Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Randolph starts new leadership programs this fall

New programs at Randolph College will allow students to learn about leadership and service in a variety of settings, ranging from workshops on campus to inner-city food banks hundreds of miles away.

Amanda Denny, Randolph’s director of student involvement, is designing the new leadership development programs and service opportunities to help students at each stage of their experience at Randolph. Most of the programs will start in September.

For the past five years, Denny worked as the director of student activities, but the Dean of Students office created her new position to consolidate service and leadership programs under one supervisor. Denny, who has a master’s degree in student development focusing on leadership and service, is excited about the opportunity. “I want to help students realize their leadership styles,” she said. “Also, there are many service learning opportunities related to their academic course study, so they can learn while reaching out to populations they might enjoy.”

Donald Saltmarsh-Lubin '16, a participant in the Davenport Leadership Institute,
plays pool with a local high school student during a summer program this year.
Denny’s plans include programs that will help first-years, sophomores, and seniors get involved or stay involved in the Randolph community and develop their leadership abilities. Each of these programs will require students to apply.

The first-year program is designed to help students start exploring their leadership styles. The sophomore experience will aim to help students tackle the challenges that come with the second year of college. The senior program, titled “Keystone,” will use the analogy of building an arch to help students realize how to apply what they have learned at Randolph to build a successful future.

(There is not a separate program for juniors because they will be encouraged to investigate career options by visiting the Experiential Learning Center and pursuing internships, Denny said.)

Denny plans to continue the Leadership Challenge Program, a series of workshops she has organized in recent years. This is open to all students. She also will continue involvement with the Davenport Leadership Institute, a summer program that builds leadership skills and prepares participants to lead orientation for new students in the fall semester.

Students will be encouraged to participate in service projects throughout the year, beginning with the Day of Caring during orientation. But Denny will organize alternative fall and spring break trips to give students the opportunity to participate in larger projects. “Students can opt to be connected to the college throughout fall break and spring break by doing something really cool, whether that’s helping inner city youth in Harlem or going to Washington D.C. to serve at the central D.C. soup kitchen,” she said.

Denny looks forward to seeing Randolph students build and strengthen their leadership skills, as well as accomplish more academically as a result of these skills. “It’s important for students to have communication skills and to be well-rounded outside the classroom, and also take the knowledge that they’re learning in a co-curricular environment and apply it in the classroom,” she said.