SILD Office holds first LEAD NIU Summit

By Jacqueline Evans

NIU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Development office hosted its first annual LEAD NIU Summit Friday and Saturday. Speakers came to speak with students about setting goals and building leadership skills.

“The LEAD NIU Summit was a huge success,” said Karla Neal, associate director of the Student Involvement and Leadership Development office. “We had fantastic speakers…they all defined leadership in their own words, shared their diverse personal experiences and inspired students to become the best people they can be.”

Scott Allen, assistant professor of management at John Carroll University, and Hill Harper, author of three New York Times bestsellers and star of CBS’ series CSI:NY, were the speakers at the event.

Harper’s event was good because he connected with students on a personal and intellectual level, said senior history major Jonitiana Kelly.

“As a Harvard Law Graduate, Mr. Harper had a way with words but yet he still managed to remain humble and down-to-earth with his audience,” Kelly said.

Byron Neal, Campus Activities Board president, said he was encouraged by Harper’s message to continue to strive for more when setting goals.

“I thought I was setting high and attainable goals; however, by him saying double my goals, it opened my eyes to the fact that I can still shoot higher,” Byron said. “I am forever grateful to Mr. Harper for bringing that message to my attention.”

Harper left students with a feel that they could do anything if they set their mind to it, Kelly said.

“After the presentation, I left with the goal to start working on my blueprint for success,” she said. “My success starts with me and how far I am willing to go in life.”

Karla said the summit was an opportunity for students to come out and educate themselves about being leaders, both on campus and off.

“I was impressed with the caliber of students who participated,” she said. “They understand the importance of challenging oneself and developing relationships.”