In My Own Words
Thoughts on Education, Artistry, and Leadership

My blog includes my #BuildingBetterBrains project, articles I've been invited to contribute, and remarks from events at which I have been asked to speak, in addition to comments written specifically for my web audience.

Please send your comments and critiques; they are always appreciated.

Remarks at the Panhellenic Council Awards Banquet
December 2, 2009 at 5:30 PM
The Stockdale Center at Monmouth College

Good evening, and congratulations to everyone.  Not simply congrats to those who won awards, but to everyone here.  You have become part of something special, a fraternity, a family.  You are sisters.

Like a real family, you care for one another.  You cheer for your sisters.  You cry with them.  When a sister does something dumb, you gently set her straight.  When she persists, you insist.  And when your sister does something great, you lift her up and celebrate, as we do tonight.

However your fraternal family is much larger than the 156 sisters here, or even the 316 fraternity brothers and sisters at Monmouth College.  Would you believe, that between your three organizations, you have almost six hundred thousand sisters?  If you were to bring them all to one place, they would fill April Zorn Memorial Stadium 219 times.  That’s more than half a million people in your fraternal family!

Commentary in The Mu of Monmouth College
September 2009 Issue - Volume 2, Issue 3

Have you heard about the “bad crowd” and the advice to stay away from it?  After all, you would not want to be guilty by association!  Those members of the bad crowd are so easy to spot.  Aren’t they?  All members of men’s and women’s fraternities, with those letters on their chests.

Those sloths of academia, those irresponsible brats, it’s about time they had their due.  One day they will loose the shielded environment of college and just have to slug it out in the real world.  Let’s just see how they do:

Commentary in The Mu of Monmouth College
July 2009 Issue - Volume 2, Issue 2

There is a long time tradition at colleges and universities requiring student organizations to have an advisor who is a member of the faculty or administration.  The responsibilities of this person vary widely from institution to institution, and indeed from organization to organization.  Generally, the advisor’s job was to be aware of the activities of the organization, keep them from getting into trouble, and utter the occasional nugget of wisdom.

This arrangement may suffice for a simple, small campus organization, but complex groups such as activities boards, governing organizations, major community service groups, and men’s and women’s fraternities have greater advisory needs.

Remarks at the Highlander Leadership Awards
April 30, 2009 at 6:00 PM
The Stockdale Center at Monmouth College

Good evening.  Let’s congratulate all of our nominees, all of our fine student leaders, one more time.

We’re wrapping up an awards banquet which recognizes outstanding leadership.  But, I’ve gotta ask.  What is leadership? I can be so many things, and perhaps too tricky a question.  So let’s ask instead, what isn’t leadership?

Leadership is not telling a group of people how to get the job done.  Leadership is not holding a bunch of offices or titles.  Leadership is not having a long resume.  Leadership is not ego.  Leadership is not doing community service to feel good about yourself.  Leadership is not winning awards.  Leadership is not being the boss, the authority, the person in charge.

So, what is leadership, if it isn’t these things?