Student leadership opportunities abound through distinctive programs on campus

At Gettysburg College, students are taking advantage of a variety of leadership positions. Some are team captains; others are club presidents or peer learning associates. This year, many students are strengthening their leadership potential through participation in programs offered by the Eisenhower Institute, Garthwait Leadership Center, and Civil War Institute.

Eisenhower Institute

The Eisenhower Institute (EI) Undergraduate Fellows program offers a select group of Gettysburg College students the chance to develop their leadership skills and grow in their knowledge and understanding of public policy. Fellows serve on the EI's College Advisory Council, act as liaisons for Institute events, and serve as hosts for campus visitors. Students engage in the planning and promotion of specific programs and projects, and are responsible for selecting, developing, and promoting a public policy theme with programming in both Washington and Gettysburg. This semester’s team organized eight unique panels to discuss the 2012 Presidential Election.

EI Fellows

Current Undergraduate Fellows include (pictured above, with Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw and guest speaker Anne Kornblut): Anthony Palmer ‘13, Katelyn Stauffer ‘13, Nicholas Jesteadt ‘13,  Alexandra Papada ‘13, Colin Gorman ‘13, Brencis Navia ‘13, David Wemer ‘14, and Rose Kane ‘13.

For David Wemer, the experience has highlighted the importance of teamwork and communication for leadership. He has enjoyed interacting with the other fellows and also with experts in the field of public policy.

“By far, my favorite aspect of the fellowship is the interaction we get to have with public policy experts,” Wemer said. “From having a private lunch with Carl Cannon of Real Clear Politics, to meeting the White House Fellows, to attending a retirement party for a Pennsylvania State Senator, the opportunities to meet amazing people have been a real highlight of the fellowship.”

Garthwait Leadership Center

The Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC) Leadership Mentors program is geared specifically toward helping students hone their leadership skills. Students selected to serve as leadership mentors are responsible for acting as Project Leads for at least 1-2 programs of their choice throughout the year. Mentors design and implement all GLC programs and services and serve as peer educators to their classmates. This responsibility includes providing support and resources to students and clubs/organizations interested in leadership development or becoming more involved in campus life.

Leadership Mentors

This year’s leadership mentors include (pictured above, from left to right): Jo Evans ‘14, Meg Royer ‘15, Samir Lalvani ‘13, Sarah Fodero ‘13, Megan Bailey ‘14, David Gilmore ‘14, Colin Pryor ‘13, Andy Mello ‘13, Allan Kawala ‘13, Matt Maynard ‘14, and Jesse DeMartino ‘15.

Through working with the other GLC mentors, Meg Royer has gained confidence in her abilities and is more comfortable speaking in public and expressing her opinions. She credits her experience with the GLC as influential in helping her develop a number of useful skills.

“The GLC helps my networking skills because I deal with alumni for a number of projects. My facilitation skills are continuing to develop as I help with more workshops and receive feedback from GLC Director Andy Hughes or my fellow leadership mentors,” Royer said.

Civil War Institute

Students interested in developing their knowledge of the Civil War alongside their leadership skills can participate in the Civil War Institute (CWI) Undergraduate Fellows program. This program allows students to expand their academic experiences while developing professional skills.  Fellows have the opportunity to meet some of the top scholars in the field while assisting with research initiatives and event planning.

Some fellows work in the CWI office, while others research and write historical narratives for the Gettysburg Compiler, a website designed to be a virtual bridge between student research and the public. Fellows also help coordinate lectures and events sponsored by the CWI.

CWI Fellows

Current fellows include (pictured above, from left to right): Val Merlina ‘14, Emma Murphy ‘15, Harry Fones ‘15, Gabriella Hornbeck ‘13, Michele Seabrook ‘14, Rebekah Oakes ‘13, Heather Clancy ‘15, Tricia Runzel ‘13, Kathryn Rettig ‘15, and Kristin Trout ‘15. Fellows not pictured: Alex Barlowe ‘14, James Beck ‘13, Andrew Bothwell ‘13, Andrew Ewing ’13, Drew Hoffman ‘15, Brian Johnson ‘14, Sarah Johnson ‘15, Samuel Larson ‘13, Avery Lentz ‘14, Frank Poalillo ‘13, Tiffany Santulli ‘13, Natalie Sherif ‘14, Katelyn Stauffer ‘13, Logan Tapscott ‘14, Alexandra Ward ‘14, and Emily Weinick ‘13.

For Oakes, writing for the Gettysburg Compiler has been an especially meaningful experience, and has allowed her to strengthen her research and leadership skills. Fellows are responsible for finding their own topics, setting their own deadlines, and turning their research into concise, readable and interesting blogs.

“Professor Ian Isherwood is extraordinarily helpful as our editor, but he also leaves a lot of the decision making to the students. [The Gettysburg Compiler] is a fantastic way for students interested in the Civil War to develop their research and writing skills while opening a dialogue with the general public,” Oakes said.

Her latest post on the Gettysburg Compiler, “All Roads to Gettysburg: the 75th Anniversary,” examines the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1938. Oakes recalls the moment her first blog post went up online as her favorite experience as a CWI fellow thus far. She remembers how she felt watching the number of views on the page increase.

“I knew that people were actually reading what I'd written, and that was a great feeling,” Oakes said.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Article by: Liz Williams '13, communications & marketing intern

Posted: Sun, 28 Oct 2012

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