Students Hone Leadership Skills at AU LEAD Conference

By Christopher Sarachilli | October 21, 2015

Story by Shani Carrington ’18

On Oct. 4, nearly 40 students developed skills at the AU Leadership Exploration and Development (AU LEAD) Student Conference. With workshops, breakout sessions, and a keynote speaker, they strengthened connections with each other and networked with alumni in the Commons Great Room.

Attendees took part in eight sessions led by students, staff, and alumni on topics such as the role of personal values in maintaining harmony with peers, finding balance between how we present ourselves and who we really are, and the impact one can create through the power of words.

Devon Miller ’18; Daniel Rivera ’17; Jacquelyn Crutchley ’13; Sharlene Goldfischer ’75; Susan Laverty ’12; Joanne Leva ’84; Alyssa Ramos-Reynoso ’13; Andrew Goretsky, dean of Students;  Ed Kovacs, assistant dean of Engagement and New Student Programs; and Megan Lewis, campus activities programmer presented the sessions.

Goldfischer, a certified professional coach specializing in leadership development and wellness coaching, delivered the keynote presentation, “Some Things Never Change…And Some Things Do: Arcadia’s Steadfast Role in Leadership Development.”

In addition, a Lessons in Leadership panel featured Ellen August Booth ’78, ’85M; Michelle (Mickey) Elrich Cohen ’72; and Kevin Hughes ’07 speaking on how leadership has influenced their careers.

Ishraq Khandaker ’18, Danielle Maxson ’16, Laura Reinert ’17, Miller, and Rivera assisted as event staff. Maxson and Rivera served on the conference planning committee with Bre Donnelly, associate director of Residence and Commuter Life; Nick Kirkstadt, area coordinator; Helene Klein, director of the Honors and Accelerated Programs; and Alisha Leu, assistant director of Engagement and New Student Programs.

“Programs like the Student Leadership Conference provide students with an important avenue to engage with each other in a different way than they do on a daily basis,” said Leu.

AU LEAD encourages the development of critical leadership skills by helping students to explore individual growth, group development, and citizenship. With the Office of Engagement and New Student Programs, AU LEAD offers a Leadership Certificate to students who attend workshops, participate in a practical leadership experience, and complete a written reflection.

Upcoming workshops include “Creating a Personal Brand: Living Authentically” on Friday, Oct. 23; “Communicating through Conflict” on Monday, Oct. 26; and “Women and Leadership” on Thurs. Oct. 29.

For more information and a complete list of upcoming events, contact or Alisha Leu at