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Chancellor's academy empowers students for success

April 10, 2012

ECU News Services and
Chris Stansbury, Academic & Student Affairs

East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard urged the first class of the ECU Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy to make leadership a part of their daily lives during a March 28 ceremony on campus.
Ballard spoke in honor of the students’ graduation from the semester-long academy that focused on enhancing leadership skills. “Keep it up, talk about leadership, live leadership, share what leadership means to your friends. In short, just do it,” he said.
The group met nine times from Jan. 19 through March 28. In those meetings, university administrators and scholars presented on topics such as leadership defined, leadership styles, leading ethically, leading through cultural lenses, leading as a follower and creating a leadership plan.
Provost Marilyn Sheerer, Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy and EC Scholar Bruce Pittman also spoke at the graduation ceremony.
“Leadership is a very difficult thing to master,” Hardy said. “At East Carolina we say we are the leadership university. The Chancellor’s Student Leadership Academy is a tangible way for us to provide these necessary attributes to students. In essence we are empowering them to walk the walk.”
“Students are going to need to be able to do that in their lives. This program gets them on the right path for leadership success,” Hardy said.

Several of the graduates shared the key message they will take away from the leadership academy. Their comments follow.

Kyle Smithwick
Senior political science major

"Leadership is about caring for other people. The question should be for leadership, how can you serve others? Leadership and service are very much connected.

Jamie Wheeler
Junior majoring in geography

"...a lot of times leaders will wear masks, called masks of silence. are not sure whether to speak or not, you may wear the mask of silence.... To be an effective leader, you must take the mask off and stand up for what you believe in..."

Karley Spears
Sophomore elementary education major

"I have seen it from the people who spoke with us, that they have a passion for leadership. Leaders somehow find a passion to lead others and have success, and I want to have that passion too."

John Patterson
Sophomore psychology major

"You have to have a good knowledge of yourself. You have to understand who you are and what drives you. That needs to be your motivation to be a good leader."

Ann Schafer
Junior theatre major

"I was really surprised to hear it but it is absolutely true, caring is the root of leadership. You must be able to think of others and understand where they are from, what they are about and who they are. If you can understand that, you can be a good leader."

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