Building leaders at Catalyst event

Quinn Brown

Students who applied for the second annual LearderShape Catalyst experienced a full day of activities promoting communication and leadership skills. Saturday’s event, hosted by the Leadership Exchange program, at the Hilary Boone Center, allowed students to engage with each other and be familiarized with the program’s various opportunities.

Leslie Pedigo, assistant director for leadership education, said this is a “different” way to help students get involved with the program.

“It went so well last year, we decided to bring it back” Pedigo said.

The event focused on participants being able to explore outside of their comfort zones and build relationships with others to create a positive and comfortable environment. Most of the people who attended were strangers to one another at the beginning, but built bonds as the day went on.

“I came today expecting deeper conversation and being able to explore myself,” mechanical engineering sophomore Chih-Hsuan Hung said. “I feel safe and able to express myself.”  

The motto for the day was “To lead, live.”

“Learn from past experiences and embrace it,” the facilitator from Florida State University, Laura Osteen, said.

She said there is a strong correlation between experience and wisdom, which are essential to being a leader.

The program is meant for participants to gain skills and knowledge they can incorporate into their own lives to be catalysts.

In addition, the conference advertised for the Leadership Exchange program.

Since the event was open to everyone, most of the students participating were not involved in the leadership program, though many of the attributes emphasized in the Catalyst program corresponded to the qualities needed for people to apply for Leadership Exchange.

The organization is composed of student leaders committed to the development of leadership on UK’s campus. Therefore, many of the participants would be the ideal candidates to apply for the program.