Photo by Trevor Johnson'08.
With the goal of providing students with leadership-building skills, Head Men’s Soccer Coach Tim Schmiechen and Director of Student Engagement and Leadership Jen Walsh started the Beloit Leadership Series last spring.
Taking place on Fridays over the common hour, the six-week series,‒which is voluntary and offers no credit,‒includes strength inventory tests, visits from guest speakers like President Scott Bierman, and discussions on such topics as the challenges of being a leader.
“One of the great things about Beloit is that students are very much involved and want to be involved,” says Schmiechen, who also serves as associate athletic director. “I saw this as a tremendous opportunity to give them the tools to be more successful.”
The first semester’s series drew approximately 25 students, followed by around 40 the second semester.
The students—who are of all academic years and a variety of backgrounds—came recommended by staff and coaches. So far, they have not had to turn anyone away, but Walsh says they will likely cap the number of attendees to 50.
“It was awesome to have a diverse group of leaders from across campus get together in the same room,” says Cameron Dieter’16. “It helped me in my work as student body president to hear athletes talk about team dynamics and members of Greek life talk about their organizations … In my role, I try to have strong relationships with my team, and the lessons on balancing friendship and business were particularly meaningful.”
“We’re hoping to cultivate the general leadership skills that students come here with,” Walsh says. “We want to prepare our students for what it’s like after college, so our Beloit alumni can go out and be stars.”