Leadership Lessons

bianca 1When I attended the President’s Cabinet Breakfast, last week on November 6, 2014, I had the opportunity to mingle with Dr. Bill Staples and donors of the university. At first I couldn’t deny I was slightly nervous, but I took a deep breath and told myself all the people who attended the breakfast are in fact just that: people. Maria Barron and I were the only two freshman representatives there, and I was even more nervous that we didn’t sit at the same table.

Joanne Timm, senior coordinator of donor stewardship, was an absolute gem and was kind enough to introduce me to a few donors that morning. I had the opportunity to talk with Rhonda Thompson, associate vice president, and Sandra Mossman, former superintendent of Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD), about my experience at UHCL and got to know them better as well. Both asked me why I chose UHCL, and I gave them five reasons. Our beautiful campus, small classes, first freshman class, low tuition, and I came into my freshman year debt free thanks to financial support! It was a great conversation and presentation. Staples and Timm kept thanking me for accepting the invitation, but I kept assuring them I was the one was that was grateful for being invited. I made sure to thank Jennifer Clark for recommending me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you Jenn!

bianca2Melissa Gonzales and I volunteered for the 18th Annual Student Leadership Conference also last week on November 8, 2014. Our day started at 6:30 a.m. and the first thing we did was blow up blue and green balloons. Joshua Fredenburg, leadership expert, was the keynote speaker and his presentation gave me goose bumps. He was very interactive and encouraged us to hug and hi-five those who were next to us in the room, which was a great way to break the ice. I am eager to read his new book to get more in depth with who I am as a leader.

Several presenters with so many workshops were there, so it was difficult to pick which one. One that stood out to me was the Wellness at Work? But I am so busy! Ande Bloom, coordinator for training and development at UHCL, presented the workshop and I took a lot of tools from the conference pertaining to leadership, but Bloom’s presentation taught me something new when it came to my eating habits. She was very engaging and had us pick a spot on the wall in order from healthiest to not so healthiest; I chose to rank myself second to last. She encouraged us to ignore what food labels have to say and instead look at the ingredients. If it has more than three ingredients, be careful. I always look at the food labels! Bloom even brought kale smoothies. I was hesitant at first, but it was delicious! She gave us tons of tips for eating healthier and workout regimes. Thank you, Ande Bloom! The conference was great and was what I expected and more. Definitely attending the 19th annual conference!

bianca3Also, I would like to mention UHCL’S 21st Annual Student Conference for Research and Creative Arts. The conference gives students from any university an opportunity to showcase their talents. Oral and poster presentations, individual or group projects, poetry reading, research or even great creative papers are welcome. Freshmen are especially encouraged to participate. The application deadline is March 9, 2015 so keep that in mind. I will be volunteering for the event, so I hope to see my fellow freshman peers showcase their talents!

-Bianca

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