Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2000
STUDENTS AT SDSM& T ARE EXPERIENCING LEADERSHIP ON A DAILY BASIS
Students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology are learning every day how to be an effective leader in their classrooms and future careers. Leadership takes on many different forms and can be seen in many different places across the campus at SD Tech. As students attend class, participate in academic clubs and organizations, or play an athletic sport either varsity, club, or intramural, they all have experienced leadership whether they were aware of it or not.
“ There are all forms of leadership on this campus,” said Chris Ahlers ( CENG, Pierre). “ It can be seen in the freshmen who wore their green beanies until M- Day, and when new organizations begin such as the soccer club. It is the person who stands up for their own rights, sets their own standards. The one who forges into the night,” he added.
A leader has traditionally been associated with those that hold high- level positions such as a president, general manager, or supervisor, not those of the mid- level employee or member of a team. Trends are changing with time though. Today it is important for all members of a company or organization to be leaders - many of which have not been traditionally recognized as such. We are learning that it is developing and maintaining relationships that is the key.
It is for this reason that students, faculty, and staff at SDSM& T are working together to develop leadership skills in students while they are in college. It is important to acknowledge that those who organize a meeting time for a team project, gather a group to start an intramural basketball team, or make a suggestion during class or a club meeting are leaders.
Identifying and developing leadership in students today will help prepare them for life after college. Creating opportunities for students to experience leadership first hand equips them to begin their first job or continue their education. The vital ingredient is their interpersonal skills. In college and business organizations people need to rely on their ability to work well with others, confront difficult situations or negative people, and show initiative in various settings. The trend has moved from a steward shouting out directives, to a playing field where all students or employees participate in the leadership process.
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At the School of Mines students, faculty, and staff are beginning to make a move toward meshing the many clubs, organizations, and academic curriculum to create a campus wide relationship. Developing cross- organizational friendships, working with campus staff, and sitting down with a faculty advisor to discuss something other than class notes or the upcoming test will help close the gap between positional leadership and leadership that focuses on interpersonal relationships. If you would like to learn more about cross- campus leadership at the School of Mines, contact Michelle Howell at ( 605) 394- 2335.
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