Wichita State News
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Wichita State University's Shocker Leadership Academy (SLA) Class of 2012.

WSU graduates third Shocker Leadership Academy class

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wichita State University’s Shocker Leadership Academy (SLA) recently concluded another successful year with 33 graduating students and their parents gathered at the Marcus Welcome Center for a banquet this month in honor of completing the SLA program.

The program consisted of congratulatory remarks from Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton, presentations by the WSU Office of Admissions, and a special recognition ceremony highlighting the students’ achievements and activities during the year.

Each year, the Office of Admissions asks Wichita-area high schools to recognize the top student leaders within the junior class at their school. A list of students and high schools represented is available at http://www.wichita.edu/j/?1567.

Fifty-three students were originally nominated by the high schools for inclusion in the program, and 33 students satisfied the SLA graduation requirements.

All participants are required to hold or have held leadership positions in different student clubs, class governments and athletic teams in their respective high schools.

Series of SLA events

Wichita State hosts a series of seven SLA events from October through March. The events were created to enhance and develop students’ leadership capacities. Events occur on WSU’s campus and other venues in the Wichita community. Students had the opportunity to meet and hear from local and national community leaders and successful business professionals, and meet some of WSU’s student leaders.

Some of this year’s activities included a high-ropes challenge course at Camp Tawakoni; a day of serving the community and learning the value of volunteerism; a day at KWCH-TV learning about ethics and values; an intensive leadership course taught by Peter Cohen, dean of the College of Health Professions; a trip to Wichita City Hall to hear a presentation by City Manager Robert Layton; and the Student Ambassador Society Leadership Conference.

SLA was created in 2009 by the Office of Admissions as an outreach tool to benefit high school students who show exceptional leadership potential.

The purpose of SLA is to help students hone their leadership skills by learning from leaders in the community and from each other. It is an excellent opportunity for them to broaden their perspectives on different leadership styles and positions, and to ascertain their own strengths and abilities.

Bobby Gandu
Bobby Gandu
“We’ve seen extraordinary students complete this program over the years,” said Bobby Gandu, director of admissions. “Many of our previous SLA graduates have become major scholarship recipients and campus leaders at WSU and other collegiate institutions.

“This year’s graduating class is no different; they learned and grew together. I believe they have potential to be tremendous leaders in their own respective future endeavors,” said Gandu.

Bill Hodge, a student from the 2012 graduating class, said, “I will be forever grateful to WSU for allowing me to be part of the Shocker Leadership Academy. The SLA leadership activities allowed me to develop my own leadership skills by putting into practice the ideas, tips and strategies I learned from successful business people in our community. I am a better leader, thanks to SLA.”

For more information on Shocker Leadership Academy, contact coordinator Maci Ward at admissions.intern2@wichita.edu or (316) 978-5659.

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Created on Monday, April 23, 2012; Last modified on Tuesday, April 24, 2012