Leadership by Example

February 28, 2011








Option 1
Photo by Laura J. Cole

As an Ally in the Leadership Ally Program, Professor of Environmental Studies Joe Siry meets with mentees to discuss the ways they lead active lives of service.



For busy R-Journalist, Cornell Scholar and first-year essay contest winner Annamarie Carlson (Class of 2014), the recent Leadership Ally Program kickoff dinner provided a much needed mid-semester break, along with the opportunity to finally meet her Ally in person.

Now in its second semester, the Leadership Ally Program pairs student leaders with members of the faculty and staff. These leaders, which are called Allies, guide students and help them accomplish their personal action plans.

“The Leadership Ally Program (LAP) enables students to develop their leadership skills through one-on-one contact and support from our fantastic faculty and staff, who in turn gain a better understanding of the student experience at Rollins,” said Assistant Director for Student Involvement and Leadership Jerrid Kalakay.

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Joe Siry is one Ally who recalls his personal experience because of this opportunity.

“As an undergraduate on a faculty committee at Emory University, I informally got to know an historian who was an older administrator and understood the pressures on the University in a time of turmoil,” he said. “He was an adult ‘sounding board’ with a different perspective from my own view about the role of the University.”

LAP is the long-term follow up to the Emerging Leadership Institute (ELI) that was held this past October. ELI provided a weekend of discussions on the concept and implementation of leadership and a series of team-building activities. Whereas the Institute was a retreat, the Ally Program seeks to provide students a way to implement what they have learned in their daily lives.

“The facilitators at ELI didn’t tell us what leadership was, they asked us,” said Carlson. “By being asked what leadership was, I was able to put forth my ideas about what I picture in a leader, as well as view my classmates’ differing opinions.”

Carlson says she owes a lot of her newfound leadership traits thanks to the ELI. During a session on communication with Rollins Improv Players, each student was assigned a personality trait for a scene they had to act out. She was given “shy.” Afterward, the editor-in-chief for The Sandspur, where Carlson had worked during all of last semester, told her that he could not tell the difference between how she was acting in the scene and how she acts on a daily basis.

“That experience was a wake-up call about how the rest of the world sees me,” Carlson said. “I do not want to be the shy girl in the corner; I want to be making a difference. I realized that I not only had the potential to be a leader, I was a leader. I just needed a program like ELI to prove it to me.”

Laura Hardwicke (Class of 2011) participated in the first installment of LAP and helped organize last fall’s ELI retreat by drawing on her experiences at a summer conference devoted to leadership.

“I learned so much about myself: my strengths, my weaknesses, how I work in groups,” she said. “The question now was, ‘How can we bring this back to Rollins?’”

The program will run until the fall semester of 2011, but it’s safe to say that the students who go through it will continue to lead active lives of service and significance long after they leave this chapter of their Rollins’ careers behind.

To learn more about the Leadership Ally Program, please visit the Office of Community Engagement and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership.


By Jennifer Ritter (Class of 2013)

Office of Public Relations & Community Affairs
For more information, contact news@rollins.edu.


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