Photo courtesy of Kristine Mamanta
Last Tuesday, Feb. 10 was the first time in the history of Seton Hall that student leaders from all of the schools came together in the same room to collaborate and learn from each other.
In that moment, everybody was there representing their school, and more importantly, representing Seton Hall as a whole. It was a landmark occasion and it is only just the beginning of the Seton Hall Leadership Fellows pilot program. For the past year and a half faculty members across campus who hold leadership positions have been coming together under the Seton Hall University Leadership Forum. The forum was meant to bring together all of these leaders from different areas of the university so leadership can be united at Seton Hall.
Michael Reuter, the director of the Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development and the Stillman Honors Program, explained that the team consists of various deans and leaders across campus. They have come together to construct a carefully crafted vision, mission and purpose.
“It is something for Seton Hall- displaying Seton Hall’s leadership. The excitement is to truly put Seton Hall on the map as a place where leaders learn. It can become real,” said Reuter. “The entire team is passionate about sharing best practices and taking advantage of the synergies that we all have.”
From this forum came the birth of the Fellows program. In collaboration with the forum and student life, spearheaded by members such as Maggie Bach, the assistant dean of Leadership Development, and Reuter, a new facet to unify student leaders has been created.
“There are tons of leadership programs on campus- what can we do together? How can we package all of the leadership programs on campus so students have one place to learn about all of them,” said Bach.
Each of the schools would nominate five outstanding seniors involved in leadership across campus. The Fellow program consists of five meetings: the first one being a planning meeting, the next three contain student-chosen speakers and the last meeting is a recap of the program and a send off. At the end of the program students receive a graduation cord and a certificate.
“We want students to come here and know that leadership will be a part of their educational experience,” said Linda Garofalo, forum member from the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership. Timothy Hoffman, Student Government President and Leadership Fellow, was excited at the opportunity to be a part of this program.
“Having the opportunity to work with other leaders on campus to transition to our next step in life is a unique opportunity that will definitely broaden our networks and is a great honor,” said Hoffman.
“It was exciting to see student leaders working together to achieve a higher goal. They will benefit from the opportunity to have people to connect with and share experiences,” said Bach.
Reuter explained that this program is not about business- it’s about leadership. There is so much richness on the Seton Hall campus and now it’s about creating visibility, according to Reuter.
Bach explains that her hope for the near future is to create a website that allows students to clearly see all of the leadership opportunities available on campus.
“Great leaders face walls in their lives. But it’s the greatest leader who finds the door in the wall,” said Reuter. “That’s what my expectation of this group is- to find the doors in the walls blocking us. We will go over, around, under, or we will go through the damn wall. That is what we will achieve.”
Siobhan McGirl can be reached at email@example.com.