How do you prepare for leadership? At Gettysburg College’s Garthwait Leadership Center (GLC), students identify and reflect on their passions and learn how to apply enhanced leadership skills ethically in order to make a positive impact on campus and around the world.
The GLC develops student leadership through the promotion of five core competencies, rooted in integrity and civic responsibility, and then places undergraduates in situations where their leadership training is challenged – an invaluable precursor to life after graduation.
“We aim to offer a wide variety of opportunities for any student to cultivate their leadership skills,” said Andy Hughes, director of the GLC. “It doesn’t matter if you are a new student or an involved campus leader, we believe that leadership development is an ongoing, lifelong process.”
This GLC belief is echoed by many of its participants.
“I believe it is very important to cultivate student leadership skills because of how directly applicable these skills are to working in the real world,” said Colin Pryor ’13, a psychology major and film minor who works hands-on with the GLC as a leadership mentor.
Leadership mentors help to design and implement GLC programming and services. These students are called to inform the College community of GLC events and opportunities, provide leadership support and resources for Gettysburg clubs and organizations, and act as project leads for campus programs and projects.
“I currently serve as a project lead on Student Organization Consulting (SOC), and that gives me an opportunity to work directly with various clubs and organizations on campus to tailor workshops toward issues these organizations may face,” said Pryor, citing conflict management, leadership transition, and public speaking as key concerns he often addresses. “In my opinion, the most valuable things you can learn in college are being able to communicate effectively and critical thinking skills, both of which the GLC can help teach students.”
Fellow classmate and leadership mentor Andy Mello ’13 shares Pryor’s sentiment toward the GLC. An economics and environmental studies double major, Mello served as a student coordinator for this year’s GLC Young Alumni Leadership Program (YALP), an alumni to alumni mentoring experience for recent graduates interested in developing leadership skills.
“Working with the GLC has been, without a doubt, the most influential experience of my college career,” Mello said. “I used to simply sit back and let others get involved, but now I [am eager] to participate and contribute to the Gettysburg community.”
Campus involvement is a staple of the GLC leadership experience because it provides students the forum to strengthen their areas of weakness in preparation for approaching career endeavors.
“I have become a much better communicator through presentations, facilitations, and other means of public speaking. I have become much more aware of myself, what I believe in, and what I value. I believe this growth and development through my involvement with the GLC will help me in my career, social life, and really every aspect of my life in the future,” said Matt Maynard ’14, a math major and leadership mentor involved with SOC, the Leadership Institute program, and the Leadership Certificate program.
“The best part of all is that while I am continually growing and developing my own leadership skills, we are helping other students cultivate their leadership abilities too. We’re helping others by giving them the tools to be successful,” Maynard said.
For students interested in becoming the leaders of tomorrow, the leadership mentors recommend Gettysburgians seek out the GLC early in their college career and capitalize on this unique educational programming.
“Take advantage of these opportunities because not many colleges have organizations strictly focused on leadership and leadership development,” Maynard said.
"The GLC has numerous events that we encourage everyone to participate in, and if you are already in a club or organization, fill out an SOC application on our website and we can work with your group around a specific leadership topic," added Sarah Fodero '13, a leadership mentor majoring in globalization studies and minoring in peace and justice studies.
“I highly recommend getting involved with the GLC as a way to learn more about leadership theory and develop your own leadership skills,” Pryor concluded. “All it takes is an eager mind and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone and experience something new – something that could truly transform your college experience from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”
The GLC, a distinctive program of Gettysburg College endowed by College Trustee and CEO of Cly-Del Manufacturing Robert Garthwait Jr. ’82, serves as an intellectual and experiential hub for leadership development. The program provides students and alumni with knowledge, experiences, and resources to be active leaders in the 21st century.
Interested in getting involved with the GLC as an alum or student? Contact the GLC for more information.
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 2,700 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Mike Baker, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6521.
Posted: Tue, 5 Feb 2013
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