The College of Communication and Information Sciences (C&IS) develops global leaders who do the extraordinary across the full communication and information spectrum. For one weekend in October, a group of C&IS leaders traveled to Panama City Beach, Florida for leadership development and experiential learning at the inaugural C&IS Student Lead Retreat
The student collective of 46 established and emerging leaders were led by four C&IS faculty and staff members through an interactive curriculum of leadership programming that encompassed communication, diversity and collaboration.
“I loved interacting with different people from my College that I had never met before,” said Maddie Gall (junior, public relations and communication studies). “I now have a community that I can learn from and grow with.”
Throughout the weekend, students connected their leadership experiences in C&IS and became a network of peers who understand their individual and group impact. Group workshops, team building exercises, breakout sessions and personal reflection united the students, all while enjoying the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast.
“This retreat lit a fire in me, and I have taken away so much from the workshops and activities,” said Dominique Satterwhite (senior, telecommunication and film). “The trip facilitators were so willing to help us learn and taught us how to embrace the things that may divide us, to help us reach a common goal.”
The mission statement of the Lead Retreat was to develop leaders who do the extraordinary in C&IS and beyond. The retreat’s final activity challenged the students to make a statement of how they would be extraordinary moving forward. All 46 students accepted the challenge to be impactful leaders, whether or not they are appointed to a C&IS leadership position.
“Most students think that to be a leader you must serve in an official capacity,” said Elizabeth Tagg (junior, communication studies). “Anyone can be a leader, and our voices and actions in the small, everyday moments of life can impact others in ways we rarely expect.”
Financial support for the inaugural Lead Retreat was provided by the generosity of C&IS alumni and friends. The retreat’s budget was funded in full as the 2019 passion project for Bama Blitz, The University of Alabama’s annual online fundraising event. Without the support of the extended C&IS network, this retreat would not have been possible.
“We do a lot to cultivate community and inclusion at C&IS, but this weekend served as the first opportunity for me to grasp what that community looks like,” said Tagg. “This experience has been my favorite at UA, I am so thankful for everyone who made it possible.”
To view more photos from the 2019 Lead Retreat, check out the Facebook album here.