Practicing Leadership Skills: Video Transcript

Morgan Nguyen [honors senior major in Biology, Class of 2018]: The Scholar Leader Program is a merit-based living learning community (LLC). It is housed in Stoddard and Elliott Halls on campus, and it recruits students who are dedicated to leadership in their certain fields of interest and also conduct excellent scholarship.

The Scholar Leader Community has been a haven of intellectualism and of community. We take a class during the fall to learn about service learning and different leadership techniques. And then, I was able to apply that through what we call a WISE trip; it stands for Winter Immersion Service Experience, with a few other Scholar Leader members. I planned that, and we went to St. Louis to immerse ourselves in that city and learn more about people of that city on a ground level.

The main two service projects were one, working and organizing items in a food pantry and learning about the people that utilize that service, and also we helped clean up a community art center and learned from the directors how that art center functions in that local community.

I think Scholar Leader has given me the leadership skills … or helped me practice leadership skills on a small scale and become more confident in them so that I can use them in my career and in internships on a higher-level. Through Scholar Leader I became more aware of local advocacy opportunities and practice skills in that area, and I was able to apply that to work in student government and also in founding, or working to found a local chapter of Campus Kitchens, which redirects local dining hall food to people in need in the community. I had heard that there was food insecurity among some support staff and some students on campus, and so through … and that was the cause that really brought together a lot of my involvements.

I write for The Miami Student, and so I wrote a piece publicizing this issue of food insecurity on campus with them, and then I passed a bill working with the Diversity Committee in Student Senate to gain student approval to implement this program. It is still a work in progress, but I was able to use my advocacy skills and mobilize the student community both through newspaper writing and through student government to take a step toward achieving this goal of minimizing food insecurity in Oxford.

[January 2018]