMU students.

Student Hearing Officer Committee

cmusccAs one of the requirements of the Leader Advancement Scholarship, we are required to serve on a University committee during our junior or senior year. To fulfill this requirement, I served the Student Hearing Officer Committee under the Office of Student Conduct during my junior year.

This committee is made up of a group of 20-30 CMU students that undergo a 3-hour training about the process of student hearings and CMU’s student code of conduct. During this training, we learned about the discipline hearing process at the university level and went over many scenarios and discussed whether or not the student in that scenario was in violation of CMU’s student code of conduct.

Our role as students on the committee was not only to undergo this training but it was to also sit in on student hearings as a student officer to make sure that students were getting fair treatment during the student hearing process.

Serving on this committee has allowed me to deepen my understanding of university rules and procedure while also working together with fellow CMU students to ensure every student was getting fair treatment during their hearing.

HDF 110

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 11.12.04 AMThis summer I also had the opportunity to take HDF 110, a class about the roots of oppression. I took this class online during the summer because of my busy Fall and Spring semester schedules. Before this class, I had limited knowledge on how oppression truly impacted our society. I knew that there were oppressed groups, but I never understood how those groups came to have fewer privileges than other groups of people.

Not only did this class educate me on the foundation of racism and oppression, but it also helped me realize the actions I can take to help make our world to a less oppressive place. I learned that in the context of oppression, anyone and everyone can be a leader. You just have to be aware of your actions and how they impact others.

HDF 110 made me aware of the oppressive system that is in place in The United States. However, it also made me aware that I have the power to make a difference and to do my part in making our world a better place.

COM 461

Screen Shot 2018-11-03 at 11.13.53 AMThis summer I had the opportunity to take COM 461 (communication in leadership) as an online class. Because I am trying to graduate within four years, I was unable to take this course with my cohort during the spring semester.

I really enjoyed that this course was real-life application based. My professor assigned case studies that dealt with leadership situations in the real world. For instance, we discussed conflict management in the workplace and collaboration with colleagues. I enjoyed that leadership was discussed mainly in the real world, since most leadership discussions I’ve had in college focused mainly on student organizations.

Additionally, taking the course with non-LAS students allowed me to gain a wider variety of perspectives on leadership issues. In my course, there were student-athletes, presidents’ of student organizations, and even foreign exchange students. Each student brought a valuable perspective to our class and allowed me to see leadership in many different contexts.

I really enjoyed this course and it taught me many leadership skills that I will be able to use now and after graduation.

 

College 101

10386364_10204131116014504_3416938176415967577_nAnother RSO I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the past two years is College 101. College 101 is a community service based registered student organization that allows CMU students to impact high school students across the state right here on CMU’s campus.

College 101 works with high school students who are at-risk of dropping out. We coordinate with multiple high schools each year and arrange for traditionally at-risk students to come to CMU for an entire Friday. During their visit, we teach these students all about higher education and how it is possible for each and every one of them to obtain. These students often come to us feeling that college is unattainable and over the course of the day we instill hope in them that higher education is always an option, whether that be a University, Community College, or a Technical Training school.

Throughout their day at CMU, we give them a campus tour, discuss opportunities and Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.14.05 PMoptions available for them to attend post-secondary school. We also facilitate self-discovery activities with these students that help them learn more about who they are and what they want from their life. Additionally, we put on a “major fair” for these students and let them explore different majors and career opportunities that are available, followed by having them sit in on a real college-style lecture.

Being part of College 101 has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my college career. There is no better feeling than helping instill hope in these students that education doesn’t have to end for them after high school. If they have the desire to be successful and work hard, they have the opportunities to do so.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be involved in College 101 over the past two years and I look forward to growing with this organization in the years to come.