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A select group of students recently ventured to Gettysburg National Battlefield Park where decisions made by military generals turned the tide of the American Civil War. This Student Leadership Experience, a two-day experiential learning opportunity, challenged students to not only learn leadership skills from the decision-making, action, and inaction of military leaders but to learn how to apply them to their everyday lives.
“The experience of being on the battlefield is moving,” said Daniel Miller, Ed.D., vice president for student life and dean of students. “The staff at the Gettysburg Foundation are able to paint a portrait of the battle and its leaders in a way that compels students to think critically about leadership on the battlefield as well as their own leadership.”
The trip was co-presented by Lycoming College staff including Miller, Kate Hummel, associate dean of students, and Kelly Henrie, director of campus recreation and intramural sports, in addition to staff members from the Gettysburg Foundation. On day two, they opened up a discussion to the students, asking how they can take what they have learned and apply it to leadership experiences in and outside of the classroom.
Students chosen for the trip are nominated by peers who have participated in the past, creating a connection between past and current participants. Miller explained, “The Leadership Experience at Gettysburg is poignant and memorable. The student leaders who have participated in the experience develop an affinity and feel a connection when they return to campus as they address their leadership issues across the gambit of clubs and organizations, fraternity and sorority life, athletics, class officers, and more.”