Transforming students into leaders

By Jenay Smith
September 17, 2011

LEADStrong, a new program on campus is focused on building leadership skills.

“It’s a comprehensive leadership program that pulls together all the various leadership programs that we’ve had in the past,”  Anne Filippone, director of the Center for Student Engagement and Leadership, said.

This program was built to help students focus on their top five strengths and develop how they use their strengths from day to day.

The program is split up into three components: training, education and development. Each component has its own requirements that will be stretched out over a two-year period. “Some students may finish sooner and others may take a little longer”, Filippone said.

During the course of the two years students will take part in a series of surveys, group discussions, workshops, conferences, speakers, lectures, networking, service experiences and teambuilding activities.

LEADStrong is based off of the social change model of leadership development, which, Filippone adds, goes well with the social justice mission of Cabrini College. There are many different offices across campus with student leadership roles that are teaming up in this leadership program.

The LEADStrong program will also allow students with busy schedules the opportunity to build up their leadership strengths without taking them away from their responsibilities.

“In the past when we have had leadership programs we have tried to get everything in in one semester or one academic year,” Filippone said. “Then we’ve had students who said I just can’t do it I have too much going on and they end up leaving the program. So we felt like it was really important to create something that’s flexible and that would work with students’ schedules. We feel really good about that.”


Sophomore political science and business major Gregory Robinson applied for the LEADStrong program.

“Hanging out in the SEaL office with all of the C.A.P board members, a year on S.G.A and coming back my sophomore year as a C.A.P board director, I was kind of encouraged by my fellow leaders and also by the director of SEaL.”Robinson said

Robinson is most excited to see how the program prepares him for the real world and how it differs from all the other leadership programs he has been in before. He explained how a person learns from their own experiences but they can also learn from others experiences as well.

LEADStrong is a comprehensive leadership program unlike anything Cabrini has ever had. Students across the board are expecting a lot out of this program.  Students from any year can apply to the program.

Some students like Robinson already wear many leadership hats on campus. Still they find the need to develop their skills and better their leadership abilities.

The program is just getting off the ground and is expected to be a huge success. Applicants are anticipating to see where LEADStrong will take them.

“I really can’t wait to improve my resume and interview skills,” Marcelle Crist, junior political science major, said.

Their  first assignment is to complete the Clifton strength finder assessment. Next year will determine how well LEADStrong lead Cabrini College’s student leaders.

“You can spend a lot of time trying to improve your weaknesses and take something that you are really poor at and become maybe mediocre at it,” Filippone said. “Or you can look at what you’re really good at and start to focus a lot of attention around that and begin to excel in those areas.”

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Jenay Smith

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