Wichita State University hosted 26 students and their families April 2 at the Champions Club in Charles Koch Arena to recognize the fifth graduating class of the Shocker Leadership Academy.
Guests heard from Elisha Swope, coordinator of Shocker Leadership Academy, and Bobby Gandu, director of admissions. Students were then presented with certificates and gifts in recognition of their successful completion of the program.
Shocker Leadership Academy is a leadership program for high school juniors sponsored by the Office of Admissions. The program helps students build their leadership skills by learning from community leaders, as well as each other.
Each year counselors from Wichita-area high schools identify and nominate two junior-class leaders for acceptance into the academy. Nominees are required to hold or have held leadership positions in their respective high schools.
This year's class participated in monthly activities covering a variety of topics.
Students learned about how to effectively utilize social media as a method of branding oneself in today's competitive job market. Panel members included brand specialists such as Rachel Groene, brand director at Greteman Group and Jamie Zellner, vice president of communications with the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.
City Arts hosted the academy for an interactive evening with non-profit organizations. Attendance included community leaders such as Brian Walker, president and CEO of Kansas Food Bank; Teresa Veazey, public relations manager for the Wichita Art Museum; and Patty Brown, executive director with the Rotary of Wichita. Students had the opportunity to work closely with these individuals in developing solutions to common non-profit challenges.
"I absolutely loved meeting people from WSU, learning about the campus and events, along with meeting peers from other schools," said Angel Killinger, academy participant.