Students need to know how to use their leadership skills before leading in the best way that they can.
That’s why Frostburg State University places an emphasis on preparing freshmen as leaders. No matter the student organization, there are opportunities to lead.
At the same time, there is a call to service for these students.
In the fall, 80 freshmen were whisked about an hour away from campus to a bucolic campground in Stoystown, Pa., so they can learn more about themselves and how they work with other people through team-building exercises.
I completed a story used for the Alumni eNews and packaged it with photos I shot and a video I produced, to help round it out so you can get a feel for what’s going on.
My favorite moment captured is the honesty from student Alexis Thomas. It shows you how aware students are of the branding and marketing by colleges and universities to attend. FSU’s tagline is “One University. A World of Experiences” and had an ad campaign to go with it.
“I have a better idea of what Frostburg is about,” said the Bowie resident and biology major. “When they show us the video about how they are one community, I thought they were just saying that to get us to come here. But I see that the professors here, the advisors here, really care, and they really want their students to do well and graduate on time.”
A big part of this trip is to train students who signed up to be a part of ECHOSTARS, which stands for Empowering Communities Helping Others: Service Through Action, Resources and Sustainability. It’s quite the mouthful, but it’s a residential volunteer program at FSU offered through AmeriCorps. FSU also sponsors an AmeriCorps program for Western Maryland.
Here’s an excerpt from Beth Bair, FSU’s National Service coordinator with ECHOSTARS about the experience:
“The goal is to help the students dig deep into their strengths,” Bair said. “All of them have completed the StrengthsQuest Survey, which is part of the Gallup program we do at Frostburg State. Once they learn their top strengths, it’s a matter of what their strengths reveal about them and applying it to this weekend.”
When the students return to FSU, the lessons and experience will serve them well in student organization leadership roles, Bair added, whether it’s working at the Lane University Center, leading a Greek organization or being involved in community service.
Here’s the story in its entirety: