Students learn valuable leadership skills with new MC LEADS program

Student+attendees+listen+to+Professor+Tamarra+Coleman+speak+during+the+MC+LEADS+session+in+the+Campus+Center+conference+room+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+28.+This+is+the+second+session+of+MC+LEADS+so+far%2C+soon+to+be+followed+by+three+more.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt

Student attendees listen to Professor Tamarra Coleman speak during the MC LEADS session in the Campus Center conference room on Friday, Feb. 28. This is the second session of MC LEADS so far, soon to be followed by three more. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Morgan Ellis

Moorpark College is creating opportunities this spring semester, students looking to improve their skill sets in leadership and professionalism can attend MC LEADS. The inaugural semester of MC LEADS, or Leadership Education and Development for Students, is where faculty and staff members lead hour and a half long workshops on select Fridays throughout the semester. Each workshop focuses on a different subject related to the overarching theme of leadership.

The first workshop, led by Patti Blair, administrative officer to the VCCCD Chancellor and Board of Trustees, aimed to help students find leadership strengths and apply them to both their professional and everyday lives through a personal questionnaire.

On Friday, Feb. 28, the second workshop took place, titled Advocacy 101. Tamarra Coleman, an English professor on campus with a background in civic engagement and community organizing, headed the workshop.

“I hope they realize that change can come from anyone and you don’t have to be anybody special or any title or even have any experience or even be a person who likes to speak in public,” Coleman said regarding what she hoped students gained from attending.

Professor Tamarra Coleman describes her background in advocacy, leading into the theme of the workshop, on Friday, Feb. 28, in the Campus Center conference room.
Professor Tamarra Coleman describes her background in advocacy, leading into the theme of the workshop, on Friday, Feb. 28, in the Campus Center conference room. Coleman described her past in civic activism and community outreach. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

After introducing herself, Coleman went through a presentation about the basics of advocacy and what goes into successfully fighting for any given issue. Coleman included open discussion into her workshop to help participants recognize the value in their individual voices. Students shared issues they care about like the de-stigmatization of mental health struggles, homelessness and better communication on campus.

“This is really about students speaking up and finding their voice,” Coleman stated.

Student Erika Szaldobagyi, a materials engineering major, attended the workshop eagerly to learn all she could about the topic at hand, as well as what future workshops would hold.

“I’ve always tried to be better as a leader and so when I found out there was literally a program on how to be a better leader, I was like ‘I gotta do this’,” Szaldobagyi said.

Erika Szaldobagyi, a materials engineering major, chats with fellow attendees about their ideal goals for the future, duirng the MC LEADS session on Friday, Feb. 28, in the Campus Center conference room. As a group, Szaldobagyi's table decided that Moorpark College could improve communication about service on campus.
Erika Szaldobagyi, a materials engineering major, chats with fellow attendees about their ideal goals for the future, duirng the MC LEADS session on Friday, Feb. 28, in the Campus Center conference room. As a group, Szaldobagyi's table decided that Moorpark College could improve communication about service on campus. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Szaldobagyi is president of the chemistry club as well as a member of other organizations. Szaldobagyi hoped to incorporate the knowledge she acquired into campus involvement.

“I have a lot of ideas but how do I want to go about them, how do I want to tell people or who do I tell, and this one was helpful on how to actually get it done,” Szaldobagyi mentioned.

Adailton Nali Junior, an electrical engineering major, describes his group's first steps toward their chosen goal during the MC LEADS session on Friday, Feb. 28.
Adailton Nali Junior, an electrical engineering major, describes his group's first steps toward their chosen goal during the MC LEADS session on Friday, Feb. 28. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

MC LEADS consists of five workshops in total, the next taking place on Friday March 13.

Credit can largely be given to Moorpark College’s Vice President of Student Services, Dr. Amanuel Gebru for the existence of the program in addition to Student Activities Specialist Kristen Robinson who has also played an important role in conducting each workshop.

“I’m hoping that this is really beneficial and they feel more empowered to advocate on behalf of issues,” Robinson said.

For more information regarding the MC LEADS program, visit MC LEADS on the Moorpark College website.