Conference encourages leaders to ‘reach’ for new skills, goals

Rare is the student who will leave Saginaw Valley with a diploma without having had many opportunities to develop their leadership skills.

One such opportunity took place on Friday: the Residence Housing Association’s Reach Leadership Conference.

Thirty-one on-campus residents participated in the conference, listening to a keynote speaker, having dinner and attending workshop sessions on topics ranging from management skills to diversity programs.

A committee composed of members of the Residence Housing Association, headed by secondary education sophomore Chad Koch, has been planning the event since January.

“The hope is that students will walk away from the conference having learned new skills to apply to their time now as students and in later endeavors,” Koch said.

Residence Housing Association offers this type of a conference for on-campus residents every semester.

“The purpose behind hosting this (and every other) conference is to assist students’ personal and professional development so that they can be better leaders in their various areas of life,” Koch said.

Keynote speaker Brian Pruitt, a motivational speaker from Saginaw, opened the event. He explained the difference between management and leadership: management is doing things right, whereas leadership is doing the right thing.

Pruitt also discussed four essential traits of being a leader: heart, attitude, confidence and courage.

From there, the informative workshop sessions were presented by Saginaw Valley faculty and students.

Tyler Bradley spoke about LGBTQIA+ issues on campus.

Zachary Eick explored various resources, tips and tricks to aid students in finding answers to questions, like those repeatedly asked on the Facebook group SVSU I’M BOSS.

Daniel Hill presented a program called “Get Crazy, Get Wild” to bring issues of social justice to light.

Evee Sampson explored diversity, specifically focusing on the power of words and stereotypes.

Heather Stolp spoke about management skills.

Ashleigh Summers, assistant director of Career Services, discussed the importance and interconnectivity of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social networking site.

The diverse conglomeration of topics presented was purposeful, according to Koch.

“(This way), students from all walks of life can benefit from developing as leaders,” he said. “They can then bring these skills back to their respective communities to meet their specific needs, whatever they may be.”

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