GVSU hosts 18th annual Leadership Summit

GVL/Archive (2014)
Amber Hendrick and Trudi Watson present their case study to a panel during the Leadership Summit.

GVL/Archive (2014) Amber Hendrick and Trudi Watson present their case study to a panel during the Leadership Summit.

Constance Turnbull

Grand Valley State University will host its 18th annual Leadership Summit on Feb. 21. The summit will host students from across Michigan, include many different workshops and feature a keynote speaker.

The event is a statewide leadership conference organized by 12 GVSU students, with little help from faculty or staff.

Graduate student Nicole Wilson is one of the students planning the event.

“I am so excited for what we have planned,” she said. “Especially the fact that it is a student-planned event.”

In addition to basic leadership workshops, the event will focus on other areas of campus life.

“There are five other main topics – social justice, personal development, professional development, student organizations and Greek life,” Wilson said.

Britney Clark Whitney, executive director of the nonprofit organization Kids’ Food Basket, is the main speaker at the event.

“(Clark Whitney) is a local leader, and we can’t wait to see what information she has for us,” Wilson said.

The event will start at noon with registration, and all of the workshops will start by 1 p.m. Over 40 presenters and four different breakout sessions will occur at the summit as well.

“In each session there will be eight different presentations, and we will host over 30 sessions,” Wilson said. “To manage this, we have over 20 volunteers.”

The maximum amount of people that the event can host is 350, and Wilson expects that the summit will reach that amount.

“Last year we reached that amount,” she said. “We are having students from across the state attend, including students from Baker College, Davenport, Grand Rapids Community College and many other schools.”

A key feature of the event is the Omicron Delta Kappa Case Study.

“This is an event put on by ODK to give students a chance to work together,” said Brendan Gallagher, GVSU graduate student. “Students will work in teams to try to find a solution to a problem presented. They will then present their ideas and solutions to a panel of judges.”

Winners of the ODK case study will be recognized at the end of the summit and presented with a prize from the panel of judges.

“This event gives students a chance to get involved in a hands-on manner,” Gallagher said.

Student Shannon Blood, the ODK chair on the planning committee, said this event is a great way to learn new skills and meet new people.

“I know it will be a fun experience for the participants,” she said. “I hope a lot of people sign up.”

Jacob Schacht, a political science major, attended and presented at a past GVSU Leadership Summit and said his experience taught him many things.

‘It was exciting to share information on leadership that was something I really agreed with and felt passionate about,” Schacht said. “The information wasn’t cliché; I learned many things I had not thought about before.”

He presented a topic on “Leading a Life of Influence” in 2013 and said he not only added to the summit, but also took a lot away from it.

“The concepts that I learned (especially about intuition and people relationships) have remained with me throughout my college career,” Schacht said.

Registration for the Leadership Summit is available now at www.gvsu.edu/leadership/leadership-summit-registration-88.htm, and is offered to GVSU students at a reduced price of $20.