SLFP honored

Drea Weiner

The Student Leadership Fellowship Program has received the John C. Dalton Institute for College Values, Best Practices Award and was a finalist in the 2012 Michigan Campus Compact Campus-Community Partnership Award.

The John C. Dalton Institute of College Values, Best Practice is a national award which is give to one recipient each year. Jon Barch, SLFP coordinator, travelled to Florida on Wednesday to receive this award for the SLFP.
“It is a really proud moment for NMU and the Student Leadership Fellowship Program,” Barch said.

The Michigan Campus Compact Community Partnership Award is for programs demonstrating college student value and concern for social responsibility. SLFP will receive a plaque for being a finalist. This is something SLFP really cares about, Barch said.

“We’re still really happy to be a finalist,” said Geneva Martin, a junior environmental studies and sustainability major.

SLFP is a two-year community-based program that was established 21 years ago to teach NMU students leadership and community involvement.

“SLFP is one of the cutting-edge leadership programs in the country,” said Dave Bonsall, director of the Center for Student Enrichment.

The first year of the program, students are taught leadership skills: how to organize volunteers, what the basics are in leading a group of people and how to empower the people the students are leading.

This is done by having the students take UN250: Leadership Theory and Practice during their first semester of their first year in the program.

“[This program] is a commitment to self-development,” Barch said. “To know more about yourself and work with the community.”

The biggest project of the second year is the community service internship CSI. The student designs their 100-hour internship. This ensures that the internship is tailored to their interests. The internship lasts throughout the entire second year of the program.

Martin is in the second year of the program and worked with third and fourth grade girls at the Sandy Knoll Elementary School for her internship.

She worked with two other participants in an after-school program teaching the girls about physical, mental and emotion health.

“I thought it would be fun to have something to do with a different demographic (than my major),” Martin said. “I won’t have many more opportunities like this in the future.”

In September, the members attend the fall retreat at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay. It’s an energizer that is meant to inspire the members for the upcoming year, Barch said.

During the first year of the program, students are assigned a mentor from the Marquette community who is involved in some aspect of the community.

“I learned so much from my (mentor)relationship,” said Alex Wolfe, a senior sports science major. “It was really nice knowing someone with the same interest [who was] willing to give advice.”

SLFP gives students an opportunity to learn leadership skills in a comfortable setting and to go outside the comfort zone, Martin said.

“SLFP [has taught me] to understand a style of leadership that works for me,” Wolfe said. “Everyone has their own unique style [and SLFP] gives you confidence to work toward that. It helps you believe who you are as a person.”

The SLFP is currently accepting applications. Students who wish to apply must have a minimum GPA of 2.3, two semesters completed at the college or university level and have the ability to commit two years to finish the program.

Applications can be found online and are due Friday, Feb. 10. Students with questions can call the program office at (906) 227-1771 or email [email protected].

“It’s a fantastic program,” Wolfe said. “[SLFP] is finally getting recognition at the national level. It shows what it brings to NMU. More students will come because of this program.”