Garrett Students Learn Leadership Skills in Seminar

A group of seventeen Garrett College (GC) students recently had the opportunity to enhance their academic pursuits with a student leadership training seminar. Those attending the session represented several campus organizations including the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the Student Ambassador program, Athletics, the Residence Hall Council, and the college Student Government Association.

The training was provided by the GC Continuing Education and Workforce Development (CEWD) division and coordinated by CEWD program director Connie Meyers. “This is a type of training that we set up for many of our local employers who want to hone the skills of their management teams. Dawn Beitzel, a highly skilled professional training facilitator, put together a program to provide information on leadership styles as well as effective communication based on Dr. Stephen R. Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” she explained.

Beitzel has taught multiple Garrett College CEWD classes based on Dr. Covey’s principles for corporate customers and other organizations, and has developed programming for retreat and corporate guests at Wisp Resort. She also facilitated much of the discussion for the Adventure Sports Center International (ASCI) while it was still in the planning and grants application phases. She is currently one of two Career Development Facilitators for the Garrett County Success for Youth program, funded by a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) grant.

Dr. Covey’s work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People explores personal leadership styles, conflict management, the importance of being proactive, and developing synergy. His work focuses on principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity.

Among the concepts stressed by Beitzel during the training was that of synergy - the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements. She underscored the importance of a leader’s ability to create synergistic communication that seeks out the win/win solutions to conflicts by seeking a third alternative that may be better for all involved.

Students in the workshop were given the mental tools to arrive at win/win solutions. Beitzel enumerated several of the key steps to achieving such results including seeing the problem from another point of view; identifying the key issues and concerns involved; determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution; and identifying possible new options to achieve those results.

Connor Norman, a GC Student Ambassador, was among those attending the training. “The leadership workshop was an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It helped to strengthen an understanding of my leadership style and abilities. Fate rarely calls upon us at a moment of our choosing. With the valuable tools I gained from the leadership workshop I will be better prepared for my role as a leader in the future,” he said. 

Ben Porter, a Student Ambassador-in-training, also spoke of the benefits of the training. “During the leadership workshop taught by Dawn Beitzel I learned allot about leadership styles and resolving conflicts. I also had a great time participating in the leadership activities that she prepared for us,” he said.

Ann Wellham, Dean of Marketing and Enrollment Management, also serves as coordinator of the student ambassador program. "One of our goals is to offer leadership training each semester for our students.  The experience is valuable preparation for whatever direction they may be heading,” she said.
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