Wildcat Leadership Challenge
Wildcat Leadership Challenge is a four day retreat that takes leaders from across campus and works toward giving them “The Courage to Lead.” After identifying adaptive challenges at K-State, students had the opportunity to reflect on their challenges, create an action plan, and present their plan to campus stakeholders. These leaders now are better prepared to exercise leadership in adaptive challenges after their time at K-State. As these students reflect on their weekend, read how each of the “discovering,” “dreaming” and “designing” portions of the challenge helped them realize their full potential for impact, and be inspired to discover, dream and design in your own adaptive challenge!
Kimberly Gerstner, sophomore in Public Relations
Leadership Challenge 2013 was great. I loved how the different days had different topics that developed on the day before. There were three topic days which were: discovering, dreaming, and designing. I enjoyed the Discovering Day because it was where we got to learn about our strengths and how the sky is the limit. We had amazing speakers come in and talk to us from Mike Finnegan, who talked about our strengths, to Dr. Be Stoney who showed a different side of diversity. After the great speakers is where the real fun began! We got to draw out on a piece of paper what we were passionate about. It was amazing how many people had so many different ideas but they were still under similar topics. I think my favorite part of the day was seeing how passionate everyone was about K-State- even if it was in different ways. Everyone wanted to see K-State improve and reach the 2025 goal!
Landon Leiker, sophomore in communication studies
The entire weekend at Leadership Challenge was packed with insightful, engaging, and meaningful learning experiences. Perhaps my favorite experience though was the designing stage of our projects. During this time, we got the chance to sit down with various university stakeholders and discuss with them how our group’s ideas and project would affect their specific department and our university as a whole. My group is attempting to improve the communication on campus between the various colleges as well as between students and faculty. All of the stakeholders provided great insight into how our ideas would affect campus. They also presented us with challenges that we may face that we never thought of. These challenges included time constraints, money that would be needed to accomplish our goals, and perhaps most concerning, unwillingness to change the system. However, each stakeholder we talked with was more than willing to assist our group in whatever challenge that we may face.The great thing about Leadership Challenge is that we as students were able to make concrete plans that we can take back to campus so we can have a positive impact on our university. And seeing prominent stakeholders of our university take time out of their busy schedule to assist students in their ideas is just another example of how our university values its students. I learned a myriad of things in the short four days at Rock Springs. From diversity to teamwork to patience to effective collaboration and initiation of a project, Leadership Challenge was a phenomenal experience for me, and I wish every K-State student could have an experience like mine. It truly does change your perception of our campus and how we function as a university and as a K-State Family.
Gerald Mashange, sophomore in Mathematics
The designing stage was a very insightful moment to realize and value the various visions and passions displayed by the leaders attending the retreat. All these ideas had a common purpose, advancing the development and betterment of K-State. In my group we designed a program intended for student enrichment, an amalgamation of the different expectations and ideas that our group members had. The difficult part was narrowing down our numerous ideas and prioritizing them in accordance to which proposal had the greatest impact in providing student enrichment. Another difficult aspect we encountered during the designing process was the feasibility of each proposal. We considered the possibility of our ideas being enacted on campus and the challenges that would be encountered. Would there be a large participation? Who would benefit from the proposal? Who would orchestrate such a program? Is there already a similar program on campus or underway? Most of the time, after assessing these proposals, we realized that they required manpower, money and other resources, difficult obstacles to overcome when trying to implement any program. The presence of the advisors and faculty members to guide the development of our ideas was very beneficial, especially in directing our attention to the feasibility aspect through their experiences in their respective positions and the limitations they were aware of. At the end of the designing process I can personally say that I was very inspired and I felt that the session made all of us into more rational leaders, able to provide greater impact and development for society. It also allowed us to realize that the future of K-State is not only the responsibility of the administration but equally shared by us, the students!