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Leadership conference teaches important skills

This year’s Student Leadership Conference at Seton Hall University was held on October 5th. The 2019 student leadership conference worked to teach students important leadership skills with hands-on, interactive activities.

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Colleen Dallavalle, Assistant Dean of Students for Leadership Development, was one of the key organizers for this event. She spoke about the importance of this event, along with what they were hoping to achieve.

“The main goals of the conference is for students to participate in a dynamic leadership experience, explore and develop their personal/professional skill sets, and to create a network of support for our students looking to be leaders on campus and within their communities,” Dallavalle said.

She went on to say that, “the theme of the conference is ‘Inspiration to Impact’- part of our goal is also to inspire students to be agents of positive change within their communities.”

The conference began at nine in the morning with registration and a welcome address. After the welcome address, students could choose a breakout session to go to.

One of the breakout sessions was the “Student Leadership Challenge”. This session gave students an opportunity to work with members of the Student Leadership Challenge organization to learn the five practices of exemplary leadership.

The Student Leadership Challenge is an organization created by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. The organization works to teach people how to be better leaders, mainly through “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership”.

The Student Leadership Challenge’s website describes the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership as “model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.” Through learning these five practices and other interactive activities, students were able to learn new leadership skills.

The other session students could choose was “Inspiration to Impact: Serving the community.” With the help of the Division of Volunteer Efforts (DOVE) and Service on Saturdays (SOS) programming, students had the opportunity to do community service for the afternoon. After volunteering, students had time to discuss how the day helped them become better leaders. The goal was that students would be able to use what they learned from the day of service to become better leaders in the future.

This is the second year that the leadership conference has been held in the fall rather than the spring. This change was made in response to student feedback.

“When we did our evaluations previously, students noted that they would have liked to have had the information presented at the beginning of the academic year,” Dallavalle said. “We evaluate the conference annually and try to incorporate as much student feedback as possible as we look to plan for the future.”

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This year’s Student Leadership conference got the attention of many students, with one-hundred and eighty-three students registering for the event. Anna Plank, a sophomore accounting and IT major, was one of the students who attended the conference. She went to the “Student Leadership Challenge” session.

“I had the opportunity to hear a great motivational speaker, attend collaborative workshop sessions, and the chance to analyze and hone my own leadership strengths in the Student Leadership Challenge,” Plank said. “Not only did I become more aware of who I am as a leader, but I was able to identify specific areas for improvement in an interactive and exciting manner. I would definitely recommend for all students to mark their calendars to attend this event next year!”

This year’s student leadership conference worked to teach Seton Hall students not only how to be good leaders, but leaders that would have a positive impact on the community.

Genevieve Krupcheck can be reached at


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