CCI Students Demonstrate Servant Leadership

written by Ebe Randeree

Leadership is best when it is people centered and focused on serving your team and serving others by creating an environment for them to flourish.  Servant leaders, as recently defined by Greenleaf, is when the leader is a servant first, helping others and then aspiring to lead.

This attitude permeates the projects and the focus in the IT Leadership course where students learn to lead and learn to serve others.  They give back to the university and the community through multiple student-led projects.  One of their goals is to connect IT and ICT students with their campus peers and their local community, acting as LEADERS (teachers, mentors, servant leaders) with a focus on teaching technology to others.  There were 22 projects that spanned outreach, on-campus events, promoting student organizations, and creating videos.  Listed below are the projects that focused on outreach both on and off campus.

Running “Feed Your Brain” sessions on growth and leadership (led by Kristen Fessler and Zachary Goraum)

Goal: Host three learning events for CCI students focused on professional development

students hosting educational workshops   

“One thing that I liked about the IT Leadership Class is how it extends pass just a classroom setting,” said project co-leader, Zachary Goraum. “My co-leader, Kristen, and I were put in charge of hosting three educational workshops for FSU students. We chose the topics of resume building, LinkedIn development, and effective studying/stress relief. We were able to assist people in the community and equip them to be prepared for their academic and professional careers through our workshops. With an approval rating over 90% on each workshop, it is safe to say that they took away valuable lessons that will excel them in their future endeavors.”

Hosting Professional Development Workshops (Led by Ajay Bhagwandin and Sebastian Kempa)

Goal: focus on LinkedIn profiles and connecting students with effectively using LinkedIn

professional development workshop professional development workshop

“Leadership has pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me excel in ways I never thought possible,” said co-leader Ajay Bhagwandin.

Visiting High Schools (led by Jennifer Huynh and Gabby Dunlap)

Goal: Visit local Tallahassee high schools to talk about CCI and our majors.

“While it was initially difficult to get in the classroom, meeting the students and hearing about the questions they had was very eye opening,” said Gabby Dunlap. “Students were more interested in general questions about college and applications than about specific career paths, and the focus was more on the process of getting in.”

Working with Girls Scouts on Tech projects (led by Reagan Castelman and Gabriella DeRazza)

Goal: coordinate with the Campus Girl Scouts group to host technology events for local troops

Working with girl scouts on tech projects working with girl scouts on tech projects

Raegan Castleman co-led the Girl Scout Outreach.  She explained that she was not aware that we had a GS group on campus – “I was excited to learn that we had a presence on campus and that we were doing outreach in the community as well as bringing girls to campus.  Our team assisted in some of the presentations and worked with the girls on career goals and college choices.”

Teaching at NIMS after school Tech club (led by Alex Moerschbacher and Kimberly Sapp)

Goal: Run an afterschool 8 week program to teach technology skills to a local middle school

Teaching at Nims after school tech club    Teaching at Nims after school tech club

Alex Moerschbacher is the President of the Community Outreach Group at FSU and he worked with his team (Kimberly Sapp, Julia McLane and Melissa Davis) as well as the Leadership class to deliver training at Nims.  Alex said that “as a leadership student, having the opportunity to connect with the Tallahassee community and use my technology skills at the same time has been an amazing experience to both further my skills and give back to the community at the same time. One project I volunteered with allowed me to serve as a mentor helping middle school students learn about programming and design a program they could showcase to judges. I also volunteered at a local senior center helping to work one on one with seniors to help them understand how to use new technology and integrate it into their lives.”

Glennetria Harold said, “This past semester, I had the amazing opportunity to work with STARS students (Melissa Davis, Kimberly Sapp and Alex Moerschbacher) to get more involved with our local community by planting seeds of emerging technology into the bright young minds of tomorrow. In partnership with the R. Frank Nims Middle School’s 21st century program, we were able to meet middle school aged children every Tuesday and teach them a little something new about programming. Working with Arduino technology provided by FSU, the middle schooler’s began learning the basics of coding and the control it can have over hardware mechanics. By the end of our time spent at Nims Middle School, the children not only knew how to manipulate code to get a specific outcome but walked away more excited about learning than when they began. I can’t wait to work with them again in the Spring and see where these bright minds go next!”

Running Tech help desks at the Senior Center (led by Glennetria Harold, Phuong Tran, Jacob Kachur, Julia McLane and Charles Fernandez)

Goal: Work with local senior centers to hold tech classes and a tech help desk

running tech help desks at the Senior Center   

students assisting seniors     students assisting seniors

One of the co-leaders, Charles Fernandez, said, “Making an impact in even one person’s day can go a long way. Whether that’s helping them add family members as contacts, showing them how to take pictures, or connect and share memories on Facebook. I’m glad we had an opportunity to work with the community this semester.”

Connecting with Transfer Students (led by Judy Jean and Thomas Pescatore)

Goal: reaching out to CCI Transfer students, connecting them to THT group, and hosting an info session on career options

connecting with transfer students    connecting with transfer students

Judy Jean is a transfer student at FSU – in reflecting on her work in the project she said “more needs to be done to support transfers on campus and in our college; the project highlighted some of the disconnect students feel at FSU and my co-leader and I were happy to help bridge some of the gaps.”