Student Brings Honors Society to the Mount

The National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS), Sigma Alpha Pi, has been added to the Mount’s list of esteemed honors society affiliations thanks to the initiative of one of its own student leaders.

Junior Olivia White learned that she could start a chapter of the nation’s largest leadership honor society on campus herself, and knew that the Mount was the perfect place for the chapter to be established.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity for students to gain exposure to leadership while helping them become better leaders themselves,” White proposed.

She brought her idea to Dana Sauers, Director of the Institute for Leadership, Ethics, Achievement and Development (iLEAD), who then put her in contact with the Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Associate Provost for Student Engagement and Success, Interim Provost Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera and Interim President Timothy Trainor, to make her proposition a reality.

This is the Mount’s pilot year with the society, and already 284 nominees have registered for membership. Current sophomores and juniors, with at least a 2.5 GPA, were nominated by Sauers or Whetsel-Ribeau for the leadership they have exhibited on campus.

As mentioned on the NSLS website, the society provides a step-by-step program for members to build their leadership skills through participation at their campus or online. Upon completion of the program, members receive their leadership certificate and take their place among the top student leaders at their campus and across the country. Members are able to list their affiliation on all statements of personal accomplishment, including their resume.

Membership is for life and provides access to benefits including scholarships and awards, exclusive on-campus events, employer recruitment through an online job bank, and discounts on computers, textbooks, grad school prep courses, insurance and much more.

Both Sauers and Whetsel-Ribeau serve as the chapter’s co-advisors. White serves as the chapter’s president and sits on its executive board with 10 other student officers: Vice President Cynthia Blay, Secretary Gabrielle Limon, Social Events Chair Yvelly Cabral, IT Coordinator Justin Noel, SNT Coordinator Taliah Francis, Publicity Chair Sean Harris, Community Service Chair Julianne England, Treasurer Stephen Jackson, Fundraising Chair Thomas Selishev, Society Events Chair Agi-Ujin Ulambayar, and Membership Outreach Coordinator June Mugo.

The chapter’s executive board met on Jan. 22 to discuss plans for events and general goals for the society. The board’s goals focus on building a true sense of community on campus and helping other students by connecting leadership across organizations.

Orientation for new members was held on Jan. 23, and will be held again on Jan. 30. Members will also be required to attend a Leadership Training session, as well as three educational broadcasts from nationally recognized leaders, including real estate entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank, sportscaster Curt Menefee from Fox NFL Sunday, Today Show co-anchor Hoda Kotb, and CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper.
White hopes that the Mount will one day host such a leader on campus to address society members. She is confident that being a part of this society will help students grow in their leadership skills on campus, which they can then take into the world after graduation.

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