West Virginia University at Parkersburg
300 Campus Drive Parkersburg WV 26104
Phone: 304-424-8203 | Fax: 304-424-8315
WVU Parkersburg honor students participate in leadership symposium at Mississippi State University.
CONTACT: Gregg Busch, Honors College director and assistant professor of sociology, 304-424-8253, Ext. 409.
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Six West Virginia University at Parkersburg honor students participated in a leadership symposium this month at Mississippi State University and learned as much about themselves as they did about leadership skills.
The students were selected to attend the Appalachian Leadership Honors Symposium which covered leadership development, decision-making, and ethics as well as team-building exercises. It was held on the campus of Mississippi State.
"From the experience, I learned that if you look deep within yourself, you can do anything," noted Clarissa Coleman, a Parkersburg psychology major, adding that she rappelled for the first time in one of the symposium's team-building activities.
WVU Parkersburg's Honors College students joined approximately 30 others from MSU and Concord College in the three-day program which featured speakers including Sylvester Croom, MSU football coach; General Robert "Doc" Foglesong, president of MSU; former Tupelo Mayor Glenn McCullough and others.
"This provided our students with a life-changing learning opportunity which will resonate with them beyond their college years," said Gregg Busch, director of WVU Parkersburg's Honors College.
For some, the symposium offered an opportunity to view how leadership skills can impact their future careers.
"I realized it's ok to fail because you can learn from it," said Adam Stover, a Ripley English major, who videotaped the experience to create a documentary.
"I tend to be an observer of life," he noted. "I need to be more assertive and try to strike a balance."
"This was such an amazing experience for me," added Chasity Rice, a Parkersburg student majoring in elementary education. "It's so important to always be aware of who we are. We lead by experience and that's an important lesson for me as a future educator."
The symposium is a part of the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF), a non-profit organization funded by foundations and companies, supports and enables young men and women from Appalachia to pursue higher education though scholarship and leadership curriculum. It was founded by Foglesong, a retired four-star general and a native West Virginian.
"At the symposium, I realized the importance of learning how to trust," Jaylene Dawe, a Marietta education major and student government vice president, said. "As a leader, it's important to trust others; otherwise, how can you expect them to trust you?"
The WVU at Parkersburg Foundation assisted with some of the funding so the WVU Parkersburg students could participate in the symposium.
WVU Parkersburg's Honors College provides enhanced learning opportunities, such as the Mississippi State symposium, for talented students in both academic and career programs in an effort to enable them to develop to their fullest potential.