Race to have participants paddling own canoes

by Stephanie Trabold

Students will either sink or float as they apply their leadership skills in action. The Leadership Development Program (LDP) and the Center for the Development of Leadership Skills will be offering their annual Team Leadership Challenge to all students on campus on Sunday, April 18.

Team Leadership Challenge (TLC) is an all-day event that takes place from noon to 7 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to learn valuable leadership skills and apply them with interactive speakers and hands-on activities in the SRC. They will also assemble and race a cardboard canoe in the Coppola Pool.

“The nice thing about the TLC is that it starts off by allowing students to take an inward look at their own leadership skills, abilities and strengths,” said LDP director Laura Seplaki. “Team Leadership Challenge moves outward to help students see how their leadership styles interact with those of other students. Then, by participating in a team to accomplish a task —  in this case, building a cardboard canoe — students will practice what they’ve learned with more of an awareness of how they are interacting with their peers. It is this experiential piece that brings the leadership lessons to life.”

The cardboard canoe must be assembled in teams where students will collaborate in order for the vessel to float and be successful.

“Team Leadership Chal­lenge is set up in such a way that students will be engaged in three key skill-building activities which will encourage interpersonal as well as intrapersonal leadership development,” said event coordinator Dominique Smith. “These activities will focus on topics such as conflict resolution, goal setting and time management. It is important for leaders to have a strong sense of self and the ability to work collaboratively with other team members.”

Students will also learn from colleagues and leadership professionals  through interactive speeches, which will provide motivational insight into the world of leadership.

“We have invited Ed Tseng, peak performance/mental fitness expert and USTA (United States Tennis Association) Pro of the Year 2005, to deliver our opening speech,” Seplaki said. “Tseng’s presentation shares wonderful insights about leadership. This year, it is our hope that his positive energy and message will motivate students to challenge themselves throughout the day’s activities.”

TLC will allow students of any major to self-reflect on their skills and apply them to their everyday lives and future careers. Some will share their leadership insights with other participants.

“A new aspect of the Team Leadership Challenge is, we’ve invited LDP seniors and alumni to facilitate the activities,” said Seplaki. “We’d like our facilitators to share their knowledge, network with the students and help them reflect upon what they are learning.”

Students interested in attending are welcome to register in teams of five.  Individuals who register will be placed into teams.

For more information, students can visit the leadership center’s page on the Rider Web site at www.rider.edu/cdls. E-mail any specific questions to Dominique Smith at smithd@rider.edu, or contact cdls@rider.edu to register.

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