Students participate in Leadership Adventures


    Students spent part of their weekend developing leadership skills at Hoblitzelle Camp and Conference Center in Midlothian, Texas.

    More than 30 students boarded a charter bus on Friday to embark on a weekend retreat that would take them on Leadership Adventures.

    Takyra Morgan, junior communication studies major and co-director of Leadership Adventures for spring 2014, said this was the second retreat is hosted by Student Development Services (SDS).

    “The first one was last semester during Fall Break of 2013, when we did Leadership Adventures Bridgeport,” she said.

    Students who participate in leadership retreats earn credit toward the Leadership Medallion, an award given to graduating seniors by SDS after attending five leadership seminars or leadership retreats.

    The focus of this retreat was to develop students’ skills in self-leadership.

    “Last year the focus on the retreat was on how to become an emotionally intelligent leader,” Morgan said. “This time we decided to focus on teaching students about the art of self-leadership,” she said.

    Students who attended the retreat this semester learned about self-leadership through images, small group time and a high ropes course. The activities were intended to challenge students to go outside their comfort zones.

    “Students were able to challenge themselves and overcome some of the fears that they had,” Morgan said.

    There was no cost to participate in the retreat.

    Alex Adewunmi, a graduating senior and film-television-digital media major, served as a facilitator. He said he learned about the position through Dede Williams, director of the Leadership Center, who was involved in the overall programming of the event.

    “The thing I enjoyed the most as a facilitator was learning that I have to continue to feed myself with leadership opportunities in order to be a better model for others in terms of leadership,” he said.

    He said this retreat also challenged students who met for the first time to develop trust in each other.

    “It’s very difficult to build trust in 24 hours or less,” Adewunmi said. “These students were so committed to the retreat that they took a leap of faith and said ‘I’m going to trust my fellow peers and allow myself to be vulnerable so that I can grow as a leader.’”

    Karla Lopez, first-year mechanical engineering major, participated in the retreat a second time.

    “I knew I had been busy this semester, so it was a great way to spend time outdoors while learning,” she said.

    Lopez said the retreat taught her how to take care of herself.

    “I learned that it’s important to first meet your needs before serving others and meeting their needs,” she said.

    Her favorite part of the retreat was the high ropes course.

    “There were many people who were scared of heights and said they were not going to do it, but they ended up doing it,” Lopez said.

    The main lesson Lopez took away from her participation in the retreat was also learning about self-leadership.

    “Sometimes we forget leading ourselves first before leading others,” she said.