The Student Leadership Advisory Panel (SLAP) hosted the first Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Week from April 4 to 9 in order to raise student awareness of the LEAD program at Drake.
“This is the first time that we’ve done LEAD week,” said Hannah Bruneman, a senior in the LEAD program. “We wanted something that could involve the entire student body, not just LEAD students.”
SLAP is in charge of putting on activities for LEAD students and this year they wanted to go beyond what programming has done in the past.
“We’re using LEAD week as means to create events and activities for LEAD students and also to get the word out about the LEAD program and get other people excited about it,” Bruneman said.
The week kicked off with keynote speaker Jon Tasch, who spoke about his experiences as a former Naval officer and FBI special agent in Sussman Theater.
SLAP then sat at a table in Olmsted Center on Tuesday with information about the LEAD program, to encourage students to join the program, which is a newer concentration on campus.
The concentration was approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2010 and was implemented into curriculum in spring 2011.
According to Drake’s website, LEAD graduates will learn to “exhibit the confidence, competence and character needed to lead individuals, teams, organizations and communities for positive social change.” Throughout the week, SLAP wanted to promote these ideas.
“It’s fairly new,” Bruneman said. “I think at some point last year we hit the one hundred student mark. So it’s not huge by any means, but it’s growing very fast and very quickly.”
On Thursday, the LEAD capstone class held an event entitled “Stress: Let’s Talk!”. during which speakers addressed dealing with stress and mental health as a college student.
SLAP ended the week by sponsoring Free Movie Friday showing “Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine.” They also had a free ice cream sundae bar.
SLAP also collected money and diaper donations from Tuesday through Friday for their “Diaper Dash” service event. Donations will be distributed around the Drake community.
Senior Emily Larson, another LEAD student, gave a presentation during the “Stress: Let’s Talk!” event. Larson wanted to be a part of helping bring awareness to the program.
“It’s been growing over my time at Drake,” Larson said. “I think they’re trying to push for more student involvement and awareness on why leadership skills are important, no matter what major you have.”
Since the LEAD program is fairly new to Drake, many are not sure what the program is about, which is why SLAP hosted the week.
“It helped me learn a lot about myself. Mostly who I am as a leader and how I can use that to work with other people,” Bruneman said. “That’s what the LEAD program is all about, teaching you about yourself. It also teaches you that there’s always different kinds of leaders and people, and that not one way is correct.”
Larson agreed that the program also helped her.
“The greatest benefit that I’ve taken away from the LEAD program is the inter-professionalism that has occurred within the curriculum,” Larson said. “I’m a health sciences major, but rarely has there been another health science person in my LEAD classes, so it’s been a really great way to interact with other students on campus who are learning things differently than I am, but together as a team we make a really great finished project and learn from each other.”
Larson also said that the LEAD program has made a big impact on Drake’s campus in many ways. For example, the first LEAD capstone project did the water bottle project in order to help cut down on plastic waste.
Overall, the week helped spread awareness of the LEAD concentration and encourage all students to try it out.
“To the people who are just skeptical of it — because I know a lot of people are skeptical of it — just try it out,” said Bruneman.