Hobart and William Smith are leading the way when it comes to leadership. This spring, the Centennial Center for Leadership graduated its inaugural class, honoring eight students: Kirby Benjamin ’11, Kiswana Browne ’10, Amanda Daley ’10, Emma Daley ’10, Dan Sills ’11, Elisha Law-Simmonds ’09, Cecilia Teye ’09, Samantha Tripoli ’11 and Yanina Wolfe ’09.
At the event, Provost and Dean of Faculty Teresa Amott recognized these students for their vanguard efforts and their contributions to the HWS, Geneva and surrounding communities. To earn this certification, these students had to complete a rigorous year of requirements, including 10 leadership seminars, 15 hours of community service, six development workshops, one off-campus excursion, the completion of a Community-Based Research project and two full semesters serving as a leader in an on-campus organization.
Reflecting on their experience in the program, these students will move forward as leaders with many lessons learned and a host of fond memories. “This program has provided us with practical information and skills in leadership that everyone will need to use at some point in their lives,” Law-Simmonds said.
Teye added that, “Being part of the HWS Leads program has allowed me to flourish even more as a leader because it has allowed me to evaluate myself and come to terms with my weaknesses as a leader and to work toward making my weaknesses become my strengths.”
As a framework for their growth as leaders, the certification program sets the focus of its objectives on five model behaviors of a leader: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart.
“All of these attributes are equally important to becoming a good leader,” explained Brandi Ferrara, Salisbury Center for Career Services Associate Director and one of the staff members who facilitates the program. “In fact, these five separate tenets aren’t really separate at all: from creating a climate of trust with Enable Others to Act to having clarity around one’s values with Model the Way – these five core leadership traits synergize to make our students leaders leave this program being the well-equipped to lead in any forum.”
“This program has taught me different ways to approach challenges and problems and come up with a variety of solutions,” said Amanda Daley ’10
Looking back on this year’s inaugural class, Ferrara explained that, “Throughout the course of the academic year, the staff who are involved in this program have watched these students cultivate their leadership abilities and continue to grow into engaged citizens as well as leaders on campus, in the community and wherever they go.”