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Leadership as a Lifestyle, Not a Position

by Frank Altamuro

Neumann University hosted their annual Leadership Conference on August 20, 2012. The semi-annual conference is for students at Neumann who are enrolled in the Institute for Student Leadership Formation. This Institute was founded on the values of St. Francis and its mission is rooted from servant leadership. The conference is linked to the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. Students who complete four semesters of the institute will graduate as member of ODK and receive an honor cord.

Neumann University’s Institute board members correlated on ways to enhance the effectiveness of the Institute and conferences. This year Neumann invited high school students from the Tri-State area to participate in the fall conference. “Part of the Institute for Student Leadership Formation is reaching out to external audiences. What better group of people to invite then the leaders from Catholic High Schools? I was delighted at the response we received. Hopefully, the Institute will continue to find ways to foster leadership in young people, both in and out of Neumann University,” says Sr. Peggy Egan, Dean of Students. Sr. Peggy is also the chair to the institute board and pioneered the conference expansion.

The day began at 9am in Neumann’s Meagher Theater. Frank Altamuro, President of Student Government, was the Master of Ceremonies. Altamuro introduced the campus ministry team for a prayer and reflection. Following this, Dr. Rosalee Mirenda, President of Neumann University, began the morning with a discourse on servant leadership. Dr. Mirenda emphasized the importance of self-confidence. She illustrated that true leadership originates from oneself and is prominently displayed when a person is serving outside of their elected position. To capitalize on this point, Altamuro introduced key note speaker Father Kevin Nadolski, Director of Communications and Development for the Wilmington Providence Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Father Kevin’s speech focused on hospitality. He narrated the story of the Good Samaritan and explained the importance of lifting those who have fallen.  Brian Forrest, Orientation Leader, stated, “I never realized my leadership abilities can be so influential. The connection between the Good Samaritan and servant leadership, along with comedic interludes, helped me grasp the concept of hospitality.” Ensuing Father Kevin, were student and faculty responders. Responders gave insight on their point of view on a given topic. Two Neumann leaders and Sr. Pat Hutchinson OSF shared the idea of the importance and urgency of spreading the word on servant leadership. Both high school and Neumann students then were intertwined in a table discussion. The groups chose a speaker as they answered questions on incorporating hospitality in their leadership duties. Tiffany Connelly, President of Neumann Media, said, “It was a great opportunity to connect with the high school leaders. Many were eager to ask questions and participate in the activities. Few were knowledgeable on servant leadership and were enthusiastic about expanding their leadership qualities.”

After lunch, guests were divided into workshops that were presented by Neumann students with the supervision of institute advisors. Workshops varied with topics such as Conflict Management, Positive Attitudes of Leaders, Self Care and Striving for Peace. Students from Neumann and the high schools were randomly assigned to a workshop in order to create a diverse array of leaders within each of the ten classrooms. “The explanation of leadership formation by the use of Alex’s Lemonade story and correlation exercises we experienced, made the workshop not only fun, but informative on the misconception of leadership solely as a position,” stated Richard Tutak, Resident Assistant.

Peer evaluations showed this conference was beneficial to both groups of students. “High school visitors came in with an open mind. This opened doors of opportunity for each of them. In my opinion, this was a leadership head start. I look forward to staying in contact with these students for the duration of the year,” added Jillian Harkness, Student Government Member. Over 80 high school leaders and over 140 Neumann leaders came together to support the vision of St. Francis. Neumann University plans to continue to build on the high school to university relationship. The goal is to continue to train Neumann students so that the message of leadership formation continues to spread in the local faith communities.

This year was the first time in Neumann history, that the leadership conference was ran by the students themselves. The faculty advisors at Neumann were pleased with the outcome of the conference. Collectively, they believed this message of leadership was pertinent and felt that students learning from other students was the best way to achieve a fuller outcome. Sr. Pat Hutchinson stated, “The biggest message for me was communicated thorough the attitude of the Neumann students. They were professional in every way – in dress, in outreach to the high school students, and in their manner of presentation.” At conferences, communication is the key. Sr. Pat added, “I watched in awe as our students reached out to welcome the high school students, to engage them in conversation, and to share the gifts they have developed.”

Dr, Rosalee Mirenda, President of Neumann University, Sr. Maurguerite O’Berne, Vice President of Mission and Ministry, and Dennis Murphy, Vice President of Student Affairs, oversaw the conference activities and felt overjoyed by the genuine connection with the students involved. Neumann is working to take strides for their January conference to match what was known by students as the most beneficial conference at Neumann in institute history.

Andre Gardner: a Virtual Visit


Andre Gardner "visits" NU April 20th at 2:30pm

Andre Gardner, a DJ from WMGK  will share his experience with the Neumann community on April 20th. 

Invited by Lambda Pi Eta, the Communications Honor Society,  Andre will be connecting live from his studio at Greater Media, to the Meagher Theatre in the Bruder Life Center at 2:30pm, as he works the afternoon shift.

Using Skype, an internet based virtual video conferencing software, Andre will talk with students, answer questions, and show everyone what goes on behind the scenes at a radio station.  The event should be of special interest to  CMA majors, but is open to the entire Neumann community — students, faculty and staff.

Gardner hosts the evening drive from 2:00 – 7:00 PM during the week as well as Breakfast with the Beatles on Sunday mornings.

This event launches the Lambda Pi Eta Communications Forum, a new, yearly initiative from the honor society.

Launching Your Career — Lessons From the Professionals

Industry Thought Leaders Give the Inside Scoop on How to Get Ahead in a Difficult Job Market


from: Collegiate Presswire 

PISCATAWAY, NJ– There was a time when the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” seemed like it presented endless opportunities. Fast forward to present day: getting a job has become a reality. Your mindset has shifted away from the most important aspects of the job search — such as how to approach the search, where to look and what tools you can use to get best results — to drudgery and fear. If that isn’t stressful enough, students are now making critical career choices in the midst of an economic downturn that is producing unprecedented unemployment levels. While the economic climate and the difficult job market are beyond anyone’s control, there are a number of things that you can do to position yourself for a successful entrée into the working world.

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional association, approached some of its most successful members to ask them what students can do to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Here’s what they said:

Take courses outside of what’s required.

With a daunting course load, there’s always a temptation to pad your GPA with easy, meaningless classes and avoid the challenges that will ultimately prepare you for success.

“There are thousands of students out there with good GPAs, so that’s not going to separate a candidate from the pack,” said Karen Panetta, Ph.D., Chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering Committee and full professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tufts University, Boston. “In order to distinguish yourself from the competition, take courses outside your required curriculum, such as graduate level, hands on courses, Capstone classes, and internships to gain real-world experience, as well as courses outside of your major to give you increased depth. For example, an engineer with a concentration in English would find these skills highly relevant when writing a grant.”

Think globally.

The availability and use of global communication has grown considerably in the past decade, and will continue to do so moving into the future. At the same time, companies are focused on expanding their global footprint, and to that end, face fierce competition in serving a global client base. Taking the time to understand what’s going on in the world can be as simple as picking up a copy of The Financial Times.

“Students need to understand where the market is headed,” said Eleanor Baum, Ph.D., IEEE Fellow. “Companies are truly global now, with teams scattered across continents, working in a variety of time zones, languages and varying cultures. In order to position themselves as ready to step into this world, students should invest time into learning a foreign language, understanding other cultures and/or participating in a global exchange program.”

Get involved.

There are so many activities that a student can get involved with — but where to begin? It’s important to send a message to potential employers that you take your career seriously. To do this, get involved in relevant organizations long before you begin your job search. For example, if you’re an engineer, join a professional society such as IEEE. This shows that you’re already taking action, and going above and beyond. Additionally, active participation in extracurricular activities and organizational membership will clearly differentiate you from the competition.

“Get involved in student activities on campus, such as an IEEE student chapter, as well as professional groups,” said Howard Michel, Ph.D., IEEE Region 1 Director. “It shows you have the initiative to do things and get additional experience, which can translate into real world experience on your resume. Involvement in professional groups shows that you’re taking your prospective career seriously, and provides a great opportunity to network.”

Taking it a step further, Michel warns, “Don’t join additional activities just to pad your resume — that will be obvious. If you aren’t going to invest time in it, it is meaningless. Do fewer things, but get very involved, especially in positions of leadership.”

Be prepared.

Once you have dedicated your time and energy to accomplish these things and bolster your resume, you have to be able to communicate them effectively in an interview, or else your efforts have been in vain.

“Be prepared to talk about the unique experiences that you’ve had,” said Leah Jamieson, 2007 IEEE President and the John A. Edwardson, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Engineering at Purdue University. “It’s up to you to create the opportunity during the interview to make sure that the interviewer sees the whole person, and not just the transcript. Have your elevator speech ready — a one minute synopsis of your skills, experience and achievements. You should be able to talk about how you’ve developed a rich set of professional skills that they can’t risk passing up!”

Find something that makes you happy.

In this market, people often make the mistake of joining a team that isn’t right for them, as opposed to selecting both an interesting job as well as a great company. Before accepting a position, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you passionate about this field of work? 2. Can you see yourself learning from the people you’re talking about? 3. What will success look like for you — how do you envision your career and is this a step in that direction?

“Interview companies to see if they are a fit for you. It is not just the company conducting an interview. Determine if a company’s lifestyle and culture is a fit with yours and if you can truly be authentic at work,” said Sophie Vandebroek, Ph.D., IEEE Fellow, Xerox Chief Technology Officer and President of the Xerox Innovation Group. “Above all else, make sure you are happy with the job you are doing and the team you are part of. With happiness comes passion and the willingness to take risks. This is key to being a great innovator and a great leader.”

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll not only be head and shoulders above the competition, but most importantly, you’ll be passionate about the career you choose, which will position you for great success!