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      President for a Day

      Junior DeShawn Ivey Switches Places with Widener President for a Day


      President for a Day

      Junior finance major DeShawn Ivey switched roles with President Julie E. Wollman for a day.

      Widener University changed leaders recently when junior finance major DeShawn Ivey took over as the university's president – for a day. The program, now in its 16th year, allowed Ivey to experience the top job firsthand, while Widener President Julie E. Wollman spent her day as a student, following Ivey's schedule.

      "I consider this an honor and a privilege to sit in this seat today," Ivey said as his day got underway. He kept a furious pace – much like the schedule Wollman maintains on a daily basis – with meetings and appointments on an array of subjects.

      Ivey was selected from three finalists after a competitive application and interview process. He is already an outstanding student leader. He serves as a senator in the Student Government Association, is secretary to The Money Club through the School of Business Administration, and is president of Black Men United and publicist for the Black Student Union. Ivey also helped launch a tutoring and mentoring program at Chester High School this fall.

      As president, Ivey's day included meetings with high-level administrators, a conversation about capital projects at the university, lunch with a trustee, and a trip to City Hall in Chester, for a meeting with the city's chief financial officer and a councilman. Ivey identified city relations as a priority in his President for a Day program application. He was able to present city officials with his idea to start a unity day between the city and the university.

      "Being president for a day has opened my eyes wider, and given me the opportunity to see how things run," Ivey said. "It gave me the opportunity to start growing into the professional I want to be. I like this life."

      Wollman spent her day attending four of Ivey's classes, including Money and Financial Institutions, Introduction to Environmental Science, Operations Management and International Business. She also attended a Black Men United meeting and ate lunch with Ivey's friends in the dining hall.

      "This is the best part of it, just talking with the students," Wollman said as she enjoyed relaxed conversation around the lunch table.

      Wollman said the day was an educational experience for her, too.

      "It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with students in their element. I get a sense of their classes from the inside, and am able to hear what's on their minds. This is a great way to demonstrate Widener's dedication to leadership training, and for me to appreciate our students' Widener experience by walking in their shoes," she said.

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