LEAD 101 prepares first-year students for the future

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LEAD 101 prepares first-year students for the future

Leadership Development Programs have been a Fairfield University tradition for almost 20 years and offer leadership development training and skill building for first-year students, sophomores, and juniors through many different programs.


This semester, 74 first-year students have elected to participate in one of four LEAD 101: Redefining Leadership Seminars being facilitated by Tyler McClain, Assistant Director of Student Programs and Leadership Development; Stephanie Grejtak, Assistant Director of Career Planning Center; and Meredith Smith, Area Coordinator in Residence Life.

‌‌During this 14-week program, students will practice reflective journal techniques about their experience, utilize the Clifton StrengthsFinder “StrenghtsQuest” and MBTI, refine their understanding of how they practice leadership within communities for which they are a current member (including clubs/organizations and civic communities) and develop sound presentation skills for their future careers.

This program also includes a one-day retreat to develop a stronger connection between the participants in the program, as well as engage the program members in experiential learning and personal development activities centered on the leadership topics of teambuilding, strengths, trust building, and commitment to community.

At the end of the semester, students will present a leadership portfolio that will include what they have learned about themselves as a leader, what they stand for, and a synthesis of their perspectives on leadership as well as at least one or two commitments to areas that they wish to develop or improve upon personally as a leader.

‌Additionally, six students were selected to participate in the Leadership Fellows Program. Leadership Fellows are responsible for supporting leadership development initiatives within the Office of Student Programs & Leadership Development. Specifically they will be charged with planning and implementing leadership development focus groups, workshops, presentations, marketing, social media, and supporting LEAD 101: Redefining Leadership. Fellows will be educated in a multitude of areas related to leadership development, including but ‌not limited to, StrengthsQuest, MBTI, relational leadership, ethical leadership, group facilitation, social justice, and civic engagement.

More information regarding these programs and other leadership development opportunities can be found at www.fairfield.edu/leadership.

Student Experiences

This program gave me the opportunity to meet new people. At the retreat I met my two best friends who I will be rooming with next year. It has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and put myself in situations I never would have the first semester. This program was an opportunity for me to learn more about myself and others. Tayler Goldstein ’16, Mechanical Engineering Major

This leadership program was one of the greatest experiences that I could have possibly had as an incoming freshman.  It really helped me make new friends and meet people that were also interested in leadership opportunities.  It has taught me about what it means to be a true leader, as well as, how different styles of leadership can be successful.  This program has helped me refine my skills as a leader, and ultimately helped me achieve my goal of becoming a Resident Assistant.  I would recommend that everybody interested in a leadership position take this class. It is a great opportunity to really step forward and become more successful in all areas of life. David Neubauer ’16, Biology Major

This leadership program sponsored by Fairfield University is a wonderful idea and a valuable experience to me, as a freshman at this school. I admit I was a little concerned going into the program, as I felt that many others had much more experience in leading than I did. However, upon learning more about the program and its principles I realized that it took all different types of people to become great leaders. The classroom interaction was important in the peer learning process; gaining knowledge from our fellow classmates helped me understand what I can do better to become a leader in my own life. I also really enjoyed the service component; visiting the Boys and Girls Club was great—I forgot how much I missed working with kids. The project coupled with the articles we read made me much more aware of how I act and what I think of when I assist others. Learning the 7 “Cs” of leading allowed me to explore and examine myself and what my strengths and weaknesses were. Connecting the beginning of the program (personal strengths) to the end (how strength plays into leadership roles) made everything come full circle and only enforced how important knowing yourself can be. This was a great program and I’d recommend that other freshmen take it to grow more confident in themselves and their abilities. Meaghan Conlon ’16, Finance and English Major

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