Spring Student Leadership Conference
The UIC Spring Student Leadership Conference is the biggest one-day, in-person leadership event on campus! Attendees will be able to hear from keynote speakers; select from a variety of workshops led by faculty, staff, and peers; and network with others in the UIC Community.
While we plan for the Spring Student Leadership Conference 2023, check out below this past conference!
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Saturday, February 19, 2022 Heading link
The theme for the Spring 2022 conference was And Still I Rise: Leadership Skills for Resiliency and Change. Workshops and keynotes at the conference focused on topics around flexibility, transition, and being a rockstar leader.
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Student Leadership Conference Schedule
10:00am – Check In Opens
10:30am – Program Begins
10:45am – Opening Keynote: David Stovall, UIC Professor of Black Studies and Criminology, Law, and Justice
**11:30am-2:30pm – Professional Headshot Photography offered for interested attendees**
11:40am – Workshop Session #1
*The Revolving Revolution: How to Be a Leader When You Are (Not) the Leader: Developing and Implementing a Leadership Philosophy
*Discovering Leadership within Culture Shock: Leading Yourself in a New Environment
*Elections Are Over, Now What?: How to Smoothly Transition into a New Executive Board
12:30pm – Lunch
1:15pm – Workshop Session #2
*Understanding the Assignment: Identity, Equity, and the Transition from Student to Professional
*Considering Antiracism: Moving from Ideas to Action in a Complex World
*And Still Seas Rise: Leadership Skills for Climate Resilience and a Changing World
2:15pm – Workshop Session #3
*Leadership Style, Personality, Habits & Application
*Rise to the top of the YES Pile: Design a Resume that Highlights Leadership Skills & Experiences
*The Wonderful and Frightening World of… Collaboration
3:15pm – Final Keynote: Aisha El-Amin, UIC Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity and Belonging
4:00pm – Closing Events
4:30pm – Program Ends
Keynote Speakers and Workshop Descriptions Heading link
You can read the bios of our keynote speakers, as well as review brief descriptions of the educational workshops here, in order to best plan out your day at the Conference.
David Stovall, Ph.D. is a professor in the departments of Black Studies and Criminology, Law & Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). His scholarship investigates three areas 1) Critical Race Theory, 2) the relationship between housing and education, and 3) the intersection of race, place and school. In the attempt to bring theory to action, he works with community organizations and schools to address issues of equity, justice and abolishing the school/prison nexus. His work led him to become a member of the design team for the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice (SOJO), which opened in the Fall of 2005. Furthering his work with communities, students, and teachers, his work manifests itself in his involvement with the Peoples Education Movement, a collection of classroom teachers, community members, students and university professors in Chicago, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area who engage in collaborative community projects centered in creating relevant curriculum. In addition to his duties and responsibilities as a professor at UIC, he also served as a volunteer social studies teacher at the Greater Lawndale/Little Village School for Social Justice from 2005-2018.
Discovering Leadership within Culture Shock: Leading Yourself in a New Environment
We believe that “culture shock” may be more common than we think. This workshop is aimed at any individual who is facing challenges adapting to a new environment, whether that would be a new country, city, institution, or workplace. We will learn to utilize leadership skills to recognize and tackle unique barriers we may experience while adapting to a new environment. We aim to discuss how we may connect to the new community around us through building support networks. Lastly, we hope to understand how culture shock is an opportunity for individuals to experience growth.
Presenters: Cecilia Macias and Lahney Vilayhong
Elections Are Over, Now What?: How to Smoothly Transition into a New Executive Board
Selecting an executive board for a student organization is always an exciting time. However, many valid concerns arise. How can a leader ensure that the new board will uphold the mission of the organization? What are the best ways to effectively transition new board members into their roles?
In this 50 minute session, organization leaders will acquire the skills needed to create an engaging transitional experience for new executive board members. All potential or current student organization leaders are encouraged to attend!
Presenter: Rama Izar
The Revolving Revolution: How to Be a Leader When You Are (Not) the Leader: Developing and Implementing a Leadership Philosophy
In this workshop, participants develop their own leadership philosophy (e.g., a list of 10 principles) and concrete ways to implement it. We will discuss interdisciplinary leadership perspectives (examples include philosophy from coaches, educators, government officials, salespeople and spiritual leaders.) Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples of leadership philosophy. The presenter will be drawing from their own experience as a coach of UIC’s rugby team and over five years in education. Themes include: facilitating leadership, autonomy, and individuality. This workshop is geared towards new/aspiring leaders, especially in education or athletics, but everyone is welcome!
Presenter: Spencer Harrison and Jacob Stovall
And Still Seas Rise: Leadership Skills for Climate Resilience and a Changing World
This session is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of sustainability and the related resources at UIC while guiding them through a process of individual discernment and reflection. Students are often surprised to discover that the scale of the ongoing environmental crisis is such that individual actions are effectively negligible in the particular. It is only through collective and corporate action that systemic changes are possible of the sort that can meaningfully mitigate climate change and prepare for its inevitable consequences. By emphasizing the importance of committed leadership and collective action, and workshopping some of the students’ own interests and priorities, this session provides a space for reflection, empowerment, and resource sharing to inspire a cohort of committed climate leaders.
Presenter: Christopher Anderson
Considering Antiracism: Moving from Ideas to Action in a Complex World
This dialogue centers on how to move from antiracist ideas and beliefs to concrete actions. Focusing on what was gleaned in the Spring 2021 UIC book group and subsequent Honors College antiracism course, as well as lived experiences of the participants, the discussion offers insight into next steps toward action. Panelists and audience engage in conversation and understanding to effect positive change‚ on and off campus.
Presenters: Alex Sainvilier and Lauren DeJulio Bell
Understanding the Assignment: Identity, Equity, and the Transition from Student to Professional
In this workshop style presentation, new and veteran student leaders will have the opportunity to
self-reflect and engage with peers in a dialogue centered around naming personal identities, such
as gender, ethnicity/race, ability status, or sexual orientation; recognizing power dynamics related to
their held identities and students will be able to establish equity practices using cultural humility as a
Presenter: Whitney Harris
Leadership Style, Personality, Habits & Application
This is an interactive workshop that discusses topics about understanding one’s own personality and work style. The aim is to bring together students and to have them engage in a workshop that teaches them how to solve problems as a team so that they can learn to utilize their potential and apply it in the university context. Gaining a general understanding of your personality and how your work style may complement or conflict with other work styles will help you become an effective leader. Lastly, this workshop will teach one the importance of self-transformation by learning how to lead dynamically.
Presenters: Arthur Kasowski, Asma Elsabbagh, and John Donners
Rise to the top of the YES Pile: Design a Resume that Highlights Leadership Skills & Experiences
What are employers looking for when they review student resumes? Does including leadership skills and experience really enhance a student’s resume? If yes, how do students add leadership skills and experiences in a professional manner (and make their resumes fit on one page?!) Workshop attendees will engage in interactive activities (individually and in small groups) as they learn how to showcase their leadership skills and experiences on their professional resumes. Come ready to interact with other students and reflect on your own leadership skills and experiences.
Presenter: Missy Frazin
The Wonderful and Frightening World of... Collaboration
This session will focus on the importance of collaborating with other organisations, departments and programs (ODPs) on campus. There will be a guide of steps an organization can take to reach out, and also some tips in promoting collaborations. We will also highlight the benefits collaboration can bring to a ODP, such as e-board transitions, event ideas, and membership growth. The presenters will highlight the improvements collaboration can bring for future jobs, social circles, and mental health.
Presenters: Diego Basaldu and Meghna Dasgupta
Dr. Aisha El-Amin is the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity and Belonging (AVCEB) in the UIC Office of Diversity. Dr. El-Amin holds a PhD in Policy Studies of Urban Education with research focused on the African-American Muslim community in Chicago. Dr. El-Amin has served in a variety of leadership roles at UIC over the last decade including as Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the College of Education and more recently as the Associate Provost, where she co-chaired the Student Success Initiative on African-American Student Success at UIC.
As the AVCEB Dr. El-Amin consults with members of the UIC community in the development of policy and practice interventions to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for Black/ African Descent students, faculty and staff. She also works closely with units across the university to develop creative solutions for continuous and emerging needs of the Black/ African Descent community at UIC. Dr. El-Amin hit the ground running with the launch of the Black resources website and the Black Faculty Book Share Series. Some of her current work in the Office of Diversity includes serving on the diversity education team, the B2F team, the student inclusion support team, as well as supporting the DuSable Scholars program, Partnerships for Anti-Racist Campus Transformation (PACT) and the education portion of the Neighborhood Centers initiative.