In a recent celebration, 12 Elmira College students marked the successful completion of the inaugural Soaring Higher Leadership program. Over the course of 10 weeks, the students learned about the importance of knowing their values and skills, listened to speakers talk about their leadership journeys, and helped each other grow as leaders.

The program content was largely based on the book, "Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership" by James Kouzes and Barry Posner. Many of the sessions included guest speakers and the students completed the program by creating and presenting a leadership vision plan that included 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year goals.

"I'm certain that the students who recently completed the 10-week Soaring Higher Student Leadership Program will accomplish great things in their future leadership roles,” said Elizabeth Lambert, Vice President of Campus Life and Dean of Students at Elmira College. “I'm incredibly proud of this inaugural group of student leaders; their final presentations were exceptional. The program was even better than I anticipated, thanks to the student participants, our guest speakers, and my fellow facilitators, Larry Parker and Ytzel Flores Cristiansen."

When Hailey Clancy '24, a Nursing major, was invited to participate, she was eager to learn skills for when she becomes a nurse and has to work on a team.

“I have learned to work with others who may have different ways to manage a project but are still able to accomplish the same goal successfully,” she said. “I also found the wide variety of guest speakers helpful. They taught me how to make goals and achieve them.”

Syeda Neha Wajahat '25, a Finance and Accounting double major, wanted to learn skills to bring back to her home in Pakistan.

“I thought I was entering this program to learn leadership skills in a management role, but it was a lot more than that,” she said. “They taught us skills to use in our daily lives as a leader and gave insights about what really matters in our lives and around us. Not only did it make me recognize myself in a different light but also gave me the motivation to keep going.”

Inaugural Soaring Higher Student Leadership Cohort:

  • Marc Artuz '24
  • Victoria Behun '26
  • Patricia Bohannon '26
  • Hailey Clancy '24
  • Colin Conklin '23
  • Leslie Monterrosa '24
  • Rachel Nagy '24
  • Rianna Passino '23
  • Alyssa Russell '26
  • Annabelle Schmitte '23
  • Paige Stilts '23
  • Syeda Neha Wajahat '25

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