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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 social change and servant leadership models, 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 of 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 sponsor multiple tracks of the Villanova Leadership Academy in both the fall semester and spring semester. In addition to the on-campus leadership series, we often bring in speakers from off-campus to focus on leadership from many different perspectives. 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. Additionally, we offer Leadership Lunches for current student leaders to enhance their “practical” leadership skills. 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. Our office hosts numerous programs for emerging leaders and we are happy to assist you during your leadership journey. More information regarding upcoming programs and workshops can be found on our leadership website.  We are currently planning an Emerging Leaders Institute for Friday, March 22 from 2:30-9:30 pm. This program will allow students to work on their public speaking and interviewing skills. Registration for this event will open at the end of February. Please e-mail me at ralph.gigliotti@villanova.edu with any questions.


Fresh@News: Your office is sponsoring a talk about leadership by Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ.  What will he talk with Villanova students about?

R.G.: This lecture is part of our Spotlight on Leadership Series. Past speakers include Bob Woodward, Associate Editor of the Washington Post and Somaly Mam, Cambodian Human Rights Activist.


The Honorable Cory A. Booker is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He took the oath of office as Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city in July 2006 following a sweeping electoral victory, and was re-elected for a second term in another overwhelming majority in 2010. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshaling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.  Mayor Booker has been recognized in numerous publications, including, among others, TIME (naming him one of the 100 most influential people of 2011), Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (naming him as one of New Jersey’s top 40 under 40), Black Enterprise (naming him to the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players under 40) and The New York Times Magazine.


Mayor Booker brings his passion for social change to the podium. Drawing from a deep belief in service and social justice, Mayor Booker inspires audiences to greater civic responsibility and issues a call to action for America. Mayor Booker will deliver his keynote, “How to Change the World with Your Bare Hands,” on Monday, February 18 at 4:30 pm in the Villanova Room. Student tickets can be purchased for $2 and faculty/staff/guest tickets can be purchased for $5 at www.villanovatix.com.


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. 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 can e-mail me at ralph.gigliotti@villanova.edu.







Don’t miss out on this spring’s Influencer Series of educational webinars brought to you by the Office of Health Promotion. Click here to read more about the various topics and speakers in the 2012-13 lineup.


Don’t take our word for it…listen to what some of our parents said about last year’s series:


“Being able to participate on the Health Promotion Influencer Series has been a great learning experience for me.  As a mother, I am always looking to find information that allows me to relate to and help my children.  Villanova University is providing us with a great resource that has helped me better understand the students’ perspectives and the situations they encounter throughout their college experience. I also learned about the resources and tools the school has to help the students while they are away from home which gives me great peace of mind.”

Villanova Mother, Class 2015






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