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UIC grads first to receive leadership certificate

Student Travis Connor Brones on left with leadership certificate medallion around next and student Shraddha Shetty on right with leadership certificate medallion around neck, standing in the quad.

May 10, 2021

Two recent UIC graduates are the first to receive Student Leadership and Civic Engagement’s UIC Co-Curricular Leadership Certificate.

The Co-Curricular Leadership Certificate is built off of the UIC Leadership Framework, which has four phases: exploring, engaging, leading and sharing. Students must complete two different programs within each category. In total, they complete eight different programs with documentation, a reflection and an assessment for each. To complete the certification process, they presented their experiences on UIC Impact Day.

On May 7, Shraddha Shetty, a recent architecture graduate, and Travis Connor Brones, a recent graduate in applied psychology, received their certificates and medallions for the program.

“I enjoyed being a part of these programs as not only did I get to learn a lot about my leadership style and my service skills, but also network with outstanding faculty, staff and students on campus and use this opportunity to also network with people off campus and our community partners at volunteering events,” Shetty said.

“This certificate is unique as it is a path from when you start at UIC all the way through a capstone project; along the way, you are learning, growing, networking and facilitating positive social change,” Brones said.

Exciting programs that can fulfill some of the certification requirements include Ignite, UIC Involvement Fair, LeaderShape InstituteFlashpoint and Forge. Students also can take part in UIC student organizations for the certification.

“It is a great way for students to take their leadership experiences on campus — whether that is a program with SLCE, a campus job, a role within a student organization, or even a campus leadership program that has yet to be added to the certificate — and apply them to a larger honor,” said Nikki Gottleib, associate director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement.

The process allows for students to grow their leadership knowledge and skillset throughout their years at UIC.

“I loved participating because it allowed me to make friends with people outside of your major and outside of the dorms. Leadership is interdisciplinary and applicable in every aspect of daily life, so it attracts a diverse group of people which is what UIC is all about,” Brones said.

“The definition of a leader and leadership is different and no two people define leadership in the same way,” Shetty said. “Leadership is not a position; rather, it is the process. Anyone can be a leader if they want to be by their actions and not by the title they hold.”

Gottleib is thrilled to have the students be the first to complete the program.

“If I had to pick two students to be in the inaugural group for this certificate, I couldn’t have picked two more deserving and involved individuals, who have spent most of their time at UIC developing their leadership skills,” she said.

Story original published on UIC Today: