Leadership & Experiential Learning
With support from Vito and Mary Verni, the Institute works with faculty across the university to integrate leadership into current and future academic courses, with a special focus on providing experiential learning opportunities for Widener students.
Experiential learning has advanced my knowledge and confidence as an Oskin Leader profoundly. In order to learn about hydroponic systems and how to grow food crops with less water, time, and environmental impact, I was offered the opportunity to travel to a hydroponic greenhouse and learn from professionals and industry leaders themselves. This experience catapulted the research I had been doing and inspired new, innovative ideas, that have evolved into the core of my project today.
A year later, I find myself hundreds of miles from Widener in Rochester, New York, at the annual Futures Summit. The summit was another opportunity for me to get out of my comfort zone and push myself to develop my own network within the hydroponic industry. The highlight was seeking out and meeting Dr. Dickson Despommier, a pioneer in vertical farming research.
I found myself enveloped in a 40-minute conversation that taught me more applicable
knowledge than I had learned in the previous month. Finally, I had the opportunity
to sit in on a presentation by Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms, a company I truly
admire and widely considered a leader in the hydroponics industry. It is because of
the these invaluable experiences and the opportunities they create, that I truly believe
that experiential learning at the Oskin Leadership Institute is building the foundation
of my future, post-Widener.
– Dan Hartney, Oskin Leader