The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development at Worcester State University stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement.

We share the outrage over the death of George Floyd and the deaths of many other innocent members of the black community.

We vow to prioritize the education, safety and well-being of our black students, staff and faculty in all that we do. We offer our support to the black community during this painful time.

We encourage all of our students to further educate themselves and listen with an open heart to the voices of the black community.

A vital part of our mission is leadership. LEADERSHIP IS MAKING CHANGE.

Educational Resources

We strive everyday to educate our students to be impactful campus and community leaders. Leadership begins with education. This resource list is not exhaustive, but will provide the opportunity to begin the journey of educating yourself and those around you.

Start Here

What Is Racism? Racism Defined.
Black Lives Matter
ACLU Racial Justice Program
Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement. Here’s What You Missed.

To Watch

What happens when I try to talk race with white people
Renni Eddo-Lodge, PBS Newshour
You can choose not to see the sky, but it exists. That’s how Renni Eddo-Lodge responds when somebody tells her they don’t see race. Trying to raise the topic in white-dominated social circles often led her to an immediate shutdown, one that might spring from others’ fear of being wrong, she says. Eddo-Lodge offers her Brief but Spectacular take on talking to white people about race.

White People, Enough: A Look at Power and Control
Jaelyn Coates, TEDx Talks
In her analysis of race and interpersonal violence, Jaelyn Coates identifies the impact of racism on relationships and provides a new framework for creating healthy and affirming relationships across difference.

How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion
Peggy McIntosh, TEDx Talks

How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them.
Vernā Myers, TEDx Talk
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

Playlist: TedTalks to Help You Understand Racism in America
From passionate pleas for reform to poetic turns of phrase, these talks take an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminate the way forward.

Available on YouTube and Netflix
Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

Dear White People
Available on Netflix
Students of color navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as “post-racial” as it thinks.

When They See Us
Available on Netflix
Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us chronicles the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series focuses on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series spans 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

If Beale Street Could Talk
Available on Hulu
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is a soulful drama about a young couple fighting for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream.

The Hate U Give
Available on Hulu
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. The Hate U Give  is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas.

To Listen

Why The Coronavirus is Hitting Black Communities Hardest
NPR’s Code Switch Podcast
Many have referred to COVID-19 as a “great equalizer.” But the virus has actually exacerbated all sorts of disparities. When it comes to race, black Americans account for a disproportionate number of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. In this bonus episode from Slate’s “What Next” podcast, reporter Akilah Johnson talks about the many reasons why.

Dismantling White Fragility with Robin DiAngelo
Goop Podcast
“What part do I play?” asks Robin DiAngelo, academic and author of White Fragility. DiAngelo’s critical, urgent work asks us to question what we think we know about racism, the conversations we avoid having about racism, and the roles we might (unintentionally) be playing in upholding inequality. For example, says DiAngelo: “We white women have to stop using sexism to protect racism.” In this conversation with Elise Loehnen, DiAngelo calls on white people to let go of guilt and to pick up responsibility. When you break free from the urge to defend yourself and start doing the inner work: It can be fantastically liberating, says DiAngelo.

Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment
Revisionist History Podcast
Brown v Board of Education might be the most well-known Supreme Court decision, a major victory in the fight for civil rights. But in Topeka, the city where the case began, the ruling has left a bittersweet legacy. RH hears from the Browns, the family behind the story.

Seeing White
Scene on Radio Podcast, Season 2
Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story. Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?

New York Times Podcast
1619 is a New York Times audio series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, that examines the long shadow of American slavery. 

To Read

We encourage you to utilize your local library or independent bookstore. Books can also be requested through the Worcester State Library when classes are back in session. Students may be eligible to access some of the below titles with a free 2-month Kindle Unlimited trial subscription or free Audible trial.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
Robin DiAngelo, PhD
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

How To Be Antiracist
Ibram X Kendi
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
Carol Anderson
From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.

Carefully linking historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black LIves Matter Memoir
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
A poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America―and the co-founding of a movement that demands justice for all in the land of the free.

Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin. 

Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country―and the world―that Black Lives Matter. When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele’s reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide
Crystal M. Fleming
How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

The End of Policing
Alex Vitale
Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?
The Anti-Racist Reading List
How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege
What Is White Privilege, Really?

To Act

Anguish and Action
Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
Shareable Anti-Racism Resource Guide
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism – from Ferguson to Charleston

To Donate & Learn More

Black Lives Matter
The Bail Project
“Know Your Rights” Legal Defence Fund
Communities United Against Police Brutality
The Loveland Foundation
Campaign Zero
Act Blue Community Bail Funds

Campus Resources

Read a statement from Worcester State University’s President Barry M. Maloney
Counseling Services
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Student Involvement and Leadership Development 
Student Affairs

Leadership Book List Resources

Hello everyone! Hope that you’re doing well during this Stay-at-Home advisory! We would like to share some books about leadership with everyone! This will allow you to work on some leadership skills at home and will keep you busy!


Start Something That Matters
Blake Mycoskie

In Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie tells the story of TOMS, one of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world, and combines it with lessons learned from such other innovative organizations such as Method Products, charity: water, FEED Projects, and TerraCycle. Blake presents the six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business, from discovering your core story to being resourceful without resources; from overcoming fear and doubt to incorporating giving into every aspect of your life.
Recommended by Adrian Gage, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residence Life and Housing

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Simon Sinek

In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Drawing on a wide range of real-life stories, Sinek weaves together a clear vision of what it truly takes to lead and inspire. This book is for anyone who wants to inspire others or who wants to find someone to inspire them.
Recommended by Adrian Gage, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residence LIfe and Housing

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements
Tom Rath

Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements provides you with a holistic view of what contributes to your wellbeing over a lifetime. Written in a conversational style, this book is filled with fascinating research and innovative ideas for boosting your wellbeing in each of these five areas. By the time you finish reading this book, you’ll have a better understanding of what makes life worthwhile. This will enable you to enjoy each day and get more out of your life — while boosting the wellbeing of your friends, family members, colleagues and others in your community.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development


Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Dr. Seuss

From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review,Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Miss Rumphius
Barbara Cooney

Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, who longed to travel the world, live in a house by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful, has a timeless quality that resonates with each new generation. The countless lupines that bloom along the coast of Maine are the legacy of the real Miss Rumphius, the Lupine Lady, who scattered lupine seeds everywhere she went.
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences


Moby-Dick: or, The Whale
Herman Melville

Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author’s lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humor, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.
Recommended by Dr. Russ Pottle, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Razor’s Edge
Somerset Maugham

Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of this spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham’s most brillant characters – his fiancee Isabel, whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliot Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Betty Smith

The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

The Trial
Franz Kafka

The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and must defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable, or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Cultural Awareness

35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap
Maura Cullen

Even well-intended people can cause harm. Have you ever heard yourself or someone else say: “Some of my best friends are… (Black, White, Asian, etc.)”? “I don’t think of you as… (Gay, Disabled, Jewish, etc.)”? “I don’t see color, I’m colorblind”? These statements and dozens like them can build a divide between us and the people we interact with. Though well-intended, they often widen the diversity gap sometimes causing irreparable harm personally and professionally. If you’ve ever wanted to be more effective in your communication with others, or have been afraid of saying the wrong thing, then this concise guide is essential to becoming more inclusive and diversity-smart.
Recommended by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison

A first novel by an unknown writer, it remained on the bestseller list for sixteen weeks, won the National Book Award for fiction, and established Ralph Ellison as one of the key writers of the century. The nameless narrator of the novel describes growing up in a black community in the South, attending a Negro college from which he is expelled, moving to New York and becoming the chief spokesman of the Harlem branch of “the Brotherhood”, and retreating amid violence and confusion to the basement lair of the Invisible Man he imagines himself to be.
Recommended by Nathan Angelo, Assistant Professor of History & Political Science

Elie Wiesel

Born in the town of Sighet, Transylvania, ElieWiesel was a teenager when he and his family were taken from their home in 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp, and then to Buchenwald. Night is the terrifying record of Elie Wiesel’s memories of the death of his family, the death of his own innocence, and his despair as a deeply observant Jew confronting the absolute evil of man.
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Paulo Freire

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire’s work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is ongoing.
Recommended by Dr. Roberta Kyle, Associate Vice President/Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education

The Politics of Reality:  Essays in Feminist Theory
Marilyn Frye

Politics of Reality includes essays that examine sexism, the exploitation of women, the gay rights movement and other topics from a feminist perspective.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs


The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown

Daniel James Brown’s robust book tells the story of the University of Washington’s 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The History and Sociology of Genocide
Frank Chalk & Kurt Jonassohn

Genocide is not an invention of the twentieth-century, say Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn in this absorbing book, but has occurred throughout history in all parts of the world. This study—the first comprehensive survey of the history and sociology of genocide—presents over two dozen examples of the one-sided mass slaughter of peoples, spanning the centuries from antiquity to the present.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

The Killer Angels: The Classic Novel of the Civil War
Michael Shaara

After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published. July 1863. In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fight for two conflicting dreams. One dreams of freedom, the other of a way of life. More than rifles and bullets are carried into battle. The soldiers carry memories. Promises. Love. And more than men fall on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty are also the casualties of war.
Recommended by Dr. Lois Wims, Provost of Academic Affairs

The Muqaddimah:  An Introduction to History
Ibn Khaldun

The Muqaddimah, often translated as “Introduction” or “Prolegomenon,” is the most important Islamic history of the modern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldûn (d. 1406), this monumental work established the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including the philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
Doris Kearns Goodwin

Acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin illuminates Lincoln’s political genius in this highly original work, as the one-term congressman and prairie lawyer rises from obscurity to prevail over three gifted rivals of national reputation to become president. We view the long, horrifying struggle from the vantage of the White House as Lincoln copes with incompetent generals, hostile congressmen, and his raucous cabinet. He overcomes these obstacles by winning the respect of his former competitors, and in the case of Seward, finds a loyal and crucial friend to see him through.
Recommended by Dr. Lois Wims, Provost of Academic Affairs

The Wretched of the Earth
Frantz Fanon

The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and inter-tribal and interfaith animosities on the other.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs


Dare to Lead
Brene Brown

Brené Brown teaches us what it means to dare greatly, rise strong and brave the wilderness. Leadership is not about titles, status and power over people. Leaders are people who hold themselves accountable for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and developing that potential. This is a book for everyone who is ready to choose courage over comfort, make a difference and lead.
Recommended by Linzy Martinez, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
Simon Sinek

How do you inspire deep trust and commitment to the company and one another? He cites the Marine Corps for having found a way to build a culture in which men and women are willing to risk their lives, because they know others would do the same for them. It’s not brainwashing; it’s actually based on the biology of how and when people are naturally at their best. If businesses could adopt this supportive mentality, employees would be more motivated to take bigger risks, because they’d know their colleagues and company would back them up, no matter what. Drawing on powerful and inspiring stories, Sinek shows how to sustain an organization’s WHY while continually adding people to the mix.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development


Anchor & Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service
Kate Braestrup

Kate Braestrup’s life was transformed by the loss of her husband; now Kate faces the possibility that she may lose her son. As Kate examines the twinned emotions of faith and fear – inspired by the families she meets as a chaplain and by her son’s journey towards purpose and family hood – she learns that the threats we can’t predict will rip us apart and knit us together.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator

Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke

Born in 1875, the great German lyric poet Rainer Maria Rilke published his first collection of poems in 1898 and went on to become renowned for his delicate depiction of the workings of the human heart. Drawn by some sympathetic note in his poems, young people often wrote to Rilke with their problems and hopes. From 1903 to 1908 Rilke wrote a series of remarkable responses to a young, would-be poet on poetry and on surviving as a sensitive observer in a harsh world. Those letters, still a fresh source of inspiration and insight, are accompanied here by a chronicle of Rilke’s life that shows what he was experiencing in his own relationship to life and work when he wrote them.
Recommended by Julie Glovin, Counselor

The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank

Thirteen-year-old Anne Frank, with her parents and sister and four other people, went into hiding in the sealed-off back rooms of an Amsterdam office building in 1942, when the Nazi invaders intensified their persecution of Jews. Anne’s astonishingly intimate diary was found by accident. With a touch of genius it records the strains of her unusual life, the problems of her unfolding womanhood, her falling in love, her unswerving faith in her religion. And it reveals the shining nobility of her spirit.
Recommended by Dr. Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences


Being and Nothingness
Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean-Paul Sartre develops a philosophical account in support of his existentialism, dealing with topics such as consciousness, perception, social philosophy, self-deception, the existence of nothingness”, psychoanalysis, and the question of free will. While a prisoner of war in 1940 and 1941, Sartre read Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927), which uses the method of Husserlian phenomenology as a lens for examining ontology. Sartre attributed the course of his own philosophical inquiries to his exposure to this work.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

How to Think:  A Survival Guide for a World at Odds
Alan Jacobs

How to Think is a contrarian treatise on why we’re not as good at thinking as we assume – but how recovering this lost art can rescue our inner lives from the chaos of modern life. In this smart, endlessly entertaining book, Jacobs diagnoses the many forces that act on us to prevent thinking–forces that have only worsened in the age of Twitter, “alternative facts,” and information overload–and he also dispels the many myths we hold about what it means to think well.
Recommended by Barry Maloney, Worcester State University President

On the Genealogy of Morality
Friedrich Nietzsche

The Genealogy of Morality consists of three essays exploring morality and its origins where Nietzsche makes ample use of his training as a philologist. These works contain Nietzsche’s most thorough and clear expression of his psychological philosophy.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Society of the Spectacle
Guy Debord 

Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative as Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960s up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism and everyday life in the late twentieth century.
Recommended by Nathan Angelo, Assistant Professor of History & Political Science

The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation
Jacques Ranciere

This is a  story of Joseph Jacotot, an exiled French schoolteacher who discovered in 1818 an unconventional teaching method that spread panic throughout the learned community of Europe. Jacotot found himself able to teach in French to Flemish students who knew no French; knowledge, Jacotot concluded, was not necessary to teach, nor explication necessary to learn. The results of this unusual experiment in pedagogy led him to announce that all people were equally intelligent.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs


Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
Amy Cuddy

Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives’ biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret. By accessing our personal power, we can achieve “presence,” the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we’re making on others and instead adjust the impression we’ve been making on ourselves.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator

Self Determination Theory: Basic Psycholgical Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness
Richard Ryan & Edward Deci

Self-determination theory (SDT) provides a framework for understanding the factors that promote motivation and healthy psychological and behavioral functioning. In this authoritative work, the co developers of the theory comprehensively examine SDT’s conceptual underpinnings (including its six mini-theories), empirical evidence base, and practical applications across the lifespan. The volume synthesizes a vast body of research on how supporting–or thwarting–people’s basic needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy affects their development and well-being.
Recommended by Jacquelyn Raftery-Helmer, Assistant Professor of Psychology

What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All American Teen
Kate Fagan

From noted ESPN commentator and journalist Kate Fagan, the heartbreaking and vital story of college athlete Madison Holleran, whose death by suicide rocked the University of Pennsylvania campus and whose life reveals with haunting detail and uncommon understanding the struggle of young people suffering from mental illness today.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator

Self Help

Being Perfect
Anna Quindlen

In Being Perfect, Quindlen shares wisdom that, perhaps without knowing it, you have longed to hear: about “the perfection trap,” the price you pay when you become ensnared in it, and the key to setting yourself free. She believes that when your success looks good to the world but doesn’t feel good in your heart, it isn’t success at all.
Recommended by Adrian Gage, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/Director of Residence LIfe and Housing

The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter-And How to Make the Most of Them Now
Meg Jay

Drawing from a decade of work with hundreds of twenty-something clients and students, The Defining Decade weaves the latest science of the twenty-something years with behind-closed-doors stories from twenty-somethings themselves. The result is a provocative read that provides the tools necessary to make the most of your twenties, and shows us how work, relationships, personality, social networks, identity, and even the brain can change more during this decade than at any other time in adulthood-if we use the time wisely.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator

The Purpose Driven Life:  What on Earth Am I Here For
Rick Warren

Rick Warren will guide you through a personal forty-day spiritual journey that will transform your answer to life’s most important question: What on earth am I here for? Knowing God’s purpose for creating you will reduce your stress, focus your energy, simplify your decisions, give meaning to your life, and most important, prepare you for eternity.
Recommended by Stacey Luster, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Payroll, and Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity


The Last Lecture
Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled ‘The Last Lecture’. When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave, ‘Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams’, wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
Recommended by Patrick Hare, Assistant for Governmental & Community Affairs

The Marx-Engels Reader
Robert Tucker

This edition of the leading anthology provides the essential writings of Marx and Engels—those works necessary for an introduction to Marxist thought and ideology. The volume is arranged to show both the chronological and the thematic development of the two great thinkers. Selections range in coverage from history, society, and economics, to politics, philosophy, and the strategy and tactics of social revolution.
Recommended by Dr. Henry Theriault, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

Leadership Resources

Hello everyone! We wanted to make some leadership resources available to you during this Stay-at-Home advisory!

Leadership Books

Be Our Guest:  Perfecting the Art of Customer Service
Walt Disney Company
Exceeding expectations rather than simply satisfying them is the cornerstone of the Disney approach to customer service.  During the last twenty-five years, thousands of professionals from more than thirty-five countries and forty industries have collaborated with Disney Institute and learned to adapt the Disney best practices within their organizations.
Recommended by Brittany Rende, Intramural Program Manager/Assistant Sports Information Coordinator

Difficult Conversations:  How to Discuss What Matters Most
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen & Bruce Paton
Whether you’re dealing with an under performing employee, disagreeing with your spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying “no,” or “I’m sorry,” or “I love you,” we attempt or avoid difficult conversation every day. Based on fifteen years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Difficult Conversations walks you through a step-by-step proven approach to having your toughest conversations with less stress and more success.
Recommended by Dr Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership: A Guide for Students
Marcy Levy Shankman
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership is a groundbreaking book that combines the concepts of emotional intelligence and leadership in one model–emotionally intelligent leadership (EIL). This important resource offers students a practical guide for developing their EIL capacities and emphasizes that leadership is a learn-able skill that is based on developing healthy and effective relationships.
Recommended by Drew Melendez, Residence Hall Director, Clark University

Encouraging the Heart:  A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others
James M Kouzes & Barry Posner
Encouraging the Heart shows us how true leaders encourage and motivate those they work with by helping them find their voice and making them feel like heroes. Recognized experts in the field of leadership, authors James Kouzes and Barry Posner show us that, through love, leaders can encourage, and indeed allow those around them to be their very best.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

FISH!  A remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results
Stephen Lundin
Addressing today’s work issues (including employee retention and burnout) with an engaging metaphor and an appealing message that applies to any sector of any organization, FISH! offers wisdom that is easy to grasp, instantly applicable, and profound–the hallmarks of a true business classic. Imagine a workplace where everyone chooses to bring energy, passion, and a positive attitude to the job every day. Imagine an environment in which people are truly connected to their work, to their colleagues, and to their customers.
Recommended by Kristie McNamara, Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The Now Factors of College Success
Jermaine Davis, Nancy Hunter Denney & Michael Miller
If you are headed to college, or already are a college student, The Now Factors of College Success offers a collection of funto-read observations about college life followed by to-the-point tips and advice on making the right decisions at the right time.
Recommended by Michael Miller, Keynote Speaker

Strengths Quest:  Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond
Donald Clifton
Students and learners of all ages continually face the challenges of gaining direction, making decisions, and building self-confidence. Fortunately, the keys to successfully meeting these challenges — your own natural talents — already exist within you. Through these talents, you will produce your greatest achievements. Students who use their natural talents achieve the most — but they need to know what those talents are.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

The Student Leadership Challenge:  Five Practices for Exemplary Leaders
James Kouzes & Barry Posner
Kouzes and Posner prompt students to address challenges and cynicisms and empower them to accomplish the extraordinary things of which they are capable. With engaging stories and keen insights the authors delve into the fundamental aspects of leadership to help students keep pace with our ever-changing world.
Recommended by Sarah Potrikus, Assistant Director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development

Thanks for the Feedback:  The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well
Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen
The bestselling authors of the classic Difficult Conversations teach us how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning.  We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it.
Recommended by Dr Linda Larrivee, Dean of the School of Education, Health, and Natural Sciences

Zing! 21 Insights on Maximizing Your Influence
Nancy Hunter Denney
Behind every successful and happy individual is a clearly defined sense of purpose. ‘How to Zing! Your Life and Leadership’ is based on the belief you exist to serve a greater good. Inspirational strategies, laws, principles, lessons, habits, and a few “fish tales” are merged into 21 insights on how to maximize your charismatic potential and enhance your ability to influence others. This book will help you become a more effective leader and live a more productive life.
Recommended by Kristie McNamara, Director, Student Involvement & Leadership Development


Dose of Leadership with Richard Rierson
The Dose of Leadership Podcast is the ultimate leadership resource of inspiring and educational interviews with relevant and motivating leaders; real-life leadership & influence experts who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of the truth, common sense, and courageous leadership. The podcast interviews leaders from all aspects of life; business leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, military heroes, faith based leaders—all are highlighted on the Dose of Leadership Podcast.

Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso
Each week on Girlboss Radio, you’ll hear honest conversations with trailblazing women. These women go deep on what it takes to build a successful career or grow a business with staying power—while living life on their own terms and navigating personal and professional curveballs. Expect hilarious, vulnerable, ~useful~ conversations that humanize the known, champion the unknown, and laugh a little at the absurdity of life. Hosted by Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of Girlboss and Neha Gandhi, editor in chief and COO of Girlboss.

The Happiness Lab
You might think more money, a better job, or Instagram-worthy vacations would make you happy. You’re dead wrong. In “The Happiness Lab” podcast, Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.

How I Built This with Guy Raz
Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.

The Learning Leader Show with Ryan Hawk
Leaders are learners. The best leaders never stop working to make themselves better. The Learning Leader Show Is series of conversations with the world’s most thoughtful leaders. Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, World-Class Athletes, Coaches, Best-Selling Authors, and much more.

RISE Podcast
Tangible and tactical tools for your life and business. Hosted by New York Times Best-Selling Author Rachel Hollis, RISE is a series of bold conversations with fellow business powerhouses and personal development leaders that provides the listener with real-life valuable takeaways.

Side Hustlers with Carla Marie
Carla Marie sits down with people who follow their passion while working their regular job. You’ll be inspired by their drive to do what they love and it may even motivate you to start your own side hustle.

Something You Should Know
Sometimes all it takes is one little fact or one little piece of wisdom to change your life forever. That’s the purpose and the hope of “Something You Should Know.” In each episode, host Mike Carruthers interviews top experts in their field to bring you fascinating information and advice to help you save time and money, advance in your career, become wealthy, improve your relationships and help you simply get more out of life. In addition, Mike uncovers and shares short, engaging pieces of “intel” you can use to make your life better – today. Right now.

TED Talks Daily
Want TED Talks on the go? Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s leading thinkers and doers.

Ted Talks

The Danger of a Single Story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 2009
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Dare to Disagree
Margaret Heffernan, 2012
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding
John Wooden, 2001
With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

Everyday Leadership
Drew Dudley, 2010
We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Angela Lee Duckworth, 2013
Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Simon Sinek, 2009
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers.

How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them.
Vernā Myers, 2014
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

The Power of Diversity Within Yourself
Rebeca Hwang, 2018
Rebeca Hwang has spent a lifetime juggling identities — Korean heritage, Argentinian upbringing, education in the United States — and for a long time she had difficulty finding a place in the world to call home. Yet along with these challenges came a pivotal realization: that a diverse background is a distinct advantage in today’s globalized world. In this personal talk, Hwang reveals the endless benefits of embracing our complex identities — and shares her hopes for creating a world where identities aren’t used to alienate but to bring people together instead.

Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
Sheryl Sandberg, 2010
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

Websites & Blogs

Campus Activities Magazine: issuu.com/naca
Growing Leaders: growingleaders.com/blog
Leadership Freak: leadershipfreak.blog
Leadership Insights: skipprichard.com/blog
Science of People: scienceofpeople.com/blog
StrengthsQuest: strengthsquest.com

2020 Engage Leadership Philosophies

At the culmination of each semester’s Engage Leadership Circle, students share their updated personal leadership philosophies. These philosophies are the culmination of a semester’s learning and reflection, and each is as unique as the participant themselves.

Lyndsey Broxton
Class of 2022

“Personal growth is defined as the ongoing process of understanding and developing oneself in order to achieve one’s fullest potential and it is a vital part of a person’s growth, maturity, success and happiness. I grew up in the house that taught me to do everything and anything that I do to my best ability and I truly believe that has had a major effect on me throughout my entire life and within this program. I learned in a credible amount about myself during this program, and I am finally becoming the person I wanted to be forming my leadership identity. Your leadership identity is as unique as your own fingerprint, meaning your style of leadership is like no other. My mission as a leader is to encourage people to be the best they can be. Everyone has potential to do something great, sometimes it takes someone to tap into their potential and make them aware. Over the past couple of weeks many of you have challenged me and helped me tap into my untapped potential and I cannot thank you enough. The program is office puts on every year has shaped me into the person I am today, and I cannot thank the staff enough for giving me a chance and believing in me. My biggest takeaway from all the programs is that your passion drives your vision and mission. All of you in this room have something that you’re passionate about, I encourage you to continue to take the risks to make your life more fulfilling, as well as tap into your untapped potential. I believe all of us in this room had the ability to make an incredible impact, and I will be here to applaud all of your past and future success.”

Michael Cardoza
Class of 2022

“As leaders, we all face unique challenges that helped us to be put in the positions we are in now. Personally, I’ve always admired those who are able to lead groups without seeming mean or angry. One of my first opportunities to be in a leadership position is when I became a an OL (orientation leader) at WSU. My first time hearing of the news I was nervous to be in such a position. “Do I have the social skills to lead?” “Would I be able to maintain the personality I thought I needed to do a good job?” As time in training went on, I began to realize that I can still be myself in these environments. This was like discovering fire for me. Playing on sports teams growing up I was never the most gifted or skilled athlete. But, like leadership, some are blessed with natural abilities and others have to use their talents and hard work to keep up with the team. Although I wasn’t gifted like my teammates, my input and ideas were acknowledged and accepted. That was my talent. My knowledge and appreciation for the game was not something I shied away from, I embraced it. I bring this up to say in life, we are all put into “unwritten” leadership roles and being the captain of the team or the best player doesn’t make you a leader. A leader is someone who understands there is no “I” in team but there is a “me” in it. About a week before my first session, a rapper radar podcast interview had been released with rapper Jim jones. When discussing his role in the diplomats, a famous rap group of the early 2000s, one statement truly stuck out to me. Jones was going from the group’s “runner” to arguably one of the best in the whole group, along with a successful and growing solo rap career.  Jones states “you are a solider with the ability to be a leader”. So, I leave you with this, some of the greatest leaders were once soldiers on the battlefield, and some of the most brilliant and powerful people still see themselves as soldiers fighting battles greater than them. Are you ready to go in as a solider and grow as a true leader?”

Sarah Deslauriers
Class of 2022

“I believe that as a leader you should respect everyone and treat the group like you want them to treat you. I believe a leader should be passionate about what they do, show empathy towards others and be kind to all. A leader should never give a task to a group member that they would not do themselves. A leader should be a good communicator and be reliable. A leader should be able to listen to others and ask for help when needed. A leader should also be a problem-solver and be easily approachable. A leader should be able to use and know their strengths while also
improving their weaknesses. I believe that a leader can learn the skills necessary but can also be born with many of these traits. Anyone can be a leader but it takes these skills in order to be an exceptional and outstanding leader.”

Julie Erickson
Class of 2022

“A leader is one who knows the way, the way, shows the way. When a leader knows the way, they are conscientious and knowledgeable. Using the past experiences and techniques they have learned helps the leader know the way. As a leader I hope to pass on what I have learned and what I value in a positive influential way. Being a leader who goes the way is a leader who demonstrates their values and morals. I want to be a leader who goes the way through doing their best to help those surrounding them by being inclusive and supportive of others. Being a leader who shows the way is what I value most about being leader. Showing the way as a leader means you are a good example and confident in yourself and your peers. One who shows the way extends their confidence and knowledge during an effort to help others succeed. Knowing the way, going the way, and showing the way are the three ways one can be an influential leader and extend their leadership qualities to others.”

Arianna Giasson
Class of 2022

“My personal leadership has always come from a place of striving for growth. While there are so many different groups to lead with different ideals, goals and structures, what they have in common is room to grow.

A lot of the time, I think we get stuck in this idea that we need to be perfect. I know that especially when I became an RA, I immediately wanted to be perfect at the job. Obviously now, I can look back and see that this was an impossible standard for myself. Once I realized I wasn’t going to be flawlessly solving disagreements and shutting down parties while still being the chill RA that everyone likes, I realized that one thing I could surely do, was grow. I learned from mistakes, like this time when I walked by a clear-cut party and me and my fellow new RA stood outside the door whispering nervously until one of the residents came to the door and we had to pull it together. As time went on, I could see myself growing, as well as my residents growing relationships, with each other, with me, and towards their goals. And that is what being a leader is to me. Accepting mistakes, as lessons to grow from, and growing yourself so that you can better help others in your groups grow. And I have Sarah to thank for helping me grow.”

Erica Hanlon
Class of 2023

“As a leader I believe strongly in individuality and community. I feel that every person should be encouraged to express themselves and to be welcomed in every environment. As a leader, I strive to be an ally to everyone including groups like the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, and people with disabilities. Over the past year of attending WSU, I have learned so much about different groups of people as well as inequity that exists in society. When I entered College, I wanted to challenge myself to embrace the uncomfortable and see New Perspectives. I wanted to step outside my own personal world and learn about bigger issues than those that directly affect only myself. I have made efforts to become involved and make a difference on campus. Whether it be through small means like being friendly and open-minded with the people I meet, or through larger means like going to Washington DC to Advocate on behalf of WSU students or supporting the WSU stand against hate rally. I know these efforts are just the beginning steps in making a true difference, but I am determined to continue these efforts in the next three years I have here. I will continue to support members of the WSU community and try to make everyone feel welcome. I want to help in the fight for equal opportunities and treatment for all people. I hope to carry these goals with me far beyond graduation; for instance, in my future career as an occupational therapist where I can Advocate on behalf of my clients and support them for who they are. Above all I want to make even the slightest different and others lives as a leader. I want to spread positivity and encouragement, and have others know they can rely on me to be there as a friend and to always stand up for what is fair.”

Jaylene Hurley
Class of 2022

“Growing up, I was a shy girl that just tried to flow with the crowd, but I never quite fit in. I went from school to school, constantly being an outsider, until I settle down in Hudson for most of my life, but I still had this lingering feeling of not fitting in. I never really felt like my voice mattered I let this feeling consume me and bring me down for too much of my life.

When I got accepted to Worcester State, Mark Wagner was calling me over and over trying to get me to join his civic engagement program before I even chose to attend the school. It greatly impacted my decision and my current outlook on the school; people believed in me and made me feel like I had a place before I even made the choice to go here. It opened up a door for me to learn more about myself and my uniqueness. I decided I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was going to take advantage of opportunities that came my way that started with accepting Mark’s offer. Upon getting to college, I kept doing things out of my comfort zone. Like joining emerge leadership, or talking to all kinds of new people, or checking out clubs that came my way. I realize I had a lot more potential than I previously believed.

Because I know what it feels like to get overlooked, I noticed when other people are getting overshadowed so I reach out to them to hear their ideas. I listen to people. I make them feel heard. I told you what I believe in them because I really do. Everyone has the potential to accomplish ambitions and do great things – all it takes is one to cheer them on. Lastly, I tried to embrace people for who they are. Everyone has great things to offer… And maybe some things that will get under our skin too, but everyone deserves to be heard, accepted, and supported, just like I did. Because of my experiences, I’ve become a leader that works to make people feel like their voices are heard and included. That’s the lead I needed growing up and that’s the leader I am today.”

Jacob Labonte
Class of 2022

“A leader may not always be the obvious person. Many people have this vision that a leader is someone who has no flaws and are incapable of making any mistakes. However, this is not the case. To be a leader does not require being Flawless in fact the best leaders are those who are perfectly imperfect. They are not only confident in their strengths but also acknowledge and secure and their weaknesses. These weaknesses are what makes us human and what makes us relatable. A leader being conscious their weaknesses allows them to work well with others who compliment their strengths and weaknesses. This provides opportunity for others to step up and emerge as leaders themselves. A leader is capable of taking a step back in allowing others to take lead when there is someone else better suited for the position. Leaders don’t suppress others from growing and becoming leaders themselves, instead they discover the untapped potential in people and encourage and assist others in their develop in growth as a leader.”

Marissa Luchini
Class of 2022

“I want to be a leader who grows outside of her comfort zone (and inspires others to do the same) in order to grow both as a person and as a leader.

I believe that a leader should be:

Reliable – be someone people can trust and rely on to get the job done.

Open-minded – willing to accept a diverse range of both people and ideas.

Approachable – make people feel comfortable coming to them.

Confident – in themselves and their capabilities.

Creative – think outside of the box to create a new and inventive solutions to problems.

Team-oriented – take initiative and do whatever is best for the group as a whole.

Positive – bring a positive energy to the group.

Lighthearted – always try to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Kind – be compassionate, caring and willing to lend a helping hand.

Passionate – show interest, excitement, motivation and motivate others as well.”

Cayce Pappas
Class of 2021

“What defines a leader? It is a question that has been floating around in my head for the past two semesters. Is it the individual who stands in front of a crowd to deliver a powerful message? Is it a person who is committed to their beliefs, and represents them with full integrity? Can everybody be a leader? Who am I as a leader?

I stand behind two beliefs; that anybody can be a leader and that everybody was put on the world for a reason, no matter the fact that they may be more reserved or outspoken. A leader can come in all shapes and sizes, you just might be confident in your purpose. I doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe in you, the most important thing is that you believe in yourself. That makes you a powerful leader, because sometimes the hardest person to convince to believe in you is in fact yourself.

Being in Engage and Emerge has taught me a very important lesson, that I’m privileged to have a voice, and not using it would be a disservice to those who may not realize their views matter. It’s important to remember that a leader is not a stand alone individual; they encompass the ideas and voices of so many others. This is why a significant characteristic of a leader is, not only being able to look back on who guided them down their path, but also looking ahead to people they hope to reach out to. A leader doesn’t have to stand behind something large, but if you’re going to stand for something stand tall and proud.

It is essential to remember that not everything will go as planned, it doesn’t have to. It’s okay if your thoughts don’t line up with the person who is next to you. How a person reacts to the situation, is how their leadership skills are defined. I want to make as many positive impacts on this Earth while I have the chance. Hopefully my actions will have an influence on others to take a stand for what they believe. Finally, if you were to take away anything, recognize that a leader doesn’t necessarily look for someone to stand behind them but next to them in order to guide one another.”

Leadership Symposium 2020

Registration for the 2020 Leadership Symposium is now open!

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development is excited to share this year’s Leadership Symposium. Designed as a one-day leadership event, the Symposium is an opportunity for students to learn about the different facets of leadership from staff, faculty, and alumni. A keynote speaker will kick off the event, and students can select from 15 different workshops to build their idea event schedule. The Leadership Symposium will conclude with a chance for attendees to network with one another and invited alumni.

Details on workshops and speakers will be made available in the coming weeks.

Take a look at our Leadership Symposium page to learn more about this year’s event.

Student Leader Honor Roll

Each semester, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development recognizes those students who were able to maintain a 3.5 cumulative GPA while being involved in a student organization. This is a significant accomplishment, as it is not always easy to balance academic requirements and the role of a student leader. Below are the students who received this honor for the fall 2019 semester.

Welcome Back Lancers!

We are excited to welcome back all of our students for the spring semester! We have many exciting things planned for this semester, and are looking forward to continuing and expanding our leadership programs in order to provide even more opportunities for students to get involved with campus life!

Leadership Programs

This semester we will be welcoming another class to the Emerge Leadership Program, the first level in our three-tier formal workshop series. Emerge had it’s largest class ever last fall, and many of those students will be continuing their leadership journey in the spring Engage program. If at any time in the semester you would like to nominate a deserving student for the Emerge program, you may do so here.

The OSILD staff has been hard at work during the winter break to prepare for the first ever Leadership Symposium, a one-day leadership experience that provides students the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge while learning from staff, faculty, alum, and Worcester community leaders. The Leadership Symposium is scheduled for Friday, March 1, from 1-6pm Registration for the Symposium opens on January 21 and is open to any Worcester State student. More information can be found on the Symposium page.

At the end of February, 35 student leaders will join the OSILD staff at the Leadership Summit, a weekend retreat in Cape Cod. Using the StrengthsFinder assessment, students will take a deep dive into their top five strengths and learn how to best use their natural talents. The Summit is a highlight for our students each year, and we cannot wait for this year’s event!

Campus Events

There is an entire calendar of events for this semester, brought to you by student organizations, the OSILD, Residence Life, and other campus offices and departments.

Club Promo Tables are scheduled for January 27-30, from 11am-1pm in the Student Center Exhibit Area. Each day, different student organisations will host a table to provide information about their group and how students can get involved.

In March, Hawkins, IN will be coming to Worcester, MA. A night featuring all the fun and mystery of Stranger Things is scheduled for Friday, March 27 from 7-10pm in the May Street Building. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as the event gets closer.

A full event listing can be found in OSILD, on the second floor of the Student Center, and on the Worcester State Event Calendar.

Make sure you also check out the schedule of Wellness Center classes and intramural sports offerings. If you want to get a taste of which Wellness Center classes are best for you, check out their Fitness Jam on Thursday, January 16.

Career Services, the Counseling Center, and Residence Life also provide programming throughout the semester. Make sure to visit their pages to learn more!

From all of us in the OSILD, we wish you the best of luck for this semester!

2019 Emerge Leadership Philosophies

At the culmination of each semester’s Emerge Leadership Circle, students share their personal leadership philosophies. These philosophies are the culmination of a semester’s learning and reflection, and each is as unique as the participant themselves.

Christine Babbitt
Class of 2022

“One of my core values is growth. I have reflected on this value for the past few weeks and realized it is my goal to find growth in the experiences and opportunities I encounter throughout life. Another aspect of my leadership philosophy is that perfection is not the goal. There is an underlying pressure for leaders to be perfect, infallible. But in order for leaders to be effective we must be approachable and relatable. Otherwise, we risk not making those connections with others that help them to achieve their goals.

As an RA, at times the ways you help your residents are clear, such as when you help design someone’s schedule or make a door tag with their preferred name. And it feels great when your residents say “Hi” in the hallways. But there are lows too, like when just last week one of your residents asked, “Wait! You’re my RA?” Or when you find yourself counseling a friend about a pregnancy scare.

Over the summer I worked as a camp counselor with 12 young girls. There were many challenges working with this age group. Sometimes they listened to what I said. Often I had to repeatedly ask for quiet and good listening ears in order for them to follow instructions, yet somehow someone always walked into the lake.

As an RA, leadership challenges can be hard when you are responsible to a group. You must balance coursework, friends, family and relationships. You need to do your best to stay healthy and rested so you can do your best work when you are on schedule. And sometimes things don’t go as well as you would have planned. But finding the growth opportunities, the ability to learn from things that didn’t go well, is what sets you apart from the crowd as a leader. I have enjoyed making connections with people who I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I have learned to work as a team in stressful situations, as well as how to create community connections based on a foundation of the values of fun, well-being and growth.

I realized early on in the semester that this wasn’t going to be as easy as when I worked as a camp counselor with 12 little girls who kinda listened to what I said. But that ties to the other part of my leadership philosophy- that growth is the goal, not perfection. Mistakes are a reality of life, they happen everyday on big and small scales. There is an underlying pressure for a leader to be perfect- but also to be relatable and approachable. And if we were perfect then we wouldn’t be relatable since who is? Growth is what makes a leader stand out above the crowd- they’re moving towards that vision of perfection while falling down but knowing how to shake the dust off and keep going.

Gabrielle Decosta
Class of 2023

“Now, I know this may come as a surprise to you all considering that I spoke up a lot during this program, but I am actually quite quiet and introverted. I’m a listener and observer, and I do my best to examine each facet of a particular situation before expressing my opinion. So for me, being a leader is stepping out of the safe space that is my inner thoughts and actually putting them to action by guiding others. I encourage my peers to share their thoughts and ideas, regardless of if I agree with them, because one of my defining beliefs is that diversity is critical aspect of a successful team, and being willing to consider new perspectives is a critical aspect of a successful leader. Holding everyone’s relevant perspectives equal to one another is necessary too, as this ensures everyone is contributing equally to the task at hand. With these beliefs comes my personal values of leading in such a way that is open minded and accepting. I embrace other’s unique perspectives and can accept constructive criticism which will benefit my peers’ productivity and my own leadership journey. Besides just accepting my team members, I also as a leader accept myself in order to reach my fullest potential. Though I try my hardest, I am not perfect, but accepting my flaws is an important step for me to be a good leader. I hope to lead by example and demonstrate to others that they can accept themselves too. It’s about guiding, not dictating, and creating a space where everyone feels that their voice is being heard. By embracing my core values as a leader, I hope to set an example for others to be more open minded and accepting too, and make the world a better place for all of us to live in.”

Andrew Farrington
Class of 2022

“After being selected for this program, I had to think hard about why. I never really defined myself as a leader, so understanding why I was selected to participate has been on my mind for quite a few weeks. Each leader is different, and each leader follows a different guideline, and this guideline is called the Leadership Philosophy. A self-examination of my habits in groups and in different roles has shown that leadership is more than standing up in front of people and giving a speech. Being a leader is bringing passion into everything one does, and setting an example through actions, as cliche as that seems.

Having a passion to continue to be better is so important as a leader. Stagnant effort only leads to regression. Progress comes from an individual or group making an effort to move forward. This is an important energy for a leader to provide.

Having a voice for those who do not believe what they have to say matters is important. It is important for everyone to have concerns and ideas shared. Each voice and each opinion matters equally, so being expressive for those around you when you are in a leadership role is a big part of my leadership philosophy.

Being able to roll and adapt to changing situations is an important quality for a leader to have. Events do not always go as expected. However, it is important to stay even keeled and search for a solution. This means preparation is incredibly important, as is planning for the unexpected.

The most important role of a leader is to lead by example. Not every leadership role expects a speech, or shaking hands or being incredibly diplomatic. In many situations, for me, the best leader is one exhibits behaviors that should be repeated, not just discussing them. A leader that can lead by actions, not words, speaks volumes as to what is expected, not only by everyone else, but by him/herself. This leadership quality holds everyone, including the leader, to the same standards. It shows respect and equal treatment.”

Julia Fitzpatrick
Class of 2021

“Leadership comes in many styles and forms and reflect upon the personalities and values of each individual. I value honesty, creativity, fairness, and use these values when making decisions. Important strengths I possess are listening, analyzing skills, and problem solving. As a leader, it is a priority that I take the time to listen to what each group member has to offer, and analyse both the responses and the task at hand before reaching any important decisions. It is important that I not only utilize my strengths to best benefit the group, but that I also encourage others to identify and utilize their strengths as well.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that not everyone is going to have the confidence to offer their ideas, especially in a larger group setting. Because of that, as a leader I want to create an environment that encourages the active participation of everyone and helps people to step out of their comfort zones and share their valuable ideas and insights. Truly when everyone comes together and shares their ideas each unique, formulated from their own perspective great things can come of it. The quote “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” by John Quincy Adams encapsulates a significant part of my leadership philosophy.

An important goal of leadership is to help to inspire people to become the best that they can be, and encourage people to take the steps to become the great leaders that they can be.”

Erica Hanlon
Class of 2023

“Canadian-American public speaker and author, Brian Tracy, once said “The best leaders have a high Consideration Factor. They really care about their people.” I feel this quote exemplifies my style of leadership. I am a highly compassionate person; I care a lot about other people, their feelings, their wellbeing, and how I can help and support them. Compassion has been a major factor of my leadership for as long as I can remember. Starting a young age, caring for the wellbeing of others drove my ability to advocate for myself and others. In sixth grade, my best friend, who was in special education classes, was being taunted by another student. It made her hate coming to school, but she was very shy and afraid that if she spoke up the bullying would get worse. I felt horrible that she was being treated so unfairly just because of her learning disability, so one day I decided to tell the bully to stop. Even though it was scary, I knew it was the right thing to do and I broke through the barrier of fear to advocate and push for fairness. Even at a young age, I strongly believed that everyone should be treated equally and from that point forward, I was never scared to use my voice to fight for equality. In high school, it was my genuine care for individuals on my cross country team that helped me become captain of the team. It was my desire to help represent the needs of other students that helped me be elected to student government. I believe compassion is an essential characteristic of a leader because they truly care about their followers and the people they are helping. A compassionate leader will not take over in a group, or dismiss a subordinate part of a group or society. They will always accept everyone for their personal identities, and they will hear and value their voices. In college, I will continue to use my voice and stay true to myself as a leader. I will use my abilities to better the lives of others around me and work to further develop and grow as a leader in the future.”

Kyle Lindberg
Class of 2023

“A leader is someone who is able to convey their ideas and work with others in order to solve a problem. Yet a leader is also able to listen and sift through other ideas presented within a group to determine what is the best option to take or direction to go in. A leader is someone who is able to disrupt chaos and create order amongst peers while also being sure that everyone’s concerns are properly addressed and discussed. A leader is able to be adaptable and ever changing. In some situations a leader has to be more stern and others a more soft spoken and easy going leader is required to get the most production out of a specific group of people. A leader can work with these different groups of people and change their strategy to best work with said group. Lastly, a leader is someone that others can look up to. Someone that people can go to for advice. A leader must have a strong and more importantly a good moral compass and set of values. A leader will set an example for others and that example should be a good one.”

Marissa Luchini
Class of 2022

My leadership philosophy is all about growth and blossoming into the leader that I hope to be. I want to be a leader who goes outside of her comfort zone in order to grow both as a person and as a leader, and I want to inspire others to do the same.

Overall, I want to be a leader who is:

Confident: I believe that a leader should be confident in his or her abilities and trust that they have what it takes to be a successful leader.

Reliable: I believe that a leader should be someone that people can trust to get the job done on time and go above and beyond what is asked of them.

Passionate: I believe that a leader should show interest, excitement, and motivation to complete a project and should motivate their group members as well.

Open-Minded: I believe that a leader should be willing to accept a diverse range of both people and ideas in order to make the best decision possible for the group.

Approachable: I believe that a leader should make people feel comfortable coming to them to express a concern or bring up a new idea.

Lighthearted: I believe that a leader should always try to bring a smile to people’s faces and use humor to brighten people’s day.

Team-Oriented: I believe that a leader should take initiative and always do what is best for the group as a whole.

Creative: I believe that a leader should be able to create new and inventive solutions to problems, combining and encompassing the ideas presented by the whole group.

Kind: I believe that a leader should always be compassionate, caring, and willing to lend a helping hand.

Alvin Marchena
Class of 2022

“Every chance you have in life to make an impact on others is an opportunity to help yourself. I believe that we grow as humans when we work towards something greater than what we are. While many people say that we should be proud of ourselves and what we do, I think we should try to be humble, and this directly influences my leadership style. Regardless of what position I have in a given group, I treat everyone with the same amount of respect. This allows others to respect me, but at the same time trust me as a leader. I usually do not tend to take the spotlight; I am more comfortable with praising others for their work and letting them feel accomplished. A person who feels appreciated by his superiors is more likely to contribute productive ideas for his team. In other words, I would rather be the type of leader who guides others towards new destinations while letting them build the road. Finding a great team and empowering them to make decisions is a crucial part of my leadership philosophy because a leader cannot expect to surpass expectations if nobody else is confronting his ideas.

One of my long-term career goals is to make it into the political field. However, I do not want to be a congressperson or another elected officer. I would much rather contribute my ideas to other candidates as an advisor, budget manager, or an economic policymaker. This connects back to the fact that I feel much better when I am helping others make it into influential positions while keeping myself away from the spotlight. As a leader, I empower others to make their own decisions and ultimately enjoy the benefits. This makes them feel productive and appreciated which is the greater goal of our team. No man is an island.”

Cayce Pappas
Class of 2021

“What defines a leader? Is it the individual who stands in front of a crowd to deliver a powerful message? Is it the person who is committed to their beliefs, and represents them with full integrity? I stand behind two beliefs; that anybody can be a leader and that everybody was put on the world for a reason, no matter the fact that they may be more reserved or outspoken. A leader can come in all shapes and sizes, you just must be confident in your purpose.

As a leader, I am privileged to have a voice, and not using it would be a disservice to those who may not realize that their views matter. It’s important to remember that a leader isn’t a standalone individual; they encompass the ideas and voices of so many others. This is why a significant characteristic of a leader is, not only being able to look back on who guided them down their path, but also looking ahead to the people they hope to reach out to. A leader doesn;t have to stand behind something large, but if you’re going to stand for something then stand tall and proud.

It’s essential to remember that not everything will go as planned, it doesn’t have to. How a person reacts to the situation, is how their leadership skills are defined. I want to make as many positive impacts on this Earth while I have the chance. Hopefully my actions will have an influence on others to take a stand for what they believe. Finally, if you were to take away anything, recognize that a leader doesn’t necessarily look for someone to stand behind them, but next to them, in order to guide one another.”

Camiron Reyes
Class of 2021

“My reasons for being a leader stemmed from wanting to be more outgoing and confident. I have always loved being part of a team but I have always wanted to try leading a group and taking on more leadership positions. To start on this goal of mine, I applied to be an orientation leader and it was a huge growing experience for me. After taking on that responsibility, I really enjoyed learning how to lead and how to be a good leader. This made me want to learn more about leadership, and when I got nominated for emerge I was very grateful and excited to give it a try. These days I feel a lot more confident leading presentations, groups, etc. I don’t think I would be as confident in my skills and leadership if it wasn’t for emerge and the workshops like the problem solving workshop. Although activities where you have to problem solve can be bothersome, it helps us remember that in life sometimes we have to solve problems without clear cut answers. Overall, I think that being a leader means to be the best you that you can be, always putting your best foot forward, and giving your goal everything that you can. For me, this was tough because I was often afraid of failure, so I wouldn’t give my all to anything I did due to fear. After my growth so far throughout my college experience, I learned that I shouldn’t be afraid of failing, but I should be afraid of not giving something my best effort. That’s what made me the leader I am today.”

Michelle Rivas
Class of 2020

“Es la habilidad que tenemos las personas de influenciar a otras. Esta influencia puede ocurrir por medio de nuestras palabras o por medio de nuestras acciones.

Esa influencia que se ejerce sobre otras personas puede ser para provocar un cambio en ellas o simplemente para ganar la simpatía de esas personas.

Liderazgo es lo que ejerció Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar con todos sus compañeros de batalla.

Liderazgo era aquella pasión y deseo de Simón Bolívar por libertar todos los países a los cuales él libertó. 

Liderazgo es lo que ha hecho que Greta Thunberg decida cambiar el curso del planeta.

Liderazgo es lo que ejerce en mí, día tras día, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a través de todas sus obras.

Liderazgo es lo que ha hecho que las canciones de René Pérez, mejor conocido como Residente Calle 13, se hayan convertido en una crítica social.

Liderazgo es lo que motivó a Juan Pablo Duarte a pelear por la libertad del pueblo dominicano.

Liderazgo fue lo que Frida Kahlo ejerció en mí, a través de su fuerza de voluntad, su pasión y su amor por lo que ella hacía. 

Liderazgo es lo que mis profesores ejercen diariamente en mí, mediante la dedicación que cada uno tiene a su trabajo y la inspiración que cad uno me provoca.

Liderazgo es el fervor que me motiva a ser como soy, a ayudar a todo aquel que necesite de mi ayuda, a ser una voz para las personas de habla hispana en mi comunidad, a ser diferente.

Liderazgo es es sentimiento que nace dentro de nosotros y que nos motiva a pelear contra las injusticias.

Liderazgo es aquello que nos ayuda a tomar la iniciativa cuando nadie se atreve a hacerlo.

Liderazgo es lo que ustedes (Sarah and Linzy) han ejercido en mí, para que yo, hoy en día, escriba esta disertación.”

Edwin Rodriguez-Rivera
Class of 2022

Everyone has their own ideas as to what a leader should be. Most of them correlate and some aren’t even near. Personally I’ve never looked into what I do myself that makes me a leader until now. I’ve noticed that I myself tend to do things on a daily basis that a leader would do. For example when they say “A good leader is a good listener.” since I’m a good listener and like to hear people out, and understand everyone’s point of view it is my way of explaing to myself what a leader is. It is the first step to being a leader. I believe a leader is someone who is humble, knowledgeable, has determination, has mutual respect, gives credit, coaches, says we not me, makes tough decisions, takes responsibility, and motivates a team regardless of the situation.

I feel that as a leader it is important to lead by example and to know that sometimes actions do speak louder than words. A leader is mindful to everyone’s capabilities and skills, and knows that they will all work together hand in hand later on.

As a leader you have to be very decisive, and you have to understand that communication is key. Communication is key to a leader because the people you are working with will have a clear understanding as to why you made a certain decisión. 

I believe that having leader traits is a privilege and an opportunity to inspire others and direct others in a positive way and lead them to the right way of doing certain things.

Owen Slattery
Class of 2023

“Being a leader is not for everyone.  It takes a special kind of person to display leadership qualities.  To be a great leader, you must be able to rally the troops when times are tough and find success.  When these times arise, deal with the cards you’re dealt and make the most of it. To be a prominent leader, you must not only tell people what to do, but show people the correct way of getting through obstacles.  It’s all about being able to not only talk the talk but having the ability to walk the walk. Don’t dwell on how the challenge is difficult, but get it done and more importantly get it done in a timely manner. A capable leader will deal with extreme conditions and achieve success regardless of the task.  To be a respected leader, no discrimination will be taking place. To have an effective leadership style, a strong ethical code and good morals are not only a want, but they are required.”

Catalina Ulloa-Hiltz
Class of 2023

“My mission as a leader is to ensure all feel welcomed and are heard. One’s opinion or voice does not hold any more importance over the next person’s. Making connections and discovering commonalities among peers allows for basic conversation in which is the anchor for human interaction and cultivating friendships.

Although my leadership style is not one that is very outspoken, I firmly believe in the notion of “leading by example.” Actions speak louder than words and holding yourself to a higher standard will be easily seen and respected by others. Past experiences, as well as the present, have shaped me as an individual and as the leader I am today. My leadership style continues to form as I further discover myself and my abilities. Recognizing that there is always room for improvement allows me to strive and be the best version for not only myself but for others as well.

A leader is someone that has gained the trust and respect of their peers, they are someone that takes everyone’s opinions into consideration and puts others before themselves. All while having the best interest in mind for the group and for the collective end goal. This is the type of leadership I value and strive to embody on a daily basis.

Obtaining a personal leadership philosophy creates clarity in one’s decision making and actions, it makes your mission as a leader clear and concise to everyone and allows for self-reflection. Being a leader is not all about making sure you are receiving the credit for a job well done, but rather knowing within yourself what you have accomplished and moving forward. Leading in a subtle, meaningful manner is just as important as those leaders that are naturally outspoken. Being a positive leader, I hope to both inspire and aid in the success of my own peers by staying true to my philosophy and executing all that I value as a leader.”

Jessica Wicks
Class of 2022

The Leader in Me

I could just say I’m a leader and leave it at that
But many of you wonder, what makes this a fact
So let’s take a quick journey so you can see
What makes me know, there’s a leader in me

The leader in me believes in being honest
How can I lead, if it’s me they cannot trust
The leader in me understands the importance of being kind
Even the smallest acts, can bring peace to others mind
The leader in me knows that at times, others will be the ones ahead
True leadership comes from the ability to be humbly led
The leader in me believes in displaying leadership in my walk, day to day
How can I expect others to follow, if my actions don’t match what I say
The leader in me knows that in some things I fail
Being a leader requires determination, so even in setbacks, I’ll learn and prevail
The leader in me believes in having a strong spiritual foundation
Because with God, there are no limits, on how I can help build this and future generations.
Most importantly, The leader in me operates in love
For it is love, I know, is at the root of the leader in me

Thank you for allowing me to share with you the leader in me
It is my prayer that in my words and actions, a leader, you will always see

Jaymi-Lyn Souza | Student Senate Chairperson

Jaymi-Lyn Souza seems to have appeared out of thin air. Coming to Worcester State from nearby Leicester, she spent her first year on campus quietly excelling in her classes and participating in the spring field hockey season. Last September, Jaymi was walking around the Club Kickoff with a friend when a member from the SGA table stopped her to ask if she was interested in joining.

“Right off the bat in Senate meetings I was active and involved, and when the Chairperson ended up stepping down… they nominated me for chair. I had no idea what I was doing, so I rolled with the punches.”

A few short months later, she was sitting in the Senate meetings as Chairperson. And her second year as Chairperson is just beginning.

It’s Not Make-Believe

Jaymi speaks proudly of the work she has done as a member of the Student Senate, with projects ranging from advocating for issues in higher education to helping develop the meal swipe donation program. The time she has spent in her role as Chairperson has only helped her better develop her personal leadership style.

“The thing with being the Chair that I’ve had to be really conscious of is, yes, I have my own really strong opinions about everything all the time but it’s really important to me that I don’t just impose those opinions over the Senate. I want it to be a deliberative body, I want it to be the Senate’s decision, not just Jaymi having an iron fist and deciding everything that the Senate does. I’ve had to be conscious of myself and keep myself in check.”

Jaymi in Washington D.C. as part of the President’s Student Leadership Spring Break Trip

During last spring semester, Jaymi was selected to travel to Washington D.C. on the annual Student Leadership Trip, sponsored by the President’s Office. She was able to spend time with other students meeting with members of Congress and their staffers, as well as explore everything that D.C. has to offer.

Jaymi’s passion for activism and government was evident while she reflected on her experience.

“I loved it. That activism work that I talk about, it’s very real, it’s not make-believe anymore. It’s not talking about it in a classroom, it’s actually going and doing it. We went and talked to Ed Marky, and a couple weeks later he was here talking about the things we [had discussed]. It’s really rewarding to see your work pay off like that.”

Call Me Bossy

One thread through many of Jaymi’s experiences and future goals relate to her experience as a women in a leadership role. She referenced current Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the challenges that face her and other women in leadership positions.

“I hear all the time the conversation about strong empowered women being bitches or being aggressive or assertive. It’s really frustrating,” Jaymi shares. “But I’m a very determined person, it doesn’t make me back down. When I’m mad about stuff like that, like the system and the injustices I don’t like, this is part of it. Some people are like ‘I guess I’m too bossy?’ And I’m like no, cool, thank you for calling me bossy, it means I’m good at what I’m doing.”

Jaymi also took this moment to use a Taylor Swift song titled “The Man” to share some of her experiences.

“It [“The Man”] is exactly how I feel. I think coming into myself and just being able to say and point out, you wouldn’t be saying that to me if I was a man, has just kind of helped me take steps and realize there’s nothing inherently wrong with my leadership style. I’m not wondering if I’d be getting anywhere quicker, I know I’d be taken more seriously. I feel like I constantly have to prove myself first and then people will take me seriously, it’s not the default.”

People Who Don’t Like Peaches

Despite being just over halfway through her undergraduate career, Jaymi is already able to reflect on how her various collegiate experiences have changed her as a leader.

Jaymi at last spring’s Midnight Madness basketball game.

“I think one thing that I’m learning is that not everybody’s is going to like you all the time. It’s impossible to please everybody. You can be as peachy as possible, and there’s still going to be that person who doesn’t like peaches. I’m still learning this every day, and I just think doing the best I can has to be enough”

“I’m also a work in progress, and I think that’s really important. I think that people oftentimes look at me like I have [everything] together, but spoiler alert, I do not. I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m figuring it out as I go along. And so is everyone else. I make mistakes, I say things that I shouldn’t, I sometimes do things and I’m like, I should have seen that coming. Just because you make mistakes doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad leader, it just means that you’re human.

Asking for Help

When asked about a piece of advice she would share with students just beginning their leadership journey, she spoke at length about hers struggles with asking for help.

“I was like that for a long time. I had to do everything by myself. I think for a long time I was like, I can’t ask for help, I have to do everything by myself, always, and it’s exhausting, and it’s lonely, and it’s draining. And there were so many people that were willing to help me. I was just like no, I have to do everything myself.”

“Just because you have to ask for help doesn’t mean you’re a bad leader. Just because you’re not sure of where to go or you’re not the most outspoken person, doesn’t say anything about you as a leader. It’s better that you do ask for help.”

Life after Worcester State

Jaymi shared that she has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 10 years old. “I’ve always wanted to make a difference,” she stated. “I see a lot of things in the world that I don’t like. Instead of just being the person to sit there and complain about it, I’ve always wanted to be the doer and fix these things.”

With a double major in history and political science and a minor in computer science, Jaymi has immersed herself in her pre-law program. The plan after Worcester State is to go to law school and focus on either constitutional law or technology policy.

“Lately I’ve been leaning more towards doing private sector law or patent law, that stuff that sounds boring to everybody else but is really cool to me,” says Jaymi. She also hopes to do pro-bono work and different advocacy work on the side. “People always need lawyers, and a lot of people can’t afford a good lawyer when they really need one,” she explains. “The idea that I could be that person is really appealing.” 

Jaymi is also on the Planning Board in Leicester, where she works with board members to review applications for zoning, special permits, and develop a plan for long-range land use. “I don’t think that I’ll ever stop holding some form of smaller public office,” Jaymi shares. “Politics and activism have always been an integral part of who I am.”

As for her political aspirations? “I know it sounds kind of ridiculous to take on an entire political system by myself…but if no one else is going to do it, I guess it will be me.”

Says Jaymi, “Through opportunities that the campus has given me, I’ve met people who will be my friends for a long time.”

*All photos provided by Jaymi-Lyn Souza.

OSILD Welcomes New Assistant Director, Linzy Martinez

Linzy Martinez, the newest Assistant Director in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, began at Worcester State in June following her graduation from Central Connecticut State University. A native of New Haven, CT, Linzy spent both her undergraduate and graduate careers at CCSU, where she studied sociology and history before graduating with an M.S. in Counselor Education for Higher Education and Student Development.

Linzy at her graduate commencement

As a student at Central, Linzy spent time working as a Student Center Building Manager, AV Tech, Orientation Leader, and Yale Housing intern. Her experience has carried over into her professional work at Worcester State, where she oversees student employees at both the Student Center Information Desk and Living Room, advises the Commuter Activities Board, and supports Commuter Services.

Before classes began for the fall, Linzy took some time to discuss her thoughts on leadership.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned when it comes to leadership?

“My biggest lesson in leadership was learning how to take what I learned about my role and leadership and trust my judgement. As a student leader I went through a time where I had the tools I needed to lead and succeed but I questioned every choice I made. A mentor of mine really motivated me to trust my judgment and use what I learned with confidence, and that helped me become a more successful leader.

My leadership style is crafted partly with who I am and partly with the values, personalities, and goals of the people I am leading. I find that with a combination of styles, I craft unique methods that work for myself, the group, and the common goal we are looking to achieve. “

Can you share how your identity has shaped your leadership style throughout the years?

“My identity as a Latina has contributed to how I value relationship building and hard work. I believe my background and family have instilled [in me] a warm and caring personality that allows me to be successful in connecting with [the] students and people I work with and find a lot of joy in working with a team. I also believe the community I grew up with really valued hard work and being grateful for every opportunity presented. Even if an opportunity doesn’t work out or it’s not something you necessarily enjoy, if there is a pay off or a chance for growth you should still work hard and use your strengths to remain open to new opportunity. I have learned in more recent years that taking the extra step to advocate for yourself, your needs, and what you believe in in a society that isn’t always equal can go a long way.”

What advice would you give to students who are just beginning to explore the type of leader, or the type of person, they hope to become?

“Learn your strengths and embrace them. Everyone has them so learn about what makes you a strong leader and be proud of it. Too many times I’ve seen great student leaders sell themselves short.

Apply a growth mindset to everything you do. Be conscious of how you have grown and what new opportunities you can take on to see professional or personal growth in yourself.

Embrace the identities that are most salient to you and don’t be afraid to apply them to who you are as a leader. Advocate for yourself and your needs! Use your support and always speak up when you feel it matters to do so.”

What are you most looking forward to in your first year at WSU?

“Getting to know the students and the Worcester State community!”

The staff of the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development (left to right): Colleen, Linzy, Kristie, Sarah, and Christine

Make sure to stop by the second floor of the Student Center to welcome Linzy to Worcester State!