PSC 105L


     I never expected myself to enjoy a political science class as much as I do. To be completely honest, I have learned the most in this class than any other class in college. The professor, Thomas Stewart, was one of the most interesting men, and great teachers I have had in college. He gives the Dos Eques actor a run for his money. He has so much knowledge that he simply brings up off the top of his head that I feel like I know absolutely nothing about politics. 

     I was never very knowledgeable or cared about politics in high school. Ever since I have been at college my interest has slowly increased. It started with the amount of my friends that talked about politics on a regular basis. Slowly, I started paying more and more attention to what they were saying and what was happening around the world. I now find myself keeping close attention to politics, having an intelligent opinion and ability to keep a conversation on the subject, and showing honest interest. I am very happy with the knowledge I have gained and will continue to learn about the subject. 

     I am very happy that I was able to take this class. This was an LAS class, but we only ended up with 7 of us in the class. It has been really cool to take this class with a small, close-knit group. We had an assignment where we came up with a plan to reduce the tension between cops and the black community. We ended up competing at an extra credit summit and winning. I have learned so much in this class and will be able to be more knowledgeable in the future when it comes to politics. 

Special Olympics College

     To this point of my college career, the experiences I have had with Special Olympics at CMU have meant the most to me. I would not trade them for the world. SO College is one of the RSOs I have been apart of at Central my Sophomore year. I started getting involved with similar activities in high school through Victory Day. At Victory Day, Varsity Football players each got assigned an individual with intelectual dissibilities to be our partner for the day. We got to run drills with them and let them run in a touchdown on the field. It was one of my best moments in high school and pushed me towards Special Olympics in college. 

     I have been able to do a lot with the SO College this year. One of my favorite parts is participating in Unified Sports. We basically go through every sport, competing on teams that combine CMU students and Special Olympic athletes. This year I was able to participate in Football, Basketball, and hopefully kickball at the end of the year. Being around these athletes is one of my passions in life. I love to interact with every single one of them. Competing with the athletes has brought about a lot of joy  and lasting memories. My favorite memory was playing a basketball game on McGuirk arena and bringing home the W. By simply playing a sport, I have made connections that I may normally not have had or expected. It truly brings joy to my heart. Another fun experience was getting to volunteer at the opening of Texas Roadhouse where we were able to spread awareness for Special Olympics. There are so many great things I have been able to do this year through Special Olympics and I am excited to continue participating next year.

My Unified Basketball Team


     I am blessed that a couple of my friends share the same passion as me for Special Olympics. Being able to do these things with your friends make it even better. I will always enjoy this type of experience, and I hope to continue being involved in some way or another throughout my life. I have had a great experience with Special Olympics at Central Michigan University this year.

Communication in Leadership

     COM 461L is a class taken with our cohort in the second semester of our Sophomore year. Out of all the LAS classes we are required to take, this class was the best class for becoming better leaders, learning a lot of valuable skills, and putting them into action with the leadership roles we have around campus. Our professor was so awesome and I highly enjoyed taking her class. The class allowed for a lot of conversations on the information presented in class. We learned the many ways that communication is a very important part of Leadership. We also learned that leadership needs communication, even non-verbal communication, but to communicate one does not always need to have leadership skills. 

     Throughout the class, we would have to do a reading every week. These readings consisted of many leadership situations and how they played out. They were in things like businesses, expeditions, and simply leading a group of people. All of these people had unique leadership skills, and some even misused or did not have the skills necessary to be successful. The readings provided many different ways that leadership can be effective and not effective, while also being interesting and showing great examples.

     I definitely enjoyed the class and learned a lot. I was able to expand on the knowledge I had already, and was able to expand on it even more. I think these skills will help me in the future with my future leadership endeavors. I will continue to improve on these skills even after the class concludes. I never have a bad experience taking a class with the LAS cohort and this class did not prove to be an exception. This was one of my favorite classes of the semester and I am glad I was able to take it.

Trials and Tribulations of Mentorship

     I was very excited to become a mentor towards the end of my freshman year. I was even more pumped when I selected Billy Chillman as my mentee.  Billy and I had an interesting relationship to say the least. Some of my favorite memories occurred at our yearly Mentor-Mentee retreat. We had an especially great time at the outside high ropes course. It was a great activity to build  a strong bond and trust to strengthen the mentor-mentee bond. We found a lot in common with a love for sports  and similar personalities.


     Throughout the year, we were pretty on and off with how much we saw each other and communicated. At times I definitely felt that Billy had his life together more than I did. He was from Beal City, a surrounding city to Mt. Pleasant, so he was very involved with his school and taking different coaching roles. He was also planning on graduating over a year early which was very impressive. At the beginning of the year I was able to help him get adjusted with the college life and get his classes situated, but beyond that he had his life together way more than me. 


     Overall being a mentor had its fill of  ups and downs, but I learned a lot of valuable lessons. In future opportunities to mentor someone, I will be able to take what I learned and improve. I think this experience was valuable to my developement as a leader and will stay with me for the rest of my proffesional career. I am so glad to have met Billy and have this experience.

I’m Not Lucky I’m Blessed

Deciding to attend Central Michigan University has been the best decision in my life to this point. I am blessed to be able to call this place my second home. I have already changed and grown so much in just one short year of college. I came into college not knowing my future and just about anyone here. That soon changed with my LAS family! 47 amazing people that I am lucky enough to call my friends. They have taught me so much and made me want to be a better person.

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I came to Central as an uninformed kid that loved people, but was clueless about the issues around the world. There is so much change that needs to happen around the world and I know my fellow LASers and I are gonna make a difference in the world. Saving the world, whether it be the environment (no more disposable plastic water bottles), going Vegan (meat is too good for me to stop), or just being more knowledgeable and aware. I do not tell everyone in my cohort enough just how amazing they are.

I realize this transition could have not been easy on my parents. I came close to commuting to a university near my hometown which would have saved me & my parents a lot of money  and student loans. After meeting Dan Gaken and other Leadership staff, my wise older sisters and parents encouraged me to go to CMU because they knew how much I would gain from the Leadership Program. Going from 4 kids living at home, to now an empty house. They have been nothing but supportive. They are always pushing me to do better and improve. My first semester was defenitely a challenge academically which I never faced previously in my schooling. I was surrounded by the support of Dan, my mentor, & many positive LAS’ers  who had high standards & similar interests which made the transition easy. I have learned so much and made the necessary changes to be successful. I can take everything I have learned into the future with me so that I can be and do anything that I put my heart into.
     I have been lucky enough to receive a wonderful mentor; Bellal, and brother; Nate,  volunteer and give back in Detroit, attend leadership conferences where I was inspired, go on weekend retreats where we bonded, listen to amazing speakers, meet the president, and make life long friends. This is only the start of what LAS has offered me. 

Living on campus, I have become a part of Program Board, volunteered around Mt. Pleasant, became an intramural champion in co-ed dodge-ball (with only a team of 6 against all teams of 7),  and lost the championship game of bubble soccer (we should have won if 26 year old nurses didn’t beat us :), fundraising and participating in Relay for Life, which is near to my heart, and all the future opportunities I will have to be involved in.
I was lucky enough to live in a Dorm where we are truly a community. Barnes has given me lifelong friends I will treasure forever, an important support system and many lifelong memories. Warm weather finally hits and everyone goes outside to hangout, do homework, and get a little competitive in volleyball. We stay up late writing blog posts, making cookies for competition day, going on long boarding trips (even though I am not the best), supporting each other, or just simply hanging out.

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Everything I have done in college has improved me as a person and allowed me to grow as a leader. I can’t even imagine my life without having such a strong leader & mentor in Dan and the LI. I now have a passion to make everyone feel special, because you do not know what someone is going through and even just a few kind words could have a positive effect on them. I have improved my facilitation skills which I hope to always keep improving on. My eyes have been opened and I have a new overall compassion as a person. Although Engineering is usually not common as a leadership fulfilling major, I am excited and will strive to become a leader in the field and use my knowledge for the benefit of others.

A true leader understands cultural differences and that every individual they encounter is different and can lead in their own way. If you know what is going on around you, you can be more effectuve in how you lead. I hope I have expressed the positive and life altering affect college has had on me so far. It is hard to put in words how special this place is to me. I am blessed to call it my second home. Most people say they love their college and the opportunities it brings, but I truly mean it. The campus is so inviting, there is a common passion to make a difference, and the focus on the importance of Leadership makes CMU so amazing. I could never write about all of the positive impact CMU & most importantly the LI,  has had on me but I hope you get the scope of it.  I can not wait to see what the future holds.

The Future Roomies. I am ready for the crazy ride we are about to have next year in Emmons with everyone else that is also joining us!

 

 

 

HST110LWI/History: American Experience


History: American Experience is definitely a course that made me challenge myself. History is my least favorite subject. The class consisted of many vocabulary quizzes, 2 short papers, two short answer Tests, and a 10-12 page final paper. I wouldn’t particularly say I am a bad writer, I would just rather do math problems(reasons for being an engineering major). I made the best of my time in the class writing my research paper on Jackie Robinson who has always sparked my interest. I did not learn too many new things about American History, but I definitely got to challenge myself and work on my writing and research skills.This being the leadership version of HST 110 varies the class a little bit. We would often talk about the leaders of America throughout the years. The thing I got out most of this is that while many of the leaders had similar qualities, they also had many differences that added to the type of leader they were. This shows that leaders come in many different sizes, backgrounds, and styles. Many of our nation’s leaders came from serving in leadership roles in the army or with state governments. I enjoyed learning more about some of the most influential leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson.

 

LDR 200L

LDR 200L teaches us about many different Leadership theories and styles. Any class I take with my cohort is always a great time and bonding experience. We were lucky enough to be taught by Jesi Ekonen. Since the class is specialized for our cohort, we have a couple bonuses added to the class. These include getting to talk about things pertaining to future mentees, protocol, and of course going on LAS in the D. I had a blast in this class while also learning a lot about the different leadership styles.

The class is mostly based around presenting your specific leadership theory to the class and and running an initiative. Other  activities include two short answer tests on the theories learned and writing a personal leadership theory paper. My group was personally given the Culture workshop to present  to the class. A great skill taught and practiced in the class is how to facilitate an activity with a group. Facilitation is a skill I had before entering the class, but I had so much room to improve. I feel that I have improved my ability to facilitate and still many opportunities in the future to continue upgrading my ability. I can take the skills learned and the aspects of leadership theory that most apply to me and bring them into my future roles in leadership positions. Any class I take with my fellow LASers is always a blast and sense the class was 3 hours long on a Wednesday(thanks Jesi for rarely keeping us the whole time) it allowed us to all eat dinner together.