MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — A group of Penn State Harrisburg students and staff members attended the 2023 Summer Leadership Conference held at Penn State Behrend, where they participated in activities aimed at enhancing their leadership, citizenship, and networking skills.
The annual conference brings together students from all of Penn State’s campuses for workshops and presentations designed to help them become empowered, confident leaders. Participants explore subjects such as ethical decision making and conflict management; learn about the importance of embracing a diverse and inclusive community; participate in self-awareness exercises to define their own leadership values; and determine how their roles as student leaders will apply in the future.
Penn State Harrisburg criminal justice major Autumn Zodet attended the conference because of her role as parliamentarian for the Student Government Association. Her favorite session, she said, was a keynote speech from Ian Andre Roberts — a leadership trainer, former school district superintendent and Olympic athlete — who spoke on topics including taking seriously one’s impact as a leader.
“I really enjoyed the experience and got to meet a lot of students from both Harrisburg and other Penn State campuses who are really involved in their campus communities,” Zodet said. “I thought it was really valuable to make these connections, as I was able to learn from others what they felt worked well for them in positions of leadership as well as share experiences of my own.”
In addition to Zodet, students who attended were: Grace Eisele, Carolina Hernandez, Chelsy Funebe, Gonzalo Ingram, Bhim Bhattarai, Mary Odei, Melina Dhital, Ixzaira Rivera, Salmaan Bhimji and Tyler Muessig.
Student engagement staff members RebeccaAnn Klug, event and program coordinator; Stephanie Hill, administrative support assistant; Adrienne Thoman, coordinator of student leadership programs; and Nicholas Paesano, equity compliance specialist/sexual misconduct resource person in student affairs, also attended.
Michelle Weber-Colón, associate director of student diversity, equity and inclusion/student engagement and co-chair of this year’s conference, said the event was a much-needed opportunity to collaborate with other student affairs professionals and to connect with student leaders across the commonwealth.
The conference is slated to be held at Penn State Harrisburg in 2024.
“We are very excited to be hosting the Summer Leadership Conference next summer,” Weber-Colón said. “It will be a wonderful opportunity to highlight all that Penn State Harrisburg has to offer while welcoming Penn Staters from all campuses.”