CCI Students Teach Leadership Skills at Annual TSA Leadership Conference

The annual Technology Student Association (TSA) Leadership Conference was held from October 25 to 28 where eight College of Communication and Information (CCI) students traveled to Orlando to demonstrate their skills in presenting, mentoring, and leading. TSA encourages students to improve leadership skills, enhance personal development, and build confidence through technological education and problem-solving skills. Over 300,000 middle and high schoolers are members of TSA, in which they focus on leadership skills and compete in competitions and hands-on activities. 100 percent of the members are likely to graduate from high school, and 75 percent are college-bound.

CCI students worked with 300 Florida Technology Student Association (TSA) student leaders and over 50 teachers at the conference. The students worked with teams of 12-16 for two days, building them into teams, helping them collaborate, etc. They also delivered three presentations: Securing your Digital Footprint, Having Presence while Presenting, and Leveraging your TSA Experience for College and Scholarships.

Ebe Randeree, Associate Dean at FSU’s College of Communication & Information, has served on the TSA Board since 2008, when FSU CCI first partnered with Florida TSA. According to Randeree, “It is important that we have our college students engaged in developing the next generation of tech leaders, mentoring middle and high school, and practicing their own leadership and communication skills.” Randeree had the opportunity to give a networking presentation to 150 students at the conference, as well as two presentations to existing TSA teachers and New TSA Advisors. A special thank you to FSU alumnus Nathaniel Bostic for in viting Ebe Randeree to present.

Randeree was joined by STARS students Andrea Colon-De Feria, Ashari Penerton, Betty Phipps, Jai Reed, Maggie Martin-McKinnie, Marija Travoric, Owen Van Lenten, and Stacci Smith.

“Going to the TSA Leadership conference gave me the opportunity to help rising student leaders develop their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills through various activities and presentations,” CCI student Stacci Smith says. “Being at TSA also gave me the opportunity to help me improve my skillsets in various ways that will help me in future career and leadership opportunities.”

The link with TSA is important in recruiting more STEM students, who are very talented and will drive Florida’s economy as they graduate and launch businesses and create jobs. Randeree says, “We have some amazing, passionate, devoted teachers in the state that work tirelessly every day to guide and support these students despite the roadblocks, negativity, and all the other challenges thrown at them from parents, politicians, etc.”

“TSA is the most enriching activity for me that we do in STARS,” says STARS Alliance President Maggie Martin-McKinnie. “Being able to engage with the future tech leaders, some of these students are in 6th grade, is amazing. It was incredible to see how students from TSA last year grew their leadership and teamwork skills this year.”

CCI student Ashari Penerton states, “It was a very insightful experience! I learned a lot, and I’m grateful to have been able work together with everyone to lead the kids.”

FSU CCI students enjoyed this experience, as they got to learn and demonstrate important skills, and help to serve others.