ACPHS In The News

Lessons in Leadership, Student to Student

February 16, 2024

Seated, L-R: Kacia Scott, Jaiah Barrett, Julia Sexton, SeHan Jeong and Isabella Ramp. Dominick Lomonaco is at the podium. 

As is well known around campus, ACPHS’ mission is to educate the next generation of leaders to improve the health of our society

Sometimes important lessons in leadership are conveyed from faculty to students. And sometimes students learn to be leaders from each other.

“Student leadership comes in many forms,” Student Government Association President Dominick Lomonaco told fellow students at a panel discussion on February 15. “It’s up to you to decide what kind of leader you want to be.”

Lomonaco facilitated a discussion called “Falling in Love with Leadership,” featuring five student panelists representing involvement in SGA, the Campus Activities Programming Board, professional organizations, clubs and residence life. About 25 students attended the discussion in the Gozzo Student Center.

A few themes emerged as panelists offered advice to attendees looking to become more involved on campus. These include:

Participate in things you love.

Julia Sexton, a pharmacy doctoral (PharmD) student, urged others not to join organizations just to pad a resume, but out of genuine enthusiasm for the activities.

“If you’re interested in it, you’re going to find passion for it and want to be involved,” Sexton said.

Communication and time management are key.

Panelists identified these skills as critical to being a student leader while maintaining a solid academic record. They shared tips for using email, whiteboards, online calendars and project management apps. Several also reminded their fellow students to block time out for themselves.

“You can’t do much for other people if you don’t do things for yourself,” said Jaiah Barrett, who is pursuing a bachelor’s in pharmaceutical sciences and a PharmD.

Grow into the leader you are.

Panelists said they learned lessons from efforts that fell short of their expectations. These experiences helped them recognize their strengths and become better leaders.

“Give yourself the grace to grow into the position,” said Kacia Scott, a microbiology major. “Allow yourself to become the leader you want to be.”

Look to the future to determine what to do now.

SeHan Jeong advised fellow students that they will not be able to do everything. Having an idea what they want to do after college can help students determine where to invest their energy, she said. That same kind of thinking can help lead a group to achieve a goal.

“If you know what your vision is, you’ll have less of a hard time communicating what you want to see happen,” said Jeong, who is pursuing degrees in pharmacy and public health.

You have to give some things up, but they’re not all bad.

Student leaders conceded they don’t have as much time for leisure as they used to, but most said they were energized by their campus engagement. Giving up TV and social media felt like a small price to pay by comparison.

Responding to a question about what leaders sacrificed to fill their positions, Isabella Ramp said, “indifference.” She can no longer say “that’s not my problem.”

“It is my problem now,” said Ramp, a PharmD student. “I need to find a way to bring it up, to find a solution.”

Leadership gives as much as it takes.

For all the work of being a student leader, panelists agreed there was a big return on investment. They have learned to be more outgoing, to speak in front of audiences, to respond to situations on the fly, to make connections and to prioritize.

Lomonaco encouraged attendees to take a step toward campus engagement. “The possibilities for you to get involved are endless.”