Champlain Revamps Their Student Leadership Workshop Series

Kate Young '14 and Madeline Bell '16 discuss leadership opportunities in CHAMP, the campus event planning group.

Champlain College's department of Residential Life is hosting a brand new series of leadership programming during the 2013-14 school year to help students develop and enhance their leadership skills.

The series, titled Lead Like a BEAVER, which is an acronym for Be Empowering Active Visionary Encouraging and Reliable, will provide students with an opportunity to build upon or learn new skills that will help them become better leaders.

There will be a wide variety of leadership presentations and programs throughout the academic year, featuring workshops and roundtables on a number of different topics from Champlain faculty members and organizations such as Sustain Champlain. The first workshop, a leadership roundtable, was held on Tuesday, Oct. 8. The event gave students the opportunity to talk with student leaders such as Resident Assistants (RA), Peer Advisors in the Life Experience & Action Dimension (LEAD), members of the Student Government Association and of the CHAMP campus events committee, as well as many other student leaders.

First-year student Amanda Vincent, who went to the roundtable to learn more about the RA position felt that "it was really great getting to hear RAs' perspectives on the job and how they live it and some of the struggles they have faced." In addition to having the opportunity to speak with RAs, Vincent also learned about math and accounting tutoring positions and what being in CHAMP is like. Vincent suggests that "others who are interested in leadership positions around campus should attend similar events to really learn what it take to be in that leadership position before they actually live it."

In addition to the 16 leadership workshops and presentations that are planned this year, the residential life department is also hosting its inaugural Emerging Leaders program, a class that spans four weeks offered to first-year students. In this program, a group of 12 students will learn leadership skills such as aligning values with actions, communication, ethics, and leadership styles. Students will accomplish this through different activities, group discussions, and readings.

Professional staff members Dan O'Hara and Meghan MacDonald at the first Lead Like A BEAVER leadership roundtable event.Associate Director of Student Leadership Programs Dan O'Hara says, "The object of this program is to help first-year students grow, gain confidence in their own leadership abilities, do some self exploration, and hopefully will slingshot them into more student engagement during their second semester or second year."

O'Hara believes that through these programs students will be able to realize that they too can be leaders on and off campus. The main message of these programs according to both O'Hara and Area Coordinator of Student Leadership Meaghan MacDonald is, "Anybody can be leader. Leadership is learned. It is said that some people are born natural leaders, but that is not our philosophy. Leadership is like any skill; you can improve upon it over time by practicing."

Future presentations in the Lead Like a BEAVER series include:

Monday, Oct. 21: Discover Your Leadership Passions and Strengths:­ A Roadmap to Find and Master Your True Passions in Life. Presenter - Tom Myers, Associate Professor of International Business, Management, and Leadership in the Stiller School of Business. 8 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Aiken Hall

Albert Einstein said, "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious." What are you truly passionate about? What makes you come alive? In this interactive leadership workshop, discover how to identify your true individual interests, passions, skills, strengths (and luck!), and then turn those assets into a powerful launch pad for an empowering college experience, a professional career, and a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Monday, Oct. 21: ­ Public Speaking: Speaking Comfortably and Effectively.­ Presenter - Eric Ronis. 3:30-5:00 p.m. in ­Ireland 114

Monday, Nov. 11: ­ Effective Group Presentations: Overall Coherence, Transitions, Powerpoint. ­ Presenter - Eric Ronis. 4:30-5:30 p.m. ­in Ireland 114

Tuesday, Nov. 12: Become a Stellar Facilitator. Presenter - Christina Erickson, Sustainability Director. 8 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Aiken Hall

Have you ever attended a meeting that you could barely keep your eyes open or just couldn¹t follow along? Have you ever been to a meeting where you walked out totally pumped to take action? A key difference can be how the meeting was facilitated. Come and learn a few tactics to make you a stellar facilitator who will have your audience asking for more.

Monday, Nov. 18: Crucial Conversations ­ Preparing for Life's High Stakes Conversations. Presenter - Akshar Patel. Based on the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Paterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler. We live in a world surrounded by crucial conversations. From talking to your professor about a grade to deciding where to go on spring break with your friends, we are constantly in high stakes situations. Come learn about the techniques that top influencers use when emotions run strong, opinions differ, and making a decisions becomes hard. You'll be surprised to learn who amongst your peers can hold a crucial conversation. 8 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Aiken Hall

Tuesday, Dec. 3: A Shifting of the Glass: Indigenous Perspectives on Leadership. Presenters - Leadership Professor Frederick Wiseman and Professor Melody Brook of Johnson State College. The practice of walking in someone else's shoes is something that is both very difficult and incredibly rewarding. Indigenous people often express the sentiment that they walk in two worlds: ­ the path laid down by the ancestors and the path of contemporary society. Occasionally, the values and pulls of modern society are at odds with traditional values and ways of knowing. Step onto a different path with Professor Frederick Wiseman and Professor Melody Brook of Johnson State College, citizens of the Abenaki community in Vermont. They will explore what it means to be a leader for both the seen and the unseen worlds and ultimately delve into issues surrounding identity and community. In order to understand the impact potentials from an individual leader it is first important to recognize their place in the world and the communities from which they both serve and draw power. 8 p.m. in the Morgan Room in Aiken Hall

For more information about leadership programming contact the Associate Director of Student Leadership Programs Dan O'Hara at

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit