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Widener University Takes Second in Collegiate Leadership Competition

The competition gives students the opportunity to put their leadership knowledge, skills and behaviors to the test against students from other colleges and universities. 

A seven-member team from Widener University had a strong showing recently in the second annual Collegiate Leadership Competition. The team finished second among six teams at the competition held April 8-9 at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Collegiate Leadership Competition gives students the opportunity to put their leadership knowledge, skills and behaviors to the test against students from other colleges and universities. In addition to Widener, this year’s competition included teams from John Carroll University, the University of Southern Maine, the University of Akron, and Walsh University.

“There were 12 events, and we were in first place after the 10th event,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, executive director of the Oskin Leadership Institute at Widener and coach of the team. “The first place team topped us by one point. It was a thrilling, exhausting and unforgettable experience.”

Students in the competition are judged on their leadership knowledge, including their understanding of 13 core leadership concepts, which comprises 30 percent of their score. The bulk of the score – 70 percent – depends on their performance in leadership scenarios which test their ability to lead under the stress of a deadline or other challenge.

“This is a high-impact educational experience that helps students hone and enhance their behavioral skills and cognitive competencies,” Schwartz said. “It’s an exciting and challenging competition for students who want to develop their leadership muscles.”

Included among the competition’s events was a communication exercise leading a blindfolded teammate through a maze, and the challenge to construct and navigate a boat made from household items such as cardboard and tape.

Team Member Tori Remondelli, a senior mechanical engineering major from Point Pleasant, N.J., said the team prepared for the competition for weeks, and the members learned a lot about each other’s strengths and weaknesses which helped them function better as a team.

“The competition tested a lot of things,” Remondelli said. “It not only tested your leadership skills, but also your mental tenacity. We were completely tired and mentally drained after the competition. It was probably one of the most unique and most beneficial experiences I’ve ever had at Widener. It’s something I’m never going to forget.”

The following Widener students represented the university in the competition:

  • Dante DiBattista, a junior psychology major from Cherry Hill, N.J. He is a graduate of the LeaderShape Institute and a brother of Alpha Tau Omega, the national leadership fraternity
  • James Feeley, a junior business management major from Philadelphia. He is vice president of Meta Chi fraternity and co-founded Club Soccer at Widener.
  • Nicole Gilette, a senior biology and biochemistry major from Audubon, Pa. She is the past president of Student Government Association and a PSC/Bonner Scholar.
  • Jessica Helwig, a junior business management major from Reinholds, Pa. She has earned her leadership certificate from the Oskin Institute and she is actively involved in the Society for Human Resource Management,
  • Alyssa Horton, a junior business management major from Pemberton, N.J. She is a High School Leadership Award recipient and an Apogee Scholar.
  • Tori Remondelli, a senior mechanical engineering major from Point Pleasant, N.J. The captain of the men’s soccer team, he is the founder of ENGinE, a nonprofit organization of engineering students working to improve the quality of life of various cultures through engineering projects, and the former president of Widener’s Engineers Without Borders.
  • Audrey Rucker, a sophomore communications major from Coatesville, Pa. She is a High School Leadership Award recipient, an Apogee Scholar and has earned her leadership certificate from Widener. She is a member of Widener’s volleyball team and serves on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

The mission of the Oskin Leadership Institute is to perpetuate the university’s long and noble tradition of inspiring students to be strategic leaders and responsible citizens who possess the character, courage and competencies to affect positive change throughout the world.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university’s campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., are proud to be tobacco-free. Visit the university’s website, www.widener.edu.

 

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