As part of my Leader Advancement Scholarship Protocol, I was given the opportunity to be on a LEAD Team. There are a number different LEAD Teams that are available to us through the Leadership Institute, and this year, I had the privilege of working with the Spotlight team. Spotlight was an exciting opportunity because it was a brand new team for the 2015-16 academic year. Our team consisted of nine members – two sophomores and seven freshmen – headed by my mentor, Connor Ewald.
Because nothing like this team had ever previously existed on campus, we were given the challenge of building up Spotlight from scratch. At our first few meetings of the year, the group got together and set a list of goals that we wanted to accomplish as a team before the year was over. Among these goals were to be able to highlight and recognize specific groups and individuals within the Leadership Institute for their work and achievements in a variety of ways. Each individual Spotlight was posted on the CMU Leadership Institute’s social media pages with the hashtag “Shine Greatness.”
Two notable accomplishments of our Spotlight team included Appreciation Week and the Mentor of the Year Award. Appreciation Week actually took place over the duration of two weeks, during which time we set aside a specific day for each person within the Leadership Institute who was to be recognized including staff, volunteers, and students. The Mentor of the Year Award, which I had the privilege of presenting to the winner at the LAS Grad Ball on April 8th, is a new award created by the Spotlight team to recognize one member of the 2016 LAS Cohort for their outstanding influence as a mentor and involvement in the Leadership Institute. The Spotlight team collectively created a survey to be taken by the 2015 LAS Cohort which consisted of a series of questions asking for each freshman’s opinion about which of the mentors should receive the award and why. The 2016 Mentor of the Year Award recipient was Carly Dilbert, mentor of both Rachel Kremm and Hayley Dymond.
Spotlight was such a great opportunity for me, and I believed that it helped me to grow as a leader. From the members of the team itself to the accomplishments we met, I am blessed to have been a part of this LEAD Team. It was so rewarding to see all of our work begin to fall into place as we began Spotlighting, and it was a great chance to give back by letting others know that they are recognized and appreciated.