June 22, 2011

Six engineering students packed their bags and headed to LSU Campus Life’s four-day, off campus leadership development experience. Geaux Lead! was held May 22-25 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center in Alexandria, La. The retreat serves as a starting point for participants to become leaders that engage with their communities to make a difference. Participants are offered opportunities throughout the year to further their leadership potential.

Simone Guidry, sophomore, civil engineering, Laura Bertrand, sophomore, chemical engineering, Renee Fogarty, sophomore, chemical engineering, Alex Perdomo, freshman, environmental engineering, Alexis Woodley, senior, industrial engineering and Megan Barnum, senior, biological engineering, participated in this year’s event.

“I was not expecting Geaux Lead! to mainly involve self-reflection, but by working on myself, I was able to identify those things I need to work on and change,” said Guidry. “I feel as though I am a much greater leader now because I had the chance to reflect on myself.”

Guidry decided to attend the retreat because she wanted to find new ways to help motivate others. “Sometimes, I find it hard to keep the momentum going in projects or large groups of people.”

“I would definitely recommend this retreat to engineering students because not only was it a networking opportunity, but it was also a wonderful way to learn how to be interdependent,” said Guidry. “Engineering projects and businesses, to me, seem highly functional when interdependence is incorporated; some things needs to be delegated and group projects are essential in engineering.”

Bertrand echoed Guidry’s enthusiasm. “I would definitely recommend this retreat to other engineering students. It is a fun way to learn leadership skills.”

Gaining self-confidence was the main take-away for Woodley. “The experience was great; I met a lot of wonderful people. I learned about myself and that I need to be more confident and trust in myself more as a leader. I know I have all of the tools!”

Three first-year engineering students also participated in Leading Edge sponsored by LSU’s First Year Experience and Campus Life. The engineering students included Brandon Guillory, Hayden Black and Courtney Rourke.

Leading Edge is a 10-week, spring-semester program designed to assist and develop first-year-student leaders on LSU’s campus. Through interactive leadership activities, guest speakers and personal self-reflection, students gain confidence in their abilities as a leader and “find their niche” in the LSU community.

The goals of the Leading Edge program are to introduce first year students to leadership opportunities on LSU’s campus; to foster an environment where first year students can grow as leaders at their own level; and to introduce first year students to resources both on and off campus that can help develop their leadership skills. Leading Edge concluded with a closing reception hosted by LSU Chancellor Mike Martin.

As part of the College of Engineering’s (CoE) strategic plan, the College prepares LSU engineers for a dynamic world. One of the strategic actions is to encourage leadership, ethical practices and entrepreneurial qualities in students through mentoring, exposure through engineering professional society activities, participation in local and national competitions and other opportunities. 

“This is yet another great opportunity for students to develop professional skills that will only enhance their value to the profession and community,” said Warren Waggenspack, associate dean for academic programs, CoE. “LSU Engineering graduates are well rounded individuals, prepared to address today's challenges technically, socially and economically.”

For more information about Geaux Lead!, click here.

For more information about Leading Edge, click here.

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For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.



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