Hundreds attend weekend leadership conference at UCSD

    More than 1,000 college students attended the Excel Leadership Conference on Saturday, seeking to build leadership skills

    The UCSD Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association, along with A.S. Council and Kaplan, sponsored the 12th annual Excel conference, which was held at the Price Center.

    The event is intended to educate leaders from campuses all around Southern California and kicked off “”Greek Week”” at UCSD.

    The conference workshops were divided into four main categories: general leadership, career development, risk management and greek education, all of which offered a diverse selection of topics, such as “”Networking Your Way to the Top,”” “”Pledging in Cultural Greek Organizations”” and “”Positive Public Relations.””

    More than 20 workshops were offered to attendees and were spread out over the various conference rooms in the Price Center, the Price Center Theater and in several Center Hall classrooms.

    Lecturer and author Will Keim, Left Field Consulting CEO Barbie Tootle and San Diego television news anchor Lee Ann Kim were among several speakers and workshop leaders at the event.

    Beginning the conference with the keynote address, Keim spoke on ethical decisions and leadership and addressed issues of morality and an individual responsibility for bettering the condition of the world today.

    Tootle also spoke in the afternoon session, emphasizing the need for creative leaders and individual thought.

    UCSD had many representatives at the conference, ranging from large numbers of fraternity and sorority members to participants in Revelle College’s Express to Success Program.

    Andrea Carrillo, a Marshall freshman and a part of the Express to Success Program, found the conference beneficial.

    “”It was really enlightening,”” she said. “”I learned a lot about becoming a better leader, as well as what employers are looking for.””

    Heather Howerton, a Revelle freshman and a member of Chi Omega sorority, agreed.

    “”As a first-year, it can get very confusing at times,”” she said. “”The speakers so far have been able to clarify my ideas on leadership as an individual on both a personal level and as a leader in general.””

    Several of the speakers also supported the conference’s focus on personal leadership.

    “”One reason why I enjoy this conference would have to lie in its stress on personal development,”” said Tootle, a keynote speaker and workshop leader.

    “”The focus today is not on having a better meeting, but having a better life,”” Tootle said. “”The conference has been less of a ‘how-to’ session and more of an event on becoming a better person. The topics chosen have been very timely in this regard.””

    Lauren Weiner, the student organization advisor to Greek organizations, summed up the intent of the conference as one of leadership development.

    “”Whether [a student] is an emerging or advanced leader, the goal of the event is to provide him or her with skills and strategies for being an effective leader,”” she said.

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