By Jewell Porter
Special to The Denisonian
Denison University’s Leadership Fellows hosted “LeaderSips” in the Roost, a four-day series of leadership development workshops from Feb. 25 – 28. LeaderSips, founded this year by senior Rachel Reed and sophomore Luchen Peng, is intended to give students an opportunity to gain practical skills in how to be more effective leaders.
Reed and Peng created LeaderSips for students who are not able to commit to weekend or day-long sessions such as DU Lead or Signature. They believed that all students should have the opportunity to refine their leadership qualities, regardless of how much time they can spare to learn them.
In the four days, LeaderSips offered four sessions that each taught a different skill. The sessions included “Effective Public Relations,” which taught students how to effectively advertise their organizations; “Cross the Line,” which helped attendees learn more about themselves; “Communicating Your Leadership,” which helped students learn how to articulate leadership in interviews and on resumés; and “Encouraging the Heart,” which taught participants how to recognize others when they achieve something in a group.
Each of the different sessions was lead by different leadership fellows. Tori Couch, Emma Bosley-Smith, Rachel Reed, and Luchen Peng all presented for LeaderSips. Attendees of the sessions thought that the sessions were helpful because the speakers engaged the audience rather than talked at them. The speakers asked the audience for their opinions on the subjects and allowed them to effectively reflect on their own leadership skills.
In these interactive sessions, students were able to discuss what they thought they needed to work on. The leadership fellows gave students advice and also shared things about themselves that they believed needed improvement.
Reed shared her goal in creating LeaderSips, “ [the program] teach something that [the students] could take away from it.” She wanted students to be able to apply what they learned at LeaderSips to their everyday life at Denison and beyond.
LeaderSips was founded last semester. However, last semester, the sessions were all held two weeks apart from each other in the Bandersnatch, Denison’s student run coffee shop. The Leadership Fellows changed it this semester to having it every day because she wanted students to “come to all the sessions and better understand how each of the sessions relate to each other.”
Students who took part in LeaderSips gained skills that they could apply to their everyday life, and that was exactly what Reed, Peng and the Leadership Fellows envisioned would happen in this program.