UTSA LeaderShape Institute helps students create blueprint for change

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UTSA LeaderShape Institute 2012 graduates

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(June 8, 2012) -- The UTSA Student Leadership Center recently hosted the 2012 UTSA LeaderShape Institute. Fifty-nine UTSA students spent six intense days at the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in New Braunfels, focused on discovering what drives their passion for change and how they can impact their community.

The mission of the LeaderShape Institute is to transform the world by increasing the number of people who lead with integrity and "a healthy disregard for the impossible." During the institute, the students were asked to discover their vision and create an action blueprint for change. Throughout the six days, the students learned how leadership is not positional and does not require any formal authority. They were consistently challenged in order to discover what they desired to see happen in their community and ultimately in the world. A few weeks before arriving in New Braunfels, the students were asked, "What would your ideal world look like?"

Guiding the students throughout the six days were their family cluster facilitators, who included Mary Buzzetta, UTSA Career counselor; Trey Payne, UTSA University Center building supervisor; Melissa Evans, multimedia designer in the UTSA Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs; Sapna Naik, UTSA Tomas River Center student development specialist; and Charlin Jones, UTSA assistant director of special events. The students did much of their vision work within their family clusters of approximately 12 students. During the six days, the family clusters grew close and become a place full of support and encouragement.

During the institute, students participated in lectures, activities and exercises focused on their personal values and the vision they have for an ideal world. During a guest panelist discussion, the students shared their visions and ask questions of members of the San Antonio business community. The guest panel, hosted by Gage Paine, UTSA vice president for student affairs, included Brandon Van Vleck, principal of Judson Learning Academy; Art Flores, vice president of ARTCOM Associates Inc.; Laura Davies, CFO of Deer Oaks EAP; John Frederick, UTSA provost and vice president for aademic affairs; and Roy Schroer, assistant vice president of human resources for Union Pacific.

For more information about the programs and events, visit the UTSA Student Leadership Center website or the office in University Center Room 1.002 on the Main Campus.

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LeaderShape Institute participant comments about the event:

"It was such a pleasure to serve as a staff facilitator for the 2012 LeaderShape Institute. Working alongside these students was such a life-changing experience for me. As a career counselor, I have always strived to make an impact in the lives of college students, and I can honestly say that LeaderShape made me feel successful in accomplishing this goal. I left this experience with a whole new family –- the LeaderShape 2012 experience will forever be a part of who I am." -- Mary Buzzetta, facilitator

"Leadershape is a great experience -- what it taught me is still being carried on toda, right now, and I will forever be able to say that. It showed me who I was, and it gave back a lot of what I had been giving to other people -- my all. I know more of me now, almost all of me." –- Charnelle Thompson, student participant

"My experience at LeaderShape is one that touched my mind, body and soul. The lessons I have learned and the relationships I have forged will continue to live with me long after the experience itself. I feel blessed to have even been a part of it." -- Zack Dunn, student participant

"I felt like it gave me time to thoughtfully write out my vision and put into action all those things I have thought about since I was a child." –- Kaneshia Davis, student participant