Student leaders step outside their comfort zone


Tyler Judon

Students at the leadership conference attend several workshops to learn about becoming better leaders.

The fourth annual Student Leadership Conference on Aug. 8 and 9 was marked by sessions allowing students to mingle with one another and faculty to gain the confidence to become campus leaders.

The focus of the conference is to help students take ownership of their time at the university and become strong leaders. Cody Dallas, coordinator of Student Org. & Leadership, has been working on the event for four years and said many students send him their feedback and talk about how they have made lasting friendships each year at the conference.

“It really just opens a student’s eye up to what being involved on campus is really like and how beneficial it is to get out of your comfort zone to experience new things,” Dallas said.

Experiencing new things was not a new concept to Trumere Butler, who most recently came back from PNW’s Oxford-London Program. Butler, a senior double major in English writing and visual design communication, said that the most influential session he attended was session 4 on Japanese Culture (IKIGAI).

“It taught me to look at my inward passion and truly identify with what I want to do,” Butler said.

Butler also said she was able to correlate some of the things she learned during the conference with her experience while abroad in England.

“I found it very important for people to depend on other members of the group, not just our group leader and leave everything to her doing. Having other members know what’s going on and be confident in their tasks made the transition of being away from home much smoother,” Butler said.

One of the reasons Butler came to the conference was so she could learn how to take initiative as a group member.

Another like-minded student attended the conference to develop more leadership skills and how to work with group members. Jason Gray, sophomore HTM major, said he attended the conference to learn how to be a leader at his job at Chipotle. For Gray, becoming a leader is not just being in charge but developing a structure for a group of people with a strong foundation.

“A leader needs to be able to step into the role of the group and be empathetic to the tasks that need to be done,” Gray said.

The conference includes leadership development breakout sessions, team building activities, networking opportunities, meeting and mingling with faculty and activities with other students on the first night. Dallas said the event helps give students the confidence they need to succeed.

“It is also quite inspiring for everyone involved; as students can become inspired by the professionals they are learning from and talking to, and then we get inspired by all the fantastic things our students are doing and accomplishing in their lives,” Dallas said.