New student involvement conference a success

By Molly Brauer

January 16, 2013

While one day of winter break remained for Dominican students remained, close to 100 students flocked back to campus on Wed. Jan. 9 for an inaugural leadership conference.

Dominican’s newest leadership initiative, Resolution: Invest in You, was hosted by the Office of Student Involvement and held in Parmer Hall. The program was developed as an opportunity for students to invest in their personal and professional development. Both undergraduate and graduate students spent the day participating in presentations, activities, and sessions that focused on topics such as leadership, discovering leadership strengths, and balancing the demands of leadership.

The program began as a simple idea for an on-campus leadership conference for students. Resolution came from a vision that recognized a campus-wide need.

“We wanted to provide students an experience to learn and grow in their leadership development,” Michael Lango, Director of Student Involvement, explained.

One of the highlights of the day was the keynote address, given by Jason LeVasseur, an award-winning guitar player, drummer, singer, and songwriter. Energizing the students and staff with songs and stories, LeVasseur spoke about what it takes to be a leader and the importance of realizing one’s potential and strengths. LeVasseur spoke to the participants, identifying them as “rockstars,” which quickly became a theme for the day.

“A rockstar is someone who is engaged in following what they like to do, and finds what makes them shine,” LaVasseur said.

“Jason’s energy and passion, along with his strong leadership skills, enriched the conference,” sophomore Molly Dettmann said.

LaVasseur’s goal was to instill a sense of personal pride among the audience. He explained that when the conference concluded, he hoped the students would leave with feelings of empowerment and a sense of self-worth.

“I want them to take responsibility to reach out to others and help them feel that way as well,” he said.

The brand-new program proved to be a big success, with positive feedback coming from both the planning team and participants.

“This went from a concept to a fabulous outcome,” Trudi Goggin, Dean of Students, remarked. “It really manifests what is truly a Dominican experience.”

“I am incredibly impressed with our students, who saw an opportunity to grow and develop. It really speaks to the high caliber of students we have at Dominican,” Lango said.

“It’s about [the students] and the impact [they’re] going to have on the world,” Goggin said.

Looking to the future, Lango believes that the conference was a valuable experience and is worth investing in.

“It could potentially be an annual event here on campus,” Lango said.