Baylor Leadership Summit goes online for student opportunities

Baylor's Leadership Summit is set to happen virtually this semester, offering students with the opportunity to learn from a variety of leadership experts. Image courtesy of Baylor University

By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer

To help students to continue to grow and learn, the Baylor Leadership Summit is set to take place on March 20 online.

As in previous years, students can choose between multiple workshops to spend their time in along with listening to a keynote speaker. Though it has to be online, the summit is still focusing on new ways for students to learn how to lead amid uncertain times.

Talking about how the summit is planning to be held online, Jeronda Robinson, associate director of Multicultural Affairs, said this new format won’t dampen the nature of the event.

“[Students] can expect the same quality it was before. It’s going to be the same as far as you’re going into a workshop for which area you want whether it’s cross-cultural, engagement or just how to be an effective leader, so we’ll have a little bit for everyone,” Robinson said.

Having the event online allows more schools and speakers to participate this year since there is no need to travel, explained Mecia Lockwood, assistant director for leadership development. While the summit typically only reaches out to those in the surrounding area, Lockwood explained that their outreach spread to some speakers from Maryland.

Lockwood also mentioned that while some events weren’t able to be put online, the overall event is shorter and now includes a networking event so students can still interact with each other.

“I think it gave us a lot of opportunity to figure out how can we engage students in other ways, so that it’s still a really impactful experience,” Lockwood said.

While the main goal of the summit is for students to find ways to become a better leader, there are four ways the summit homes in on. Those four elements are developing cross-cultural awareness, building meaningful interactions, affecting positive change and discovering better practices.

From her experience as a student at Baylor in the past, Lockwood explained it was fun being immersed in learning about multiculturalism in leadership as whole rather than a segment.

Robinson said she’s looking forward to seeing how students develop as a result of the summit.

“I think the goal for the conference for students is to walk out and have more confidence in being a leader and I’m hoping that they grow in different areas,” Robinson said. “I always want to give them someone where they are going to leave with something they may not have known about and they’re growing in.”

Another big change for the summit this year is the combining of multiple offices to bring a better awareness and outreach to the event, Lockwood said.

This year the event is brought together by the Multicultural Affairs office, the Academy for Leadership Development and the Community Engagement and Service Office. Lockwood explained that a main reason in bringing these offices together is to create multi-faceted leaders who understand multiple cultures and perspectives.

“The reason we decided to partner, from my understanding, and open up the retreat is because we want to get students outside of the habit of only thinking that multiculturalism as an addition to leadership and thinking about it as being one and the same,” Lockwood said.

As the event is planned for a Saturday, students must register for $10 prior to attending. Robinson explained that over 100 students have already signed up for the event, and she is excited to see more students join the event as it’s open to everyone.

“[Going online] turned out to be a good thing and I thought people wouldn’t because there is no food and food is a big factor, but yeah it seems that after everything that happened here with the ‘Snow-pocalypse,’ and all the craziness maybe people just want to learn and gather and have a little activity to do, so it actually worked out good,” Robinson said.