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 http://lead.umn.edu/blog/ 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”

I thought my orchid was dying

Jessica Chung

OrchidAnyone who knows me knows that I can’t be trusted with a plant.  Notoriously, plants wilt on my watch, which is why I thought getting an orchid would be a great idea.  I’ve been told that they are tough plants that need very little maintenance as long as I put an ice cube in it every week. It seemed easy enough, and they are absolutely beautiful, so I bought one for my apartment to give my room some life.

I was diligent.  I put my ice cube in each week (I think). It was placed carefully by a window that got a lot of that Instagram-worthy natural light.  Then, after two weeks, my fears were coming true: The flowers, one by one, begin to shrivel.

Worse, one by one, a flower would fall each week, tumbling from the stem to my (dusty) window sill. Continue reading “I thought my orchid was dying”

Life After Graduation and Transitioning Into the “Real” World

Ethan Brownell

Grads Throwing CapsIn less than 2 weeks I will be leaving the University of Minnesota, the Leadership Minor, and so many other communities I have been a part of these last 4 years. I feel a lot of expectations that come with this monumental step in my life. I have always been a high achieving student and I feel like people expect that to translate into a high achieving adult… instantly… like yesterday.

I am lucky enough to be in a place in my life where I feel comfortable with making the decision to take a gap year before applying to pursue graduate school. For the first time in my life I am letting life come to me rather than charging after life. I still don’t have plans for the next year; hell, I don’t have plans for three weeks from now. A key part of my identity for the last 17 years has been being a student. I don’t know who I am outside of school. Even when I am not in school, school has never been more than 3 months away. Continue reading “Life After Graduation and Transitioning Into the “Real” World”

Seasonal Cycles

Christine VeLure Roholt

unfurling-fernIn 2013, I was given a gift to experience a program called Powers of Leadership(POL) at the Whidbey Institute. POL brought people together from across diverse fields to reflect, strengthen and act on building a more just and sustainable world that allows all people to thrive in ways they identify. While I could write multiple blogs on my experiences, learning, cohort, the space, the ideas, the resistances, the challenges, the beauty, the work then and now I am doing because of it, I want to share one important aspect of the program.
Continue reading “Seasonal Cycles”

Why Safe Safe(r) Spaces Matter

Jason Jackson

Students Gathering

Lately there a have been a lot of critics that characterize college students who create and seek out safe(r) spaces on their campuses as, whiny students who can’t bare to hear or deal with opposing viewpoints. For instance, comedian Adam Corolla and radio host Dennis Prager are set to release a documentary that intends to mock the importance of these spaces on college campuses.

Safer or as some may refer to them as Brave Spaces are no laughing matter! Safe Spaces are intentional spaces where participants agree to have zero tolerance for microagressions, discrimination and violence; both verbal or physical. The underlying purpose of these spaces are for individuals to have the ability to learn and grow without the worrying about being attacked for their perspectives. Continue reading “Why Safe Safe(r) Spaces Matter”

Six Month Post-Grad Has Identity Crisis (Let’s not be dramatic)

Brittany Linman

Spiderweb“We’ll keep the conversation open, but before you do anything, think about why. Why do you want to get an MBA? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

This is the response my boss gave me when I told him that I saw myself moving out of state and going back to school part time. His questions reeled in my mind for days as I thought carefully about how to answer. They started to irritate me. He doesn’t think I know what I want. I know what I’m about, son! Surely, being a graduate of the leadership minor means that I have all the right answers, but in reality, my first attempt at coming up with a list of reasons why I wanted an MBA revealed how easy it is to slip back into old habits. Continue reading “Six Month Post-Grad Has Identity Crisis (Let’s not be dramatic)”

Let Your Mind Wander

Jerrius Jubran

Wooden pathway in the forestDo you ever let your mind wander? No set path, just letting yourself move from thought to thought? I like to do it every couple days to see where my mind takes me. Sometimes it’s sad and other times it’s happy but one thing is I am certain of is that Google Maps will not be there to help guide you. That is what is wonderful about letting your thoughts guide the conversation between your mind and inner self. It will tell you about what is happening because it will show you what is happening on the subconscious level. A good example of this is when a guy and girl have been friends for a long time and nothing romantically has happened because no one has let themselves think of the other person in that way. You just think it’s fun to hang out with them and do not see it for what it could be. It is not until you look inside and just let the mind wander that you figure that sort of stuff out. By letting your mind wander, you are bringing the unconscious into the conscious and thus, able to take notice of them. Once you notice them, you can act on them and turn that friendship into more, or if you are timid like me, just have a crush. Continue reading “Let Your Mind Wander”