Leadership Series 2012: A Catalyst for Leaders

Dana Cairns fills out a handout given during one of the leadership events hosted in Krasa. Photo by Sarah Jaber.

by  Aaron Youngblood


For the month of March, the Student Success Center, through the efforts of Joan Henehan, director of student engagement and leadership development, has initiated a Leadership Series that encourage students to become strong leaders.

Henehan began the new month-long initiative because she feels there is a strong presence of leaders on campus who are unsure of their leadership capabilities.

“I think we have great leaders already and I feel that by giving them more of a chance to develop those leadership skills and to have an understanding and identifying the leadership and potential they have,” said Henehan.

Through her experiences at BenU, Henehan says she has seen the need for programs that foster leadership.

“I feel that every student has the potential to be a leader in their own way. Some people are just reserved and not comfortable jumping up because they don’t know how. They don’t know where to get involved,” Henehan added.

She emphasizes to students that leaders come in all forms. “There are very different leadership styles and different approaches,” said Henehan.

The series is dedicated to promoting growth in leadership not only on campus but throughout life. “Mostly, I want students to understand different leadership skills so that when they leave Benedictine, they are productive, marketable and highly employable professionals that are seen as the best of the best,” Henehan continued.

“Leadership is a lifelong learning process and we learn it every day,” she shared.

Along with making students more prepared for the job market, Henehan also hopes to build personal confidence in students.

“By doing this, I hope students come away with a better confidence about themselves realizing that whatever role they take, they can make a difference on campus,” said Henehan.

The Leadership Series began Mar. 1 and continues every Thursday of the month at 6:30p.m. Henehan found various speakers for the events which include alumni, students of the Masters of Leadership program and faculty and staff.

The most recent installment of the series on March 8 featured two alumni: Jake Chaney, who is also a staff member at BenU and Stefan Turcic. The two alum encouraged students to be continuously active on campus to develop leadership skills.

“Getting involved on campus allows students to find out more about themselves and how they can make a difference,” shares Turcic. “This new series is a great opportunity for any students to gain insights on their leadership abilities.”

The structure of the series encourages participants to work with others to network and meet people who are also interested in becoming leaders.

Students who participate in the series have found it to be beneficial.

“I thought being a leader only meant taking charge and accepting responsibility, but from the series I see it’s more than that,” said senior Idris Shokunbi. “Being a leader is about recognizing leadership skills of others and working to accomplish something meaningful.”

“The leadership series provides a wonderful opportunity for students to develop and expand their leadership skills. It also provides students with a chance to understand their leadership style and mold the types of leaders we are,” commented sophomore Harjot Sangha.

According to Henehan, the series is the starting point for a leadership program planned for the fall.