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[Fresh] Fresh@News: Spotlight on Leadership


During this edition of Fresh@News, we will find out more about leadership opportunities on-campus through our interview with Ralph Gigliotti, Assistant Director of Student Development for Leadership Programs.  There are some great new initiatives being developed for freshmen that will benefit the student individually as well as the campus community as a whole.


Fresh@News: Can you explain how leadership development fits into the world of Student Life?

Ralph Gigliotti:   The Division of Student Life seeks to develop confident and well-rounded students outside of the classroom. By getting involved in any of our leadership programs, students are challenged to grow both personally and professionally during their time at Villanova. Grounded in the servant leadership model, all of our leadership programs and opportunities encourage students to take on leadership positions for sincere and earnest reasons: to enact positive change for those around you.   We are also in the process of working with several academic departments on campus to incorporate leadership education inside the classroom. By collaborating with our friends in Academic Affairs, students will be able to develop an expansive understanding and appreciation for leadership.  I am excited to have this position that allows me to work with many aspiring and current student leaders at Villanova.


Fresh@News: What kind of programs or services do you offer to the students?

R.G.: The office runs many leadership programs and opportunities for undergraduate students at Villanova. We host a Beginner Leadership Series in the fall semester and a Servant Leadership Series in the spring semester. In addition to the on-campus leadership series, we often bring in speakers from off-campus to focus on leadership in their particular industries for our Slice of Leadership program. We are beginning an Emerging Leaders Institute this semester for any aspiring freshman and sophomore leaders. Once you enter your junior or senior year, experienced student leaders can apply to become a Student Leadership Coach and serve as a consultant for various student clubs and organizations. Finally, our office will regularly host workshops and training sessions for leaders of any student organization on a number of different topics including recruitment and retention, transitioning, and crisis management.


Fresh@News: Many students at Villanova were involved in their High School.  If a student is looking to get more involved on campus, how can they get started?

R.G.: We are blessed with a dynamic and motivated student body at Villanova. Many students were involved in leadership positions in high school and can often become discouraged when rejected from a club or organization in college. My advice to these students: stay motivated! There is a place for everyone at Villanova. The Office of Student Development is thrilled to introduce a brand new program for aspiring freshman and sophomore leaders at Villanova University. The Emerging Leaders Institute is designed to enhance the leadership skills of our undergraduate students. We will cover topics such as interviewing, public speaking, time management, building self-confidence. Students will work closely with other emerging leaders through in-depth simulations. By identifying their unique strengths and articulating their personal/professional vision, students will be able to identify several leadership paths at Villanova. The Emerging Leaders Institute is tentatively scheduled for Friday, March 25, and we will provide students with transportation to the program at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Conference Center in Bryn Mawr. More information will be available by mid-February on our leadership website (http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/studentlife/lifeatvu/leadership.html). Please e-mail me at ralph.gigliotti@villanova.edu with any questions.


Fresh@News: Your office is sponsoring a talk about leadership by Bob Woodward on February 14.  He is quite an important figure in recent American history. What will he talk with Villanova students about?

R.G.: Bob Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post, is regarded as one of America’s preeminent investigative reporters and non-fiction authors. Mr. Woodward has authored or coauthored 16 national bestselling books and he is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes for his coverage of the Watergate scandal and September 11. Mr. Woodward's presentation will look at the leadership successes and failures of Presidents from Nixon to Bush—and will offer lessons that can guide President Obama in his administration.


Fresh@News: Is this open to the public?  How can a student buy tickets?

R.G.: Tickets are currently available at www.villanovatix.com. Student tickets can be purchased for $2 and non-students can purchase a ticket for $5. 


Fresh@News: What can parents do to encourage students who are interested in exploring leadership opportunities?

R.G.: There are many resources on campus for students seeking leadership opportunities. A good place to start is by visiting our Office of Leadership Programs website at http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/studentlife/lifeatvu/leadership.html. Students should get involved on campus as a general member of a club or organization. As I often tell students, “leadership is a process and not a position.” Even if you are not “President” of an organization, you can still play a significant leadership role in the life of a club or organization. Finally, I am always available to discuss leadership opportunities at Villanova. Any student can stop by my office in 108 Dougherty Hall or you can e-mail me at ralph.gigliotti@villanova.edu.





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