Teaching Leadership

Agricultural Education graduate students show undergraduate leaders the ropes -- with the help of the Ag Alumni Association

IMG_0093The Agricultural Education Graduate Student Association hosted the second Student Organization Leadership Academy Feb. 22 at the University of Missouri. The Academy was open to all students in CAFNR, whether they belong to an organization or not. The Mizzou Ag Alumni Association provides funding for the event.

Fifty-six students attended this year’s academy.

The day was split into two sessions, morning and afternoon. During the morning session, attendees heard from the keynote speaker, Ag Alumni president-elect, Colleen Abbott.

IMG_0148Colleen Abbott, Christal Huber, Jo Wyatt, Bruce Bishop, and Emily Kueker hosted a Q&A panel during lunch.

Lunch from Buckingham’s BBQ was provided, and included a panel consisting of CAFNR Ag Alumni board members, including: Jo Wyatt, Missouri Department of Agriculture; Colleen Abbott, Eldon Schools; Bruce Bishop, Chemistry Account Manager for Monsanto Co.; Christal Huber, Sinclair Research Center; and Emily Kueker, Vivayic Learning Solutions. They answered questions about topics such as career paths, interviewing and club involvement.

“The Mizzou Ag Alumni Association supports this event because the future leaders for the Association are in this room,” Abbott said. “The organizations you are a part of in college are so important, and we want to make sure CAFNR students are fully prepared to get the most out of the organizations they serve on.”

The afternoon consisted of six sessions, including Professional Development; Marketing and Recruitment; Planning Events; Building Strong Officer Teams; Fundraising and Budgets; and Meeting Logistics. Each presenter was hand-picked to lead a session  closely related to their expertise.

“SOLA is a great opportunity to build leadership skills, not only for yourself, but also for the organizations you are involved in,” said Josh Glendenning, junior animal science student and SOLA attendee. “The workshops help bring new ideas into perspective, many of which you might not have thought of before. It is important for students involved in organizations across campus to attend SOLA because it teaches them the importance of being organized, bring new ideas into your organization, and overall the importance of building strong relationships within the organizations and clubs. All of these things allow the organizations to be more efficient and effective.”

“The alumni support provides numerous opportunities for collaboration with undergraduate students in meaningful ways,” said Kristina M. Haug, graduate teaching and research assistant for the department of agricultural education and leadership. “Additionally, alumni members provide pertinent examples of their experiences here at Mizzou, which students can directly relate to their current tenure here. The opportunity to work with undergraduates to improve their potential for success during and beyond their collegiate career is priceless. The agricultural education and leadership department faculty and graduate students feel honored to be able to utilize our resources to bring amazing people together and continue to build the legacy of Mizzou graduates.”