Recap: Annual Student Leadership Workshop–A Great Success!

On February 21st, Nancy Marks, Dept. of Public Health and Karen Alexander, Student Affairs, hosted the Annual Student Leadership Dinner and Training. With almost 50 leaders attending, evaluations deemed it “a great success”!

The workshop consisted of a series of group activities and discussions led by guest trainer from Tisch College, Mindy Nierenberg.  Mindy immediately made people feel comfortable and set a pace that allowed participants to relax after their long days in clinic and class.

The first exercise involved a self-assessment on communication preferences and styles. Students were able to gain insight on the way they approach situations and conflict in small group discussions, which were then brought together to the entire workshop.

“This was a nice opportunity to take a step back and realize how many aspects of leadership exist and the many different definitions of what a leader is. I throughly enjoyed myself and look forward to applying the discussed concepts to my day-to-day opportunities showcasing leadership,” Joseph Dudlek (D21) reflects.

After group discussions regarding several leadership topics, strategies, and difficulties, the students were able to work together in an active, team-building exercise. Students were randomly assigned into groups of 4-5 and asked to build a tower with limited supplies: tape, paper, a few cups and a paper plate. If that wasn’t hard enough there was another catch: They were only able to discuss a plan at the beginning and during the actual building of the tower no talking was allowed.  What broke the silence? Laughter– as groups endeavored to work together and build a five foot tower that would stand up to Nanc’s ‘huffing and puffing’ on it.

Vendita Correia (D20) states: “There is something special about people working together who span various racial, socioeconomic, and other socially constructed groups. In other circumstances these people would may not be grouped together and that is what was so awesome about this activity.”

Overall, the Student Leadership Dinner and Training demonstrated to many of our student leaders ways that they can improve their roles within their perspective organizations and through TUSDM as a whole. We look forward to next year’s workshop! (Pranali Vyas, reporting for Dental Central)