Find Your Fresh Start


Good afternoon, everyone! My name is Governess Simpson, and I will be joining the Leadership Team as the new Information Technology Specialist and manager of the blog. I wanted to introduce myself to the community on the blog page. It is a pleasure to meet you all!

I am currently a freshman in the College of Science and Engineering as a Computer Science major with a minor in Leadership. I am involved in my sorority, Alpha Sigma Kappa, and the Association for Computing Machinery – Women’s Chapter. My hobbies include writing and reading slam poetry, weight training, and watching movies on Netflix.

Now that introductions are out of the way, I wanted to kick off my first blog post by discussing something I’ve been reflecting on over the past few weeks.

As we progress through a new year, I, among many others, created New Year’s resolutions with the aspirations of achieving something spectacular and focusing on self-improvement and development. Honestly, who could blame us; 2018 is the start of a promising story we desire to write, whether it be reaching financial security or developing sturdy and healthy relationships.

Personally, 2017 proved to be a very challenging year for myself. With transitioning to college–which came with its own unique set of obstacles–enduring a painful breakup with a loved one, and losing sight of my passions and interests, I ended the year feeling hopelessly lost, defeated, and concerned for my well-being. I felt like I was making the wrong moves for my future professional career. My emotional and mental health were in shambles.

Of course, many of those struggles did not simply disappear the night of New Year’s Eve. However, rather than wallowing in my situation, I made a decision that I want to share with the community with the hopes of helping at least one person who experienced the same thing I did.

I devoted more time to myself and started to truly reflect on what I could change and what I needed to accept in order to move forward.

There is not enough people talking about self-care and mental health. Whenever we undergo depression, anxiety, or downfalls in any aspect in our lives, we indulge in things that can distract us from the now, the things that are holding us back. It makes sense: in the moment, it seems too taxing to confront the real issue. We believe there is nothing we can do.

We need to break free of that pessimistic, destructive mindset if we ever want to reach a place that promotes health and happiness.

On New Year’s Day, I spent the entire day reflecting on what went wrong in 2017. I truthfully acknowledged things about my behaviors or attitudes that I needed to adjust–which is easier said than done, but when you spend the proper time with just yourself, those realizations will start to surface. With my newfound knowledge, I wrote down every single goal I wanted to accomplish in 2018 that would fix the issues I identified, as well as feasible steps to achieve said goals.

At the end of the day, it is all about self-love and catering to yourself to do what you need to do to become stable, happy, and healthy. One regret that I had in 2017 was not taking enough time with myself to address things when issues began to emerge–until it was too late. I refuse to make the same mistake twice, and you shouldn’t, either.

Once again, it is an honor to be welcomed to this community. I am excited to assume my role as the IT Specialist, and I am excited for what may come. Even though we are nearly two months in, that doesn’t mean you can’t find your fresh start.

Try something new for 30 days

Matt Cutts

We’re on the look for posts! We would love to hear your leadership story – click here for more information and to submit one! In the meantime, enjoy this video from Matt Cutts on trying something new. What will you try for the next 30 days?

Matt Cutts is an engineer at Google, where he fights linkspam and helps webmasters understand how search works.

Click here for some forced inspiration!

Maria Versteeg

The idea of leadership that I signed up for is one of hospitality, connection, and love. And I just can’t help but ask… Why does this idea of leadership often leave me feeling alone, hurt, and tired?

Leadership has so much to do with being present and paying attention to the world around you, and yet, there never seems to be a day that goes by without hearing about a hurricane, an enraging policy change, or even a mass shooting. Every day I am reminded that being fully awake in the spaces around me is opening myself up to a literal world of pain and human suffering. Continue reading “Click here for some forced inspiration!”

Give Yourself Grace

Josephine Jones

I am sitting here drinking my coffee at 7 am on a Wednesday morning, thinking to myself, “How did I get here?”. This semester has been the hardest few months of my life. I am not referring to how stressful college classes are or how prevalent my lack of sleep is, but the difficulty I found when I realized I had hit rock bottom for the first time. The unexpected became a reality in my life. I found myself broken, like a shattered mirror unable to put the pieces back together. Despite how I let myself get to that place, on Tuesday February 28, 2017 I found myself on an 8 pm flight back to Green Bay, WI. For anyone who knows me, the very thought of skipping an entire week of college classes would give me an anxiety attack, yet I was doing it. Although completely out of the norm, I knew I needed to do this. At this moment, I decided to take my place of complete vulnerability as an opportunity to find resilience and build myself back up from nothing. I cannot begin to believe how much individual growth I have found in the last 3 months despite the hardships and burdens that were weighing heavy on my heart. My journey to finding this individual growth all started when I realized to give myself grace.

Continue reading “Give Yourself Grace”

In a World of Debate, Practice Makes Perfect

Kristin Economos

a-night-time-view-of-the-capital-building“Which candidate did you support in the most recent U.S. Presidential Election?”

I asked the question prompt to a group of 16 students who each looked back at me with looks of concern and shock. Why would we discuss something so polarizing, in a service learning class, no less? Continue reading “In a World of Debate, Practice Makes Perfect”

As You Begin…

Orientation LeadersWelcome back for another school year! We look forward to growing and experiencing another year along with you all. With that, we are bringing the blog back for another year! We would love your voice to be featured, so please click here for some info on writing for us! And now, without further ado, please enjoy our first post of the semester!

David Hellstrom

My 18-year old son went away to college this year.

Before he left he said to me “isn’t this where you sit me down and tell me everything I need to know before I leave – you know, the words of wisdom speech.”

My first response was to laugh. “I don’t think that’s how it works, son. My guess is you need to find out all of those things by yourself. I am not sure how helpful I would be.” Continue reading “As You Begin…”

Unapologetically Infusing Social Justice in Leadership Studies Curriculum

Jason Jackson

Resilient CampusTime for a quick break from our summer hiatus! We invited you to listen to the most recent episode of Resilient Campus, where Leadership Minor Instructor Jason Jackson shares his experiences and insights as a queer man of color and the influence of his own femininity as a professional in college and university environments. Within his role developing curriculum in the Leadership Studies minor, he is able to infuse social justice content and identity-based work into faculty training. Jason shares strategies for self-care, staying in the work, and finding joy, laughter, and humor to sustain our personal and professional wellbeing. He shares a beautiful piece of writing from James Baldwin’s book, “The Fire Next Time” and a podcast that frames the work Jason is able to do in college environments. Listen below, or view this post on our website if you’re viewing this via email. Continue reading “Unapologetically Infusing Social Justice in Leadership Studies Curriculum”

The Second Post in As Many Days

Harley – the Leadership Minor Mascot.
Harley – the Leadership Minor Mascot.

Well, this is almost unheard of – this is the second post this week! This one’s a little different, though. Similar to our end of fall semester-break, Views from the Leadership will be going on hiatus for summer.

But that isn’t the only news I have for you today! After much planning and behind the scenes work, Views from the Leadership will be transferring over to beginning today. Don’t worry – you’ll find all the same posts there, and the old links will still work. This means a few things, which our team is excited to announce:

  • A new design! The VFTL website now matches the Leadership Minor website exactly.
  • More recognizable! The domain change adds credibility to the site by having it appear on an University domain

We look forward to returning in the fall semester with new posts, thoughts, and perspectives. If you’d like to get yourself on the fall schedule for posting, click here! We’d love to hear from you! Continue reading “The Second Post in As Many Days”

Three Words

Brianne Johnson

It’s a Monday afternoon. I had a meager lunch because I forgot to eat and then didn’t want to put mental energy into making lunch. My hair is still soppy from the shower and smells cloyingly like bananas. President Trump doesn’t know when or why the U.S. Civil War occurred. In my inbox, I have several requests for due date extensions, and with each request, I am required to question my compassion and my boundaries. My partner just got home, and we have to negotiate who will make dinner. I still have three hours of grading I intended to do today.

But there are three words a leader can’t say: I am tired.

Continue reading “Three Words”

No Joy in the Comfort Zone

Cayley Reif

a-macro-shot-of-a-pet-betta-fish_BFBxpSAHo-683x1024When I first came to the Leadership Office I was happy to see that we had an office pet, a beta fish named Joy. Joy lives in a half gallon tank next to our front desk and is there to great all our visitors with his bright colors. By chance I had researched beta fish and their needs a few months before when we were getting a new tank for my partner’s fish. I wondered if a beta might fit in the small one gallon tank I had for my own desk at the time. To my surprise I found that my tank was far too small for what should be considered happy beta fish habitat. So, when I came to the office and found a fish in the same predicament that I had nearly put one in, I quickly suggested that this be changed. In the space he has now there is room for a five or even a ten gallon tank. This would give him more room to move, room for habitat to hide in, plants, and things to play with. At first the response from my coworkers was positive. They agreed, even offering to pitch in monetarily to help purchase the new habitat. Then I got sick and busy and distracted with my own problems and when I came back to the subject the view had changed drastically. No one else was in favor of changing Joy’s home anymore.

This started me thinking about that change. About how badly I missed the mark on this project, about how apt Joy’s name is, about the continuous improvement we strive for in evaluation, and about one of our office’s favorite mottos: no growth in the comfort zone. Continue reading “No Joy in the Comfort Zone”