USAC Alumni Club hosts first leadership conference

2/12/2007 8:00:00 AM

While many were preparing for the Super Bowl on the sunny afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 4, University Study Abroad Consortium Alumni Club members and fellow students were getting together for a full day leadership conference at Heavenly ski resort at Lake Tahoe.

The day consisted of activities that promoted leadership and teambuilding skills as well as skiing or snowboarding on the luminous white slopes of the resort. It was not just about enjoying the pleasant weather at the club's first leadership conference; the students said they want to make a difference.

The conference, the first of what the club hopes to be an annual event, was held with the intentions of honing Alumni officers' leadership skills, increasing knowledge about international issues, and gathering students who have studied abroad, plan to study abroad, or have a passion for international affairs.

"The first goal was to build leadership skills and team camaraderie among officers and members," said Marika Dimitriadis, USAC coordinator of student information. "The second goal was to raise funds for study abroad scholarships for the alumni while spreading awareness of international issues that are going on today."

Sixteen students and USAC alumni club members attended the conference, 11 of whom have already studied through USAC.

"It's a good way to get with people who have studied abroad, haven't or plan to," said Tenaya Caterino, a Spanish and communications major. "It's good for networking and meeting different students."

The club's day, apart from skiing or snowboarding, was filled with activities that promoted the development of leadership abilities and knowledge of international matters.

The club officers held a scavenger hunt with an international twist. The participants in the scavenger hunt were required to translate a list of leadership qualities to another language. Each participant also had to find two international workers at the ski resort and have them list the word peace in the language of their home country.

"We want to develop the awareness about what's going on in the world and promote learning languages," said Bethany Teveldahl, USAC Alumni Club president and Spanish and International Affairs major with an emphasis on Latin American Studies.

The club sold T-shirts for $10 before and during the conference. One dollar of the $5 profit from the T-shirts will fund USAC scholarships and the other $4 will be donated to the United Nations Children's Fund, according to Teveldahl.

"It shows students they can make a difference in the world," Teveldahl said.

Dimitriadis is compiling a packet which includes evaluations about the event that participants must complete. The packet will be used to further cultivate their skills as USAC Alumni club members and to better organize future conferences.

"We hope to continue doing it in the future," Teveldahl said. "We're taking notes and looking back on what we've done to organize it better."


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