UD Students Model Leadership

Apr 7, 2016 | S.Ortman

One hundred high school juniors attended the Dubuque Area Youth Leadership Council’s spring Character and
Leadership Workshop, hosted by the University of Dubuque in McCormick Gymnasium on Wednesday, April 6.

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Stephanie Ostwinkle, a senior accounting major at University of Dubuque, took a break from class Wednesday, April 6, to help 100 high school juniors hone their leadership skills.

“I like to be a resource for young students as much as I can,” Ostwinkle said, adding. “To see the next generation of leaders is empowering.”

UD hosted the Dubuque Area Youth Leadership Council’s spring Character and Leadership Workshop in McCormick Gymnasium. University student facilitators taught the top 100 DAYLC Youth Leaders leadership skills and bystander intervention strategies, among other items.

Denver Link, a junior at Wahlert Catholic High School, said it was powerful to hear from UD students and network with other students who have demonstrated strong leadership characteristics.

“UD provides us a great opportunity to grow as leaders and reach out to other leaders,” Link said.

The University’s Department of Student Life incorporated “Step UP!,” a bystander intervention program developed by the University of Arizona and NCAA, into the workshop. Some goals of the program are to raise awareness of helping behaviors and increase motivation to help.

“The most problematic behaviors within high school and college settings involve bystanders,” said Amy Baus, director of Career and Life Services at UD.

UD faculty, staff and student facilitators guided DAYLC Youth Leaders through difficult topics of bullying, discrimination, and more. Ostwinkle, of Hopkinton, Iowa, was impressed with the discussions.

“Everyone wants to jump in and they’re all really respectful,” she said.

Some University students moved outside their comfort zones to model leadership. Connor Vaughn, a Galena, Ill., resident who is pursuing a Master of Arts in communication, said he is typically quiet.

“There’s a time and a place for everything, and sometimes you’ve got to step up,” Vaughn said.

UD student facilitators helped evaluate DAYLC Youth Leaders on leadership, character, and participation in the workshop. The evaluations will be considered when DAYLC selects its scholarship winners.

Established in 1990, DAYLC’s vision is to “make tomorrow’s world better by developing leaders today.” DAYLC administrators chose this year’s Top 100 DAYLC Youth Leaders from 192 applications. Students, who represent 10 tri-state area schools, were invited to attend leadership workshops sponsored by Clarke University in the fall and UD in the spring to prepare them for future leadership roles.