Greetings from the Garthwait Leadership Center and welcome to the April edition of the GLC Newsletter.
Spring is in full bloom here at Gettysburg and campus activities are in full swing. I love this time of year, not just because of the warmer weather and the buzz on campus, but also because it is a time to be hopeful
Earlier this month at our annual Leadership Certificate Showcase, I was reminded of this sense of hope by former student leader Callie Fucarino ’20. In her speech to students completing our year-long certificate program, Callie shared an inspiring story of how her leadership experiences at Gettysburg and the GLC helped her to navigate graduation and the job search during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
What struck me about Callie’s words was her reflection on the power of relationships in helping her grow personally, traverse hardships, and work towards a brighter future. She shared:
“There are opportunities to expand your network and make new connections every day [at Gettysburg]. Because of my practice being comfortable in the uncomfortable, building new relationships, and relying on my network through my work at the GLC, I had no problem overcoming the challenges in front of me.”
The community Callie built at Gettysburg College enabled her to be resilient and remain hopeful.
In many respects, leadership is a relationship. It is through the collaborative work of a team and community that true ethical and effective leadership emerges, helping us to endure a challenge and lean into a hopeful future. The power of community is a core concept in the upcoming book from Paul Thallner ’89, Reinventing Resilience (2022). The Gettysburg College alumnus and GLC Leadership Coach is on a mission to reinvent resilience and his work explores how we can transform resilience beyond the individual level and build more resilient organizations. Paul is grateful for the Gettysburg community and is expressing his gratitude with an opportunity for GLC supporters to pre-order his book.
Speaking of building community, one of our most valuable GLC members who has been instrumental in building community on campus, accepted a new and exciting professional opportunity this month. Administrative Assistant Denise Shaffer has recently accepted a position at McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, serving as the Executive Assistant to the Provost. Denise has been a trusted colleague to me for nine years and a dear friend to countless GLC students and alumni during her tenure. Her deep sense of responsibility, commitment to relationships, and sincere desire to serve students are just a few of her qualities that we will miss the most!
Denise’s example is a reminder to us all of the power of connection. As you approach your leadership practice, I hope you find ways to build meaningful relationships and communities that sustain you and your teams for the future.
As always, thank you for reading and your support of leadership development at Gettysburg College!