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      Learning Leadership

      Widener Students Earn Leadership Certificates

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      Official Leadership

      Student Gary Bennett receives his leadership certificate from Oskin Leadership Institute Director Arthur Schwartz.

      Senior business analytics major, Gary Bennett, spent a lot of time reflecting on the years of schooling that led up to his arrival at Widener as he pursued a leadership certificate through the Oskin Leadership Institute.

      In his early years, Bennett was diagnosed with a learning disability and was put on a slower academic track in high school. He developed a strong work ethic and consistently excelled in Spanish courses which prompted his high school to assign him to more challenging classes during his senior year.

      Bennett is now a proud leadership certificate recipient and was one of 49 undergraduate students to receive the certificate during ceremonies held at the institute this month.

      "I've learned you shouldn't label yourself, because it limits what you can do. And don't believe labels other people put on you," Bennett said, speaking to a conference room filled with students, faculty and staff. "You can't connect with people as well if you have a label in your mind."

      Bennett said he chose "Don't be a label" as his personal philosophy through his work in the institute. All students who completed the certificate program received a framed copy of their certificate, which included their personal philosophy. The certificates are designed to fit comfortably on a desk, and serve as a reminder.

      Other philosophies shared at the ceremony included "Be a mouse and share your cheese," "You are your own example" and "Starting is the hardest part."

      Institute Director Arthur Schwartz lauded the students for recognizing what they stand for and sharing their visions. "There is power to the stories you have told," he said.

      The Oskin Leadership Institute works to inspire and prepare students to become strategic thinkers and responsible citizens. The institute, which opened in 2011 through a generous gift from David Oskin, former chair of Widener's Board of Trustees, provides opportunities that encourage Widener students to lead outside of their comfort zones.

      The 49 students who received their Widener leadership certificates this semester brought the total number of certificates granted by the institute to 260, since it first began awarding them in the spring of 2014.

      Learn more about the Oskin Leadership Institute and its leadership certificate and leadership minor programs. 


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