Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Students organize a leadership development conference

For the past several years, Lehigh’s Office of Student Leadership Development has sent students to the University of Arizona’s three-day national student leadership development conference.

Now, realizing that the Arizona conference lacks a counterpart on the East Coast, seniors in the Leadership Lehigh program are organizing the first annual Altitude Student Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Center.

“For their capstone project, our Leadership Lehigh seniors have worked the entire year to put together an all-day conference and to invite students from tri-state area schools—mostly within a two-hour driving radius—to attend,” said Jess Manno, assistant dean of students.

“And with help from the Office of Student Leadership Development, they’ve really taken this project and run with it—doing everything from naming it Altitude, designing a logo, handling all the registration and publicity, and making sure that the event has a full slate of interesting programs.

“Our ultimate goal is to build this conference into one of the best of its kind in the nation.”

The theme for the first annual Altitude Conference is “Branching Out: Growing Within and Outside of Your Organization.” It is being organized by approximately 75 students from Lehigh, area LVAIC schools and schools as far away as the University of Maryland.

All conference attendees will be given a Myers Briggs-type indicator test to determine their leadership style. They will then attend seminars designed for different types of leadership skills.

“I feel that undergraduate students in the region should attend this conference because it has so much to offer. The variety of workshops allows each attendee to customize the day to his or her needs,” says Alexandra Tancredi ’10, one of Altitude’s co-chairs, along with Lizzy Miller ’10.

“Our main focus is not only personal leadership development, but also a realization of how to work more effectively with other people who may have a different leadership style.”

The keynote speaker for the first annual Altitude Conference is Jim Flanagan ’80. Since earning an engineering degree, Flanagan has held leadership positions in the professional services and software industry. He spent five years with Accenture and has been with SAP America for the past eight years.

“I can’t think of many places you can learn so many valuable leadership skills in just one day,” says Nicholas Rocha ’10, an event organizer who will return to Lehigh next fall as a presidential scholar before pursuing a career in finance.

The Altitude registration fee of $50 includes access to all of the day’s programs, plus breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Scholarships covering the registration fee are available for all students and can be obtained from the registration web site.

Registration for the event ends Friday, April 2.


Story by Bill Doherty

Posted on Thursday, April 01, 2010

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