By: Taylor Demski
Seventeen Texas A&M faculty members attended the Association of Leadership Educators conference in Key West, Florida July 8, 2012 through July 11, 2012, where ALEC Graduate Assistant Sarah Ho was recognized for leadership and student involvement.
Those in attendance benefitted from listening to keynote speakers and networking with professionals in departments across the nation. The conference enables leadership educators to build relationships with others in the field thus allowing the possibility for further collaboration with other universities.
Ho was awarded the ALE Founding Mothers’ Award. It is a student scholarship recognizing the importance of graduate and undergraduate student involvement in the leadership discipline. “The Award is a great way to encourage undergraduate and graduate research in the field of leadership education. It is also an accolade bestowed upon future scholars and professors. To me, the award affirmed my commitment to the profession and becoming a contributing community member in research and teaching.” Ho said.
Assistant Professor Summer Odom, Ph.D., has attended ALE seven times throughout her career in leadership education. “I believe in the concept of what ALE is. It’s a research conference but yet it’s a lot of sharing ideas for teaching and it’s truly leadership education. It helps us determine how we can teach leadership better and it’s just people with the same goals and outlook on leadership,” said Odom.
Odom presented research co-authored with Extension Specialist Holly Jarvis, Ph.D., Graduate Assistant M’Randa Sandlin and Graduate Assistant Cassidy Peek on social media in the leadership classroom and student’s perceptions on social media.
During a poster session, Odom shared research on helping students define their leadership degree. Sandlin and Odom also showcased an idea poster highlighting research they hope to do in the fall about veterans in the ALEC department. “How can we utilize their experience and create a better curriculum for veterans?” Sandlin asked.
Sandlin noted the importance of attending such events, “Conferences in general are really beneficial for us to attend as professors and grad students because we get to see what other institutions are researching. It really helps us stay on the fore front of research and teaching methods in addition to serving as a network for all of us.”
Odom is the incoming Director of Awards & Recognition and Assistant Professor Jennifer Williams, Ph.D., is the outgoing Secretary. Both are positions on the Board of Directors for ALE.