Students lead to leave a legacy

Members of the Emerging Leaders Program. Photos courtesy of Caleb Queen.

By Billy-Jack Colón / The Jambar

Youngstown State University’s Emerging Leaders Program seeks to give YSU students the tools to become great leaders on campus and in their communities.

Caleb Queen, the Emerging Leaders Program’s coordinator of student involvement, said the program helps students break out of their shells. 

“We try to get sophomore students because they’ve gone through their first year and they’ve started to branch out,” Queen said. “We find those people who need a little bit of help being a leader, polishing the ones who are already great leaders, or the ones who are still in their shell. ”

According to the organization’s website, the self-paced program awards students with a notation on their academic transcripts, an official leadership transcript, a medal, a pin and a certificate at an annual banquet.

Queen referenced the program’s slogan, “Developing leaders today to leave a legacy tomorrow.”

“It’s trying to get them to grow as student leaders and be better so they can spread out among campus,” Queen said.

Those who have interest in joining the Emerging Leaders Program must be nominated by professors and other faculty members.

“Every year around February, we do a call for nominations. Nominations come from staff, faculty and certain groups of students we will reach out to, like peer leaders and student government, because they have that grip on who’s on campus,” Queen said. 

Many campus events, such as Penguin Nights, are supported by the Emerging Leaders Program. Members are required to attend these events, as campus involvement is one of the organization’s priorities.

“You’re required to attend six campus traditions, which are basically just events that happen on campus. We want members to attend them and be active on campus,” Queen said.

With a master’s in education, Queen said he got involved because he was interested in leadership development.

“I saw that the position had the emerging leadership program as part of it, and that was something I was interested in. So I applied and here I am,” Queen said.

Queen said the program bases its values and practices on prominent leaders, pointing to the book “The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership” by Barry Posner and James Kouzes for students who want to get involved with leadership.