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UofGH students present at the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership

Three University of Guelph-Humber students recently presented at the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership, an annual event that brings together student leaders from across Canada to share their experiences, ideas and skills.

Business students Amelia Savoie and Shelina Dhiman and Psychology student Jordan Molduch presented at the conference, held this past fall at the University of Toronto.

The three-day conference, now in its 13th year, featured a collection of 30 workshops, all of which offered the students different perspectives on how to foster and build their leadership skills. Savoie, who was attending for her third straight year, was again impressed by the variety of the programming.

“I had an amazing experience at the conference,” Savoie said. “What I love about this conference in particular is how different the conference is each year. Every year, the location, key note speakers and workshops change, which makes it a diverse learning experience.”

Sharing their insights

The three presentations from the students representing UofGH illustrated how much thematic diversity the conference offered.

Dhiman was part of a group of students who presented their experiences with mindful leadership. Savoie, who is in her fourth year, focused her presentation on leadership after graduation in the hopes that it would inspire participants to reflect on how their leadership skills would guide them through their post-graduate studies or their professional careers.

Finally, Molduch’s presentation was titled “The Leader Inside You: Beyond Anxiety.”

“I used my personal experience with anxiety to demonstrate strategies to overcome it,” Molduch explained. “I started by breaking the archetype of a leader, followed up with sharing my experiences, and then helped the participants develop personalized plans and strategies to overcome anxiety so they might take the next steps towards becoming a leader.”

“It was exciting to see how participants of the workshop connected to Molduch’s personal experience with anxiety, and the strategies he used to overcome it,” said Shannon Ho, Student Services Coordinator, Student Life.

“As the workshop progressed, I could see his confidence as a presenter and a leader growing. His workshop captured the attention of the room with the relatability of his lived experience.”

The students also found inspiration in the presentations of their peers.

“A highlight for me was getting to speak about my experience in front of all the conference attendees,” Savoie recalled. “I was asked by the committee to answer what my favourite workshop was. I spoke about a workshop that involved writing a letter to your future self. I liked it so much as it was an opportunity for me to reflect on my experiences as a student leader, and I will be able to read my reflection five years from now.”

Why student leadership is so important

The vision of the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership is guided by the belief that all students have the potential and the capacity to lead, leadership is defined by action, and an understanding of self and others will inspire change and growth.

UofGH features several programs and awards intended to foster and encourage the growth of student leaders. The Leadership Development Conference Fund awards students funding to use toward a conference for costs including registration, accommodations, or travel, while the CliftonStrengths program is designed to help UofGH students understand their natural talents and how to develop those positive qualities into strengths.

“UofGH has helped me greatly in facilitating leadership,” Molduch said. “The smaller student body makes it easier to try and improve on yourself and take opportunities, as you are usually in a familiar environment with familiar people. I feel that the smaller population also invites greater chances at landing leadership positions if you are willing to take the few extra steps to apply for them.

“I think that staff and students here are really supportive of people who are trying to improve on themselves and take on new responsibilities.”

UofGH offers funding and programming to build student leaders because the University is dedicated to supporting the success of all students by providing mentorship and opportunities which promote learning, growth and identity development.