by Diane VanDyke
Four Montgomery County Community College student leaders recently attended the American Student Association of Community Colleges’ (ASACC) National Leadership, Citizenship and Advocacy Conference in Tampa, Fla.
The student representatives included Serena Dunlap, Gilbertsville, Student Government Association (SGA) Senator at Central Campus; Margaret Kanter, Boyertown, SGA Senator at West Campus; Shanae Roberts, Limerick, SGA President at West Campus; and Iris Wang, Norristown, SGA Treasurer at Central Campus. The College’s Director of Student Leadership and Involvement Chris Coia accompanied the students.
The three-day ASACC conference focused on several aspects of leadership, including how to build a social network, develop strong communication skills and create and accomplish goals. Students attended presentations and workshops to learn how to develop these skills, as well as how to effectively use technology in communicating and networking.
“The purpose of the trip was to make us better leaders,” said Serena Dunlap, a Liberal Studies major who plans to become an art therapist. “We learned how to connect with other leaders, so we can network and help each other.”
As a SGA Senator, Dunlap plans to use her new skills to interact more with other students on campus and to listen to their opinions and ideas about the College.
In addition to participating in discussions with 150 other community colleges students from across the country, Dunlap, Kanter, Roberts and Wang earned student leader certifications in ASACC’s L.E.A.P.S. program (leadership, education, advocacy, planning and service).
“The conference really made me stop and think about my future, as well as my past and present,” Roberts said. “The highlight of my experience was having the chance to meet many different people from all walks of life. It was really cool to see how other people ran their clubs.”
The SGA leaders will have the opportunity to attend the National Student Leadership Advocacy Conference in March 2013 in Washington D.C. The conference will inform and educate students about major issues of importance to community colleges and students, including Pell grants, student loans, federal work-study funding, Perkins funding, textbook prices and student debt.
For more information about ASACC, visit www.asacc.org.