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By: Nhien Nguyen
Gwynedd Mercy University hosted the 6th Annual Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The theme of this year’s conference was “Respect for the Dignity of Each Person.”
The conference was sponsored by GMercyU’s Griffin Student Leadership Institute (GSLI). Students, faculty and staff were all invited to celebrate students’ accomplishments from the GSLI and attend various leadership workshops.
This year's keynote speaker was Kyla Sokoll-Ward, a TEDx Speaker, Coach and Mentor. Sokoll-Ward shared her experience of “not fitting in” with the college environment and how she overcame it. She advised students to speak up for not only what they believe, but also for little things in life. “Your kind words to random people you meet can have a positive impact on them and perhaps change their lives,” she said.
There were five breakout sessions hosted by leadership experts and GMercyU staff in areas such as human connection, career development, self-care, financial control. There was also a panel with alumni who shared their experiences in the professional world.
The second half of the conference highlighted students who participated in GSLI’s Emerging Leaders and Involving Leaders Programs. Students shared their leadership journey through presentations of their 2019 GSLI Services Projects. Following the presentation, Emerging and Involving Leaders were awarded with certificates for completion of the programs.
Next was the presentation of Exceptional Leaders’ Journal and Certificates. Exceptional Leaders Program is the third tier of the GSLI where students are paired up with internal and external mentors for guidance and insightful discussions about leadership. This year, there were five Exceptional Leaders who successfully completed the program. Students shared their journeys on becoming Distinctive Mercy Leaders, which were published in Griffin Leadership Journal Vol V, 2018-2019.
The conference ended with the closing remarks from the GMercyU President Deanne D’Emilio, J.D. In thanking the audience and congratulating the student leaders, President D’Emilio shared her favorite definition of the leaders: “Leaders are ones who inspire others to make a difference.”
The Griffin Student Leadership Institute (GSLI) is a comprehensive program for students who are looking to craft their leadership skills through interactive workshops that lead by the GMercyU faculty and staff. Each year, GSLI holds a campus-wide leadership conference where the entire GMercyU community is invited to participate.