SPECIAL EVENTS LEAD TEAM {A LOOK INTO}

As part of the protocol for the Leadership Advancement Scholars at Central Michigan University, we are required to take place in small teams that all help the Leadership Institute to have events. Some of these teams include Diversity, Grad Ball, and Polar Plunge. In this past school year, 2017-2018, I had the chance to be a co-chair with my dear friend Olivia in the lead team called the Special Events Lead Team (SELT).

I was in SELT my freshman year of college and it was a great experience. I felt I was able to meet individuals in other cohorts and also become close to people in my cohort that were on the same team. When applications opened in the spring of 2017 I knew that I needed to apply and offer the LEAD team everything I had to offer it. I was very pleased to hear the news that both myself and Olivia had received the positions and we would be able to work together with a new team.

I would just like to say how awesome of a team we had this school year. Every meeting they came with fresh ideas with a great work ethic and we accomplished many great things. During our first meeting, we put together values that we could think back on while planning future events and we felt like we needed to remember why we were planning these events.

These Purpose, Goals, & Expectations were as followed:

  • Purpose: To plan, coordinate, and execute special/social events within the Leadership Institute.
  • Goals:
    • Relevant meetings
    • Gain/build skills (organization, event management)
    • Plan meaningful & engaging events
    • Connect LAS Cohorts and LI members
    • Improve marketing
    • HAVE FUN 🙂
    • Try new things

 

Our lead team was still a fairly new team and had no prior expectations to what we were supposed to be planning. We were told that those people involved in the Leadership Insitute enjoyed traditions so we set out to start to find and begin new traditions. Our first event was called Ballroom Bash.

Ballroom Bash was a great success. There had never been anything, to our knowledge, that was like this event. This was a free fall themed event. Having inclusivity of all

PROMO FLYER
PROMO FLYER MADE FOR THE EVENT

members of the Leadership Institute was at the forefront of why the event was being planned. Having fun games, including Kahoot!, a floor tic tac toe, and cornhole, crafts, and season appropriate food and drink we had the perfect set up for a well-themed event. I was very pleased that our team was able, and willing, to go above and beyond to help promote our event. This included being the people in group chats to continuously send the same graphic over and over to let people know that this very fun event was taking place.

 

 

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       This slideshow shows a few pictures from the night, huge thank you to those who were snapping pictures the entire night!

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Now moving on to our last and final event of the year: LEAD on Ice.

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This is an event that has held tradition for many years within the Leadership Institute. This type of event tends to be more laid back than other events since it is ice skating. There was not a lot for our team to do other than promo the event to everyone they know. Our team made their own promo video which you can see here. 

We had a great turn out and our team did a wonderful job promoting our event. I am so thankful for each and every on of them and all they did to make their event the best it could be.

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These are some pictures caught throughout the night.

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When planning events there it is a 50/50 chance that it will either turn out great or turn out way wrong. Our team was able to host two successful events. Both events carried the same values that we had set for ourselves at the beginning. I loved getting to know everyone on my team and seeing them get to know each other. We truly had an amazing team and I am happy I was able to be a part of it.

 

 

 

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My Year as a Mentor

In just 18 days, April 20th,  myself and my mentees will be celebrating our first anniversary of the day I revealed who I was to them. I remember that I was ready to help these two girls I fell in love with before I knew them, to prosper at Central Michigan University. I not only was able to help them have a smooth transition from high school to college, but I got to become best friends with two of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I was able to receive two mentees, Natalie and Kate. I knew that having two mentees would be a challenge in many ways and did not know what I could possibly be getting myself into. With two people who are as different as Natalie and KateIMG_0154 are from each other, there was always the possibility of them just not liking each other and I would have to divide my time to them even more than I was planning on.
This was not the case whatsoever. I love seeing all of the different pictures they send me when they’re together and how they support and understand the other and her challenges. It warms my heart that I was a factor in their friendship and making connections when they came to CMU. I’m happy that they could both know someone before coming to CMU.

 

Although we were starting to make connections before the fall semester started, like at Natalie’s final choir concert and Kate’s open house, I feel as if we were able to really connect at the LAS mentor/mentee retreat in October. The retreat is an annual retreat to help grow connections between the mentor/mentee pairs and the freshman cohort. I did not have a great experience the year prior and I knew that I wanted to make my girls experience great so that they could grow from it and continue to make it great for their mentees. Natalie and Kate got together, on their own, and decided that our family needed to be extra and make capes to wear on the bus so that people would know that we were a family. IMG_0479This was one of many memories that I will always hold in my heart forever. I was so happy that they wanted to do this and let everyone know that they were “twins” and I was their mentor. For this retreat, I was the designated picture taker and I took many pictures to document this experience with my mentees so that I could look back and remember the moments we got to share together. We were able to support each other in different activities done at the retreat. I was able to help Natalie climb an outdoor rope course blindfolded. Kate and I were not as willing to do the rope course, both reasons because of awful fears of heights, but were right there to cheer Natalie on as long as she needed us. On the way home while Kate slept, Natalie and I were jamming out to some oldies on the bus ride back to campus. One of these songs included a duet of ‘A Whole New World’ from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’. This was one of my favorite memories.

 

Getting a front-row seat to all Natalie and Kate got to experience was a great feeling. I not only got to cheer them on but also some members of their cohort that I became attached to. I knew that becoming a mentor meant that I was a mentor to all, not just two people. I lived by this and my family grew and multiplied. I met these people through my mentees and I’m so happy I was able to. Not only did I help them when I was in Barnes Residence Hall, which was a lot, I also got to know and appreciate their different personalities and grow to love each and every one of them.

Being a mentor was a great experience. My college experience would not be the same without it. My hope is that the people I was able to mentor to are able to go and mentor others to share the knowledge they gained.

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What is a Mentor?

When I think of what a mentor is I think of a friend but also a confidant and someone to rely on in times of need.

As I am going into my sophomore year of college at CMU I am required, as part of my protocol for LAS, to be a mentor to an incoming freshmen, or in my case two incoming freshmen. My cohort was given a presentation on how to basically be the best mentor we could be. We were able to split into groups and talk about things we had experienced on campus and wish we had known that we didn’t know to ask our mentors. This presentation was beneficial and got me into to the right mindset going into the following week when we were able to choose mentees which was such an amazing and exciting process.

Next fall I get to welcome Natalie and Kate into my LAS family. For them I want to do something my mentor, Garrett, was able to give me which was a friendship first and then we were able to talk and look to each other for questions and help. I am so very thankful to have had Garrett as a my mentor, he’s had such a huge and amazing impact in my life that I hope to be able to provide for my mentees. I want to be able to be their friend but also someone that Natalie and Kate are able to rely on and go to with their questions or if they are having a bad day and just need a quiet place to go and talk or hang out I want to be able to offer my apartment just around the corner from Barnes for them to be that place for them to go.

My ultimate goal is to be a mentor to my girls that they need as two individuals. From what I’ve learned about them in a short time I know I am going to be absolutely blown away by what they are going to accomplish and do during their time at CMU and I am so excited and honored to be a part of that journey for them. I absolutely know I am going to learn from them just like they are going to learn for me.

Congratulations Natalie and Kate! Hurry up and get to CMU, you both have a lot of people waiting for your arrival!

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LDR 200 Reflection

This was the second leadership class taken with my cohort as part of protocol and this class was basically like LDR 100 2.0. This class took a more in depth look into leadership and took more interest in the philosophical, theoretical, and the foundations of leadership. We learned about the different theories of leadership and how they came to be. In this class we found our “why” statements, which are basically the motivation why we do the things we do. We had to think about our passions and how we could turn them in to purpose.

Our first assignment was a more in depth look facilitating. We went through a presentation about the “do’s and don’ts” while being a facilitator. There was more things about facilitating that I knew there were. One thing that stood out to me was not to ask close-ended or “yes or no” question while debriefing the activity. This leads to little discussion when while debriefing we are supposed to have a conversation about why we have done the activity and things we can take from the activity. The class was split into groups and took turns facilitating activities over a few weeks. My group decided to make a “Web of Goals”. We gave everyone a notecard and pencil and had them write their goal on that card, no matter how big or small, and then we started with one person and gave them a ball of yarn and had them state their goal and then keep passing it around the group until everyone had gone. By the end of this activity we had a visual representation of everyone being on this web with some shared goals and some different goals. My groups main goals was to help create a visual that there are other people who share similar goals and that we are all trying to reach them. There were some of our classmates who were not even aware that other people wanted the same things that they wanted and now they knew who to go to when if they ever lost motivation and needed some encouragement.

The next part of the semester was based all around leadership philosophy. We were able to write a paper about what the philosophy behind leadership was to us. This paper personally put many things into perspective for me. This paper was a step into the group presentations we would be starting.

Our next assignment was to do workshops. Each group was given a chapter in our textbook and told to make a workshop from that chapter. We were to come up with an activity and give a presentation about this chapter to present to our cohort. My group was giving Path-Goal Theory. We started out by playing a game called Mafia and they group had to work together to come to the ultimate goal and find out who the “mafia” was. Then we started our presentation to explain why the game related to our presentation. I actually really enjoyed having this assignment. We were able to work on our personal presenting skills, getting experience from making the workshops, and hear our classmates present on other topics instead of having one professor do all of this. This was just more leadership training in a class but also gave us more knowledge and history on leadership. It was a hands on experience that most classes don’t have.

HST 110L Reflection

Taking this history class was part of protocol for my leadership scholarship and I was very confused what this class had to teach us how to be better leaders. I soon found out that this class was meant to inform us about racial stereotypes throughout history and how it has shaped the world today. I had always thought I knew so much about history but this was a topic that was never touched in a history class I had ever had before, and I can see why. This class started out with talking about the famine in Ireland in 1800s and everything that had resulted in a large portion of the population in Ireland immigrating to the United States during that entire century and how people who were not American were never given the same respect and opportunities that Americans were given.

In our textbook there were different essays and some cases that were brought to court that we went into depth and studied. We would go into groups and study it for part of the class time and then present it to the class. Since this was a three hour class we were able to split up the different sections to different groups and get through a whole chapter a class. Then our professor would ask the groups questions about what they read and then would go further into explanation about something that either wasn’t in the book or something that we had missed and always relate it back to leadership training. It was very interesting to see how even hundreds years ago being a leader helped shape the world to what it is today. I understand now why this class was a part of our protocol and I know I have a better understanding on what I was supposed to take from this class. For me, personally, it was even more of a validation that anyone can be a leader. They do not have to follow some sort of stereotype, for example, how they look or how they are as an individual.

Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

Path-Goal Theory focuses on motivation of the followers that give the best outcome to the task at hand. This theory focuses on the leader giving motivation to the followers so that the followers feel good and get the job done. This particular theory defines goals, clarifies paths, removes obstacles, and provides support. These four characteristics work together to make the job easier on the followers. It also puts more pressure on the leader because it doesn’t give the leader the opportunity to put more responsibility on the followers. What I got from this theory is that it is supposed to make life easier on the followers, it’s not a very equal relationship between the leader and the followers.

This semester my leadership class was split into groups and each given a different leadership theory to present to the class. My group was given path-goal theory and while prepping, and even presenting the theory I realized that the way I lead is similar to this leadership theory. Path-goal theory has four key leadership behaviors. The first behavior is a directive behavior. This particular behavior is when the leader clarifies the path by giving the followers a clear road to success. The next behavior is supportive which is when the leaders really support their followers, even mentally, and create a very friendly and welcoming environment. The third behavior is participated which is when the leader encourages the followers to participate in the decision making process and also gives the followers increased involvements in the organization. The final behavior is  achievement oriented which is basically just restating that the fact that with this theory the goal is always kept in mind through what ever behaviors are being displayed.

An activity we did to better demonstrate this theory in real life was by playing the game mafia. The main idea of mafia is to figure out who the “mafia” in the group is. The town is made up of police, doctors, and townspeople. The job of the townspeople is to find the mafia before everyone is “killed”. We chose to play this game because it displays the path-goal theory very well. The townspeople, or followers, are needed to step up and participate to find the mafia much like how the followers are encouraged to step up and participate in the organization.

This theory is relatable to most organizations. Leaders generally want to make sure that their followers have what they need to finish the project successfully. Sometimes this theory gives too much responsibility to the leader. This can happen when the leader will just do the task basically without the help of their followers because the followers may not know what they are supposed to do and the leader just wants it done right, or the leader wants to take care of their followers.

After realizing that this theory does relate back to how I personally lead I can now take what I’ve learned and improve how I lead. There can be times where I decided to take on most of the work load but I know that I need to delegate and explain how things are meant to be done now.

Special Events Lead Team

Part of the protocol for the Leadership Advancement Scholarship I am a part at Central Michigan University of we have to be a part of a Lead Team. There are various Lead Teams such as planning for competition day ,which is when we get to meet the possible incoming cohort, and a Lead Team that plans a service trip in Detroit. I was a part of the Special Events Lead Team. When I first received the email about which team I was in it was called the “Fun” team, and it truly lived up to that description. We are in charge of planning the various events that bring the different cohorts together throughout the school year for just a way to blow off steam and just have fun. We’ve put together various events such as a minute to win it competition and LEAD on ice. From the very beginning we had decided that the common goal between the events was to bring the cohorts together and also so that we knew people outside of our cohorts and our “families”.

I think that we have done a great job for what we have had to work with. We have had successful events and I think that this is something that will just continue to improve as the years go on. I think that there is always room for improvement and that the team will continue to improve for as long as it’s a team. The team this year definitely kept out goals in mind and we were also very open to what everyone had to say during the planning process and I think that speaks for how successful our team was able to be.

I am proud to say that I am able to carry on the goal of connection between the cohorts as co-chair of the Special Events Lead Team. I think that this is going to be a great experience to have. I feel so honored to have been chosen to be put in this position so I can then carry on the goals that were set in place from this past year. I can’t wait to plan new events and to carry out the “traditional” events that are a staple for our team and that the other cohorts look forward to.

 

LAS in the “D” Reflection

On Friday, February 10th, myself and my cohort for Leadership Advancement Scholarship were given the opportunity to spend a mere 36 hours in the city of Detroit, MI. We were able to see the city as well as give time to volunteer in the city for non-profit organizations.

Starting on Friday we facilitated activities at the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy (JRLA).

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At Jalen Rose

JRLA is a charter school in metro-Detroit that was started in September 2011 and now serves over 400 students 9th-12th grades. This is a school that puts leadership in the center of everything they do, and that was very clear in how they ran things and how the students behaved while we were there. After leaving we were taken to the Quicken Loans building. Here we were given dinner and were able to listen to Buddy Henika who is very high up on the Quicken Loans pyramid, but in the middle of his presentation John Fikany took control of the presentation because of how passionate he is

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Outside of Quicken Loans Building

about Quicken Loans and how he was ready to give us summer internships and it was honestly amazing to see that he believed in us enough to basically offering us a really nice step into the Quicken Loans company. We got to learn a lot about the company and how involved they are in the well being of Detroit and how they want to proved jobs to people. You could really tell they especially like CMU students, they were happy to have us there and we were all very happy to be there. After going to Quicken we were able to go to the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA).

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Candid picture of Markus at the DIA

I wasn’t really ever sure why exactly we were going there until a week after when I was told the history behind the DIA. I throughly enjoyed my time there. The art was amazing and the history now makes me appreciate my time spent there. Next we went to the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center where we spent the night and also got to learn about how it had basically risen from the ground and had nothing but is now something that people travel from out of state to come to.

The next morning we were off to CASS Community Social Services to serve. We were split into groups, my group being the kitchen. In the building where the kitchen there is also a shelter there, which is why they need a kitchen. In the shelter there are three different floors, the first floor is for mothers and children, the second is for veterans, many suffering from PTSD, and the third for men. The kitchen provides three meals a day everyday of the year and week and they serve at least a 1,000 meals a day. One of my tasks was to shred potatoes because they were going to be used to make hash browns for a special breakfast where the veterans in the shelter could come and special order a meal like they were at a diner. This is something that stuck with me the  rest of the day. I have never truly been in Detroit and have only really ever seen the downtown area which is where all the work and re-building is being done. This was the in the outskirts and was in poverty. CASS is a non-profit that is focused on taking care of their people. Providing jobs, food, and shelter. This is so important to have in that area because of the poverty that has struck the people there.

So now, I would like to go back to JRLA and get to know more about it. I learned so much from this part of the trip that I will always have with me. I thought going there that we would be the ‘teachers’ but I learned more from them than I anticipated. Going to Quicken gave me a place where I want to definitely apply for a internship. I can see myself there and I fell in love Detroit from this trip. But CASS gave me the most from this trip. I am not sure if I would go and volunteer there but it makes me want to volunteer more and help those who are trying to help a community. I live near Flint and I understand what is going on there and I want to go and find volunteer opportunities there because I know Flint and I have seen the city deteriorate throughout the years and I know that the city needs some love and if I am able I should be giving it the love it needs.

Now I know I need to do in regards on how to better lead people. I need to be mindful of others comfort levels and to also make sure that I am not automatically trying to take over the situation. I also need to keep an open mind to new learning experiences. Everything is a learning experience that needs to be learned. But now that I have the humbleness in mind I really feel as if I need to volunteer more. I realize how much volunteers are actually needed. I need to volunteer more especially since I am so close to a community in need. Between JRLA and CASS I realize that I needed a reality check and to be thankful for what I have and the life I have and that I also need to share my fortune and bless others the way I have been blessed.

LAS in the “D”

This Friday, February 10th, 2017 I will be going on a service trip in with my LAS cohort. I have heard so many good things about this trip and I am excited for what I will be gaining from this trip. I hope to gain a closer relationship with my cohort and to also have a humbling experience from what I will be seeing and doing in Detroit. I am aware of the poverty that has struck Detroit and the racism that is still present. I know of these things from what I’ve seen in the news and things I’ve heard and seen most of my life.

“Leadership Institute has worked to prepare the next generation of leaders who will act responsibly to improve the quality of life, state of the economy, and communities in which they live.” 

This trip to Detroit is going to give us more of an understanding of something that most of us have never experienced and I believe that this trip will give us the knowledge we need to continue our leadership in our future wherever we all end up. We are going to carry what we learn on this trip with us for the rest of our lives. I cannot wait to see what I will be able to take away from this trip.

(This is actually my favorite mural in Detroit)

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