Student leaders from the Brooklyn and Long Island campuses came together over President’s Day weekend for a multi-day leadership retreat led by St. Joseph’s University, New York administrators, staff and faculty.
Prominent members of SJNY clubs and student organizations enjoyed a wide array of activities and seminars aimed at developing leadership skills and promoting self-reflection.
Vice President of Student Life and Campus Services Shantey Hill-Hanna welcomed participants on the first day of the retreat, and Brooklyn Campus student life staff conducted the opening leadership activity.
Other discussions and exercises were led by S. Suzanne Franck, Long Island Campus Executive Director of Student Involvement, Leadership and Intercultural Engagement Bryan Gill, and Brooklyn Campus Assistant Director of Student Involvement, Leadership and Intercultural Engagement Michael Littlejohn.
“I’m trying to be myself…”
Armando Escobar ’24, a computer information technology major at the Long Island Campus, was one of the students who attended the event. He felt the activities were dynamic, informative, and tailored to the unique group of students at the University.
“I feel I’m now a better communicator and leader,” Escobar said. “I know the importance of considering cultural differences when interacting with my team, allowing everyone to feel included and respected. I learned techniques to keep a team motivated and focused on a specific goal. I’m also more confident and inspired to take leadership roles on campus.”
Escobar recalled something Hill-Hanna said in her welcome message, urging participants to be themselves so that they could make the most out of the experience.
“If we had put on a different personality to give a better impression of ourselves to others, we would not have allowed ourselves to be vulnerable. And in some moments we wouldn’t have had the chance to identify our flaws and improve,” Escobar said.
“I think that applies to everything we do, so now I’m trying to be myself in all aspects of my life.”
“Leadership is an art.”
Rabin Singh ’25, a Brooklyn Campus student majoring in mathematics and computer science, echoed Escobar’s sentiments.
“Overall, it was an incredible experience. It was an interactive and insightful event,” he said.
“Leadership is an art. It’s not about standing out but about making sure everybody is standing together,” Singh added.
He feels the experience at the retreat will enable him to not only be a strong leader in the future, but today, as a member of the University community.
“I learned to be responsible and more active with my own values, principles and philosophy in campus groups,” Singh added. “It encouraged me to actively be a part of the community and contribute to it as a leader from my own position.”