East Carolina University students took center stage and dominated the North Carolina LEAD Conference. Nearly 100 ECU students spent a Saturday in February on North Carolina Central University’s campus in Durham. This is the third straight year that ECU’s contingent at the conference outnumbered any other school in attendance.
LEAD, which stands for Learn, Explore, Accomplish, Discover, is a one day conference filled with numerous leadership sessions. The sessions are presented by students to more than 350 of their peers as well as leadership staff from college campuses across the state.
“I was personally motivated to attend the LEAD Conference to enhance my inner leader,” said ECU sophomore Thomara Hamilton. “To me, a person’s inner leader will allow them to become a person of distinction, prose, and positive influence and this conference enhanced my perception of what a true leader is and allowed me to understand leadership in its entirety.”There were 23 leadership sessions held during the conference, nearly 25% of which were led by ECU student and staff presenters. The students who attended said they learned something valuable in every session that will help them to become a better leader.
“With the interactive presentations, they all kept attention even into the later part of the day,” said Cassie Hundertmark, an ECU freshman. “When probably some people would be ready to go back to campus I was hoping that it could last longer.”
The LEAD Conference, which is sponsored by the North Carolina College Personnel Association (NCCPA), is a state-wide leadership conference that is a great opportunity for the ECU students to interact with peers from other campuses. NCCPA is the state division for American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and sponsors various other opportunities for new and seasoned student affairs professionals, administrative personnel and graduate students.
“It was a good experience for me,” ECU senior Crystal Williams added. “It allowed me to network with other people, helped me to get a better sense of the type of leader I am, and the type of world we live in.”
In addition to being well represented at the conference, East Carolina University was presented with the Honorary Eagle Award, which is given to the school with the most participation and presenters and the group with the highest level of influence at the conference.
Charlie Brown, Director of ECU’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, said this experience is a great statement about our students’ commitment as well as the university’s commitment to leadership.
“Chancellor (Steve) Ballard is driving the leadership initiative at East Carolina University and wants it ingrained in every facet of our student’s college experience,” Brown said. “These types of opportunities to learn about leadership and collaborate with fellow students will serve these Pirates in the short term on campus and long after they graduate.”
For more information about the NC Lead Conference or ECU’s Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement, please contact Charlie Brown at (252) 737-2091. For information about the NCCPA, please contact Krista Wilhelm at (252) 737-2271.