Community, Leadership Development, Uncategorized

Campus Grow

Campus Grow is Mount Pleasant and CMU’s own community garden open to the public. I am a newer member to the organization, but have loved the time I’ve been involved. Campus Grow is a heavy summer RSO, since our Michigan winters don’t allow us to garden outside in the cold months. Since I work for the CMU Greenhouses and Fabiano Botanical Garden, I became involved with the RSO this school year. I have discovered recently that I really enjoy gardening and being with plants in general. Being in this RSO not only allows me to garden, but it also allows me to showcase some of my leadership and coordinating skills. This summer, I will be the Summer Garden Coordinator. With this position, I will plan different gardening events, organize the plots and plot rentals, and handle the business and financial aspects that go along with the organization. I have never managed anything to this large of a scale before–Campus Grow has over 60 plots available to plot renters.

I am excited to be able to showcase the leadership skills that I have learned throughout the years, as well as educate people on the benefits of having a plot and eating food that your grew yourself. While I haven’t had much experience in this position with this RSO before, I am excited to see what the summer will bring. I am eager to create a bigger community of local gardeners and farmers.

…more to come this summer!

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Community, Leadership Development, Leadership Education, Leadership Training, Uncategorized

CMU School of Music Event Staff

As one of my RSO involvements for this year, I have taken the liberty of using my on campus job to count towards one of these. ( I have chosen to do this because between both my on campus and off campus job, my 19-credit hour work load, and volunteering at St. John’s, there isn’t much time for anything else!) Working at the CMU Music Building as a member of the event staff has been one of the most positive experiences in my career at CMU thus far. This job has taught me so much about putting together events, keeping composure at the face of chaos and learning to put others before myself. Not only do I get all of this professional development experience at the Event Staff, but the sense of community among not only the staff, but the entire music building is incredible. I can’t walk through the music building without stopping to talk to someone for a few minutes, or greeting one of the faculty, and I’m not even a music major! Being a member of the event staff here on campus is one of the places that I feel I truly belong. This semester, I am also training to be an Event Staff Coordinator (Student Manager) for the next school year. I am extremely excited to continue to learn about the work that I do, and to further build on this very welcoming and unique community that the music building offers.

event staff

Members of the staff at our annual “Event Staff Olympics”

event staff fail

The team after a failed attempt at a human pyramid.

Leadership Development

Connections Conference 2014

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Trino the magician and me

Connections Conference in Traverse City was nothing like I thought it would be. Even though I was required to go with LAS, I’m so glad that I got to go. It is a conference organized by fellow upperclassmen in LAS, as well as Jesi Parker, the co-coordinator of LAS. The conference attendees were all CMU students from different programs of the school. It consisted of different breakout learning sessions related to not only leadership, but also things related to everyday college life. For example, I went to a learning session about job interviews and another one about time management.

IMG_0945I had a great time at my sessions and getting to know a lot of people. We even got to watch a magic show performed  by one of LAS’s own. Even after the organized events were over, out LAS class stayed up late playing hide and seek in the lobby (until we got kicked out.) The conference was one of the first times I actually felt like I was really apart of LAS and friends with all of them. That’s really why I had such a great time, because it helped me get to know my peers and not feel so uncomfortable around them.

Leadership Development, Leadership Training

Mentor/Mentee Retreat 2014

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Mackenzie, Mckenzie and me, Awkward Family Photo

About the second weekend of school, the freshman (mentees) and sophomore (mentors) LAS classes took a trip up to Eagle Village for the annual Mentor/Mentee Retreat. I’m a freshman, so obviously i was there as a mentee. The trip was supposed to be like a get-to-know-you thing so that each mentor/mentee could build a bigger and better relationship. All of us were separated into about four big groups with our mentors. We each had a team facilitator from Eagle Village (my group’s facilitator’s name was Tim Horton) and throughout the weekend we did different group and team building activities, and we even got to go rock climbing. I was excited to spend time with my mentor, Mackenzie, and my “sister,” Mckenzie, but at the same time, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect since I really had made no new friends in LAS at that point.

The group team building was really great and I enjoyed all of it. My group was really great and we all got to know each other and had a great time. What I was worried would happen, though, did happen. Since I really hadn’t made too many friends yet, I felt really excluded at some points. The last night we were there, we all sat around a big bonfire and everyone was sharing their stores about how they had such a great time and made such great connections with everyone, and I just didn’t feel the same way. After the bonfire, people were playing board games with each other and stayed up all night out in the common room. I tried to talk to people, but they were busy with their own inside jokes and only concerned with each other, and I totally understand that. I just kept wishing that I could be out there with everyone too, but it really is difficult to make connections and bonds with a group of people who are already comfortable with one another. 

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My “sister” and me 🙂

Frankly, the Mentor/Mentee Retreat really was not a welcoming first impression of my LAS class. Although I did have a great time with my mentor and sister, I really just couldn’t connect with anyone else in my class and it was very difficult for me. I was never used to feeling like an outsider, and suddenly I did in my group of peers. Since then, I have tried and made a few more friends but it’s still hard when everyone else has built their relationships to such a strong level and you try to join the group. But I try not to let this influence my leadership in any way and I’m still friendly toward everyone, still trying to build more relationships.

Leadership Education

COM 267L

To complete the LAS protocol, the members must take the required ‘leadership’ classes. This year, the required classes were PSYL 100, Intro to Psychology, and COM 267L, Intro to Debate. I was unable to take PSY 100L, so my only cohort class was debate. It was an interesting class to say the least. There were many mixed feelings on the professor, and the las in general. A lot of people really didn’t like him or the class, but I didn’t not enjoy it. I was a pretty good speaker in high school and spoke in front of the school a lot and even debated my high school speech teacher, so i wasn’t too worried about the course.

The course was pretty much all I expected it to be, with the exception that I thought I was in a philosophy class some of the time because all we really talked about rhetoric and morals and ethics and persuasion. But we still debated and it was a pretty straight forward class. In regards to leadership, I really feel that my leadership skills didn’t grow at all like I thought they were going to. I feel I am a better debtor, but other than that, I am the same leader i was yesterday.

I did enjoy the class though and am glad I “had” to take it.