Author: Leadership Minor

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”

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”