Tri-C’s Annual Student Leadership Retreat
On Friday, February 24, dozens of curious Tri-C college students, several specialized staff members, and impressive guest speakers gathered at the Metropolitan Campus for the 2023 Student Leadership Retreat. Tri-C’s Student Engagement department hosted the event and generously covered the nutritional, entertainment, and educational needs of the 61 students in attendance. After selecting donuts, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and juice, from the provided breakfast buffet, students from all Tri-C campuses gathered at large, round tables in the meeting room to enjoy the first round of activities and workshops.
A giant slide encouraged students to share “five fast facts” with others at their table. Nache Jones, Interim Director of Student Engagement, and Billy Barnard, Manager of Student Engagement, then kicked off the event with a warm welcome to attendees, a brief explanation of the event’s purpose, and disclosed the day’s activities. The purpose of the Student Leadership Retreat was to find strength in our differences. Guest speakers, esteemed faculty, and participants from all walks of life encouraged and reinforced that aim between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Students stayed seated as the mic passed to Alison Doehring, Director of ZipAssist, and Brandon Mikulski, Director of Learning Communities and Akron Experience for the “True Colors” workshop.
The interactive color-based personality exploration session allowed attendees to discover their true empathetic nature and helped explain on a visual level how distinct personalities can work together to achieve greater productivity and performance.
Unexpected group activities forced students out of their comfort zones to combine their skills to solve puzzles and problems as a team. Dr. Karen Miller, Provost and Executive Vice President of Access, Learning and Completion at Tri-C then quickly addressed the importance of “playing to our strengths every day” before lunch was served in the hall.
Lunchtime gave students and staff a chance to refuel, network, and discuss their reasons for attending the leadership event or returning to Tri-C altogether. Alonzo West of the Metro Campus stated he attended the Leadership Retreat to add to his resume and get more experience for his Graphic Arts degree. C. Francis, an IT Business major at the Eastern campus said, “After I saw the flier, I was interested in learning more about leading, how to take leadership, and in learning about other people.” And Carlena Trice, Media Director for South Euclid United Church of Christ, earned her Criminal Justice degree over a decade and returned to Tri-C to major in Media Arts “for fun”.
Post-lunch “Breakout Sessions” allowed students to attend two of six courses based on their topic preferences. The 40-minute-long Breakout Session One offered “Accessibility at Tri-C: Invisible Disabilities” by Digital Instructional Accessibility Specialist, Crystal Hester, and Student Accessibility Services Advisor (Metro), Lisa Husamadeen; Gender Equity Training by Magda Gomez, ed. D., Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion; and Recognizing and Responding to Microaggressions by Dr. Terry Webb, Assistant Dean of Psychological and Student Accessibility Services.
The 40-minute Breakout Session Two allowed participants to choose from: “Turning the Tables and Taking Accountability” with Amanda Franek, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Westshore; “Generational Workforce: Exploring the Many Generations in Today’s Workplace”, with Barry Royko, Executive Director, Talent and Organizational Development; and “Unconscious Bias Training”, with Professor Tasha Wilburn, MBA. Participants remained in their chosen rooms for a brief reflection and evaluation session to complete the program.
If you missed the 2023 Student Leadership Retreat, consider registering early next year since it’s one of Tri-C’s free, fun, and fantastic annual events for registered students.