A group of nine Westminster College students attended a Summit on Leadership Development Conference (SOLD) Saturday, Feb. 4, at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
Westminster students attending the conference learned about a variety of topics related to leadership, including running effective campus organizations, practicing empathy and genuineness in leadership, professional development and making and maintaining connections.
“Being the driver of your life” was the most emphasized theme of the conference, according to Westminster sophomore Joseph Mbowa.
“Our relationships are like music bands. As a member of a band, your responsibility is to play your instrument to the best of your ability, learn new instruments, explore your potential and help your fellow band members, resulting in the growth of the band,” said Mbowa about what he learned from the conference. “Your instrument is as important as every other instrument. Thus, every person coming into one of your bands (a new relationship) may be coming with a new tool that may either revolutionize the sound of your band or undermine it. Either way, it is as important, only the latter speaks to a responsibility for the band member.”
Since the college was founded in 1851 in Fulton, MO, leadership development has been a hallmark of a Westminster College education. Westminster students are challenged to be critically aware and become life-long learners and leaders of character, committed to the values of integrity, fairness, respect, and responsibility.
“I was particularly excited about our group that attended because of the diversity in both year in school and area of campus involvement to represent Westminster at the conference,” says Westminster Student Body President Carson Pope. “Students in our group represented organizations such as the International Club, Campus Activities Board and Student Government Association.”
Junior Westminster students attending the Feb. 4 summit were Carson Pope, Dallas, TX; Fatimath Shafa, The Maldives; and Ka Ue Wong, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Westminster sophomores attending were Lydia Creech, Republic, MO; Kolbi McNutt, Skiatook, OK; Lauren Bell, St. James, MO; Khaled Khalili, Syrian Arab Republic; Aybark Bahar, South Glamorgan, Turkey; and Joseph Mbowa, Swaziland.
The keynote speaker at the conference was entertainer and song writer Jason LaVasseur, the most awarded musical performer in the history of campus entertainment. LaVasseur has received a total of 17 awards from Campus Activities Magazine, the National Association for Campus Activities and the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities.
SOLD follows the traditional leadership conference model, featuring an opening and closing keynote speaker as well as two educational breakout sessions. A leadership exchange was also held so like groups/issues such residential life groups, community service groups and student newspaper groups could get together and exchange ideas.