Volleyball: it’s more than just a game.

Written by Caitlin Prete

 

BUS TIME = TEAM BONDING

 

My experience as an Albertus Magnus Student-Athlete has been very exciting and interesting.  One of my favorite parts, besides playing of course, is the bus rides.  On our very first bus ride, our team had a team bonding session and we all got really close.  During another bus ride home, we made forts on the back of the bus with blankets and hid underneath them.  There isn’t a time where our team isn’t laughing or all getting along.  Our coaches are the best, too!  They really know how to get us pumped up for games and get us to focus on what we have to do but also have fun at the same time.

 

PASTA WITH A SIDE OF LAUGHS

 

Our very first pasta party at Amy’s house was the funniest experience all season.  We shared stories and stuffed our faces with food, and when Amber started laughing the entire team started laughing including the coaches and everyone was almost in tears.  Not to mention, the food was excellent, too.  Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Seliga!

 

FALCON SUPPORT

 

The best part of being a student-athlete at Albertus Magnus is being able to play my favorite sport in the world: VOLLEYBALL.  Our very first home game was a blast.  We won in three games and the student section was HUGE!  It was great to have so many people there to support us.  Not only was it great winning our first home game, but it was great that we all got so pumped up and ready to play for the game.  The crowd helped us out a lot, too.

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JUST A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

 

It’s so much fun just to be able to play.  It is also fun to be able to go out of state and see new places that I’ve never seen before.  Since it is almost fall, all the leaves are changing colors and it looks so pretty outside on the way to the games.

483544_516275465057802_2009703151_nNot only do we get to go and see new places, but we get to try new restaurants and pizza places, also!  The only thing I love more than food is volleyball, so when they’re combined it’s my favorite thing in the world!

 

TEAM = FAMILY

 

Not only are we a close team on the court, but we are close off the court, too!  We are one big family.  We all talk outside of volleyball and plan things to do together or as a team.  Recently, half the team went to Pajama Jam together, and we made stuffed dogs and played musical chairs!  Everyone shares similar interests.  At events at school, it is more than likely everyone will see most of the volleyball girls together.  Last weekend, we had a car wash and sold baked goods to help support “dig for the cure” for breast cancer.  It was another great team bonding experience.  I have never been on such a close team before, and it’s such a great experience!

 

And just so no one forgets, GO FALCONS!!!!!!

 

Caitlin_web
Caitlin Prete
Freshman Accounting Major
Outside Hitter
Albertus Magnus Volleyball
Milford, Connecticut.

Patricia Compagnone: Reflections on Science Research in Liverpool (Part Two)

Patricia Compagnone

I still refer to my 2011 sabbatical experience at the University of Liverpool, England, as a transformative event, a whimsical dream that actually came true.  Virtually every goal I had set for myself – both professional (making a substantial contribution to what was a new research area for me) and personal (assimilating into a new culture and living environment, including meeting the needs of my family who had accompanied me) – far exceeded my expectations.  Holding this experience in such high regard, trepidation and anxiety consumed my thoughts as I prepared for my return to the university this summer, almost two years since I left the United Kingdom. Would the strong bonds I had forged with people still be as powerful?  Would I be as warmly welcomed as when I first arrived for my sabbatical?  How much research progress could I realistically make having less than a month’s time to work?  Would the level of excitement and novelty I felt living in this European city be the same?  Essentially, I wondered and worried about how to relive a lifealtering situation.

My fears vanished as the plane touched down in Manchester, England.  The familiarity of the airport and stepping off the train in Lime Street Station Liverpool triggered a flood of wonderful, exciting memories.  Meeting my sabbatical colleagues, Andy Bates and Lesley Iwanejko, began with sincere hugs and  a rather demanding query: “When are you coming back for a  proper stay?”  From the warm reception I was given by every companion, I subconsciously concluded that the relationships I made during that magical time two years ago were certainly meaningful and enduring.

But what was strikingly different in this return to the university was my research role.  Two years ago I was a novice to the field of chemical damage to DNA, and I learned the [extremely intricate] experimental technique and machinery that was the crux of the research project – also a novel approach to this line of research – only two months before my sabbatical would end.  Now, I was serving as the teacher; the post-doctoral fellow who was continuing the project I started wanted my
advice and suggestions on the experimental procedures I designed, and even insisted on using the very same solutions I had made two years ago but wistfully stored away.

Should I be so surprised by the way in which my return to Liverpool unfolded?  When a relationship is built not only on a pragmatic goal to accomplish a certain task, but also involves mutual respect and admiration, how can it not sustain itself and flourish?  And in our education universe, as well as other spheres of life, isn’t a hallmark of a true learning experience that the student becomes the teacher? I eagerly await future visits to what I consider to be my second “academic home” (a reference I coin from the words of an esteemed VPAA).

Please enjoy these photos from the University of Liverpool:

a b    d ceFrom left to right: Lesley Iwanejko, Patty C-Post, Andy Bates, Albert Post U. Liverpool Graduation ceremonies, July 2011.

Dr. Patricia CompPatty Compagnone Post2agnone-Post, an Associate Professor of Biology, joined the Albertus Magnus College faculty in 2003.   She was appointed an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 2011.  The Connecticut Technology Council selected Dr. Compagnone-Post a Woman of Innovation Finalist in 2009 for her contributions to the field of academic innovation and leadership.  Prior to joining the Albertus faculty she had been a research scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Compagnone-Post received a B.S. degree, magna cum laude, in chemistry from Emmanuel College, a M.S. degree in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.

Cultivating Exemplary Leadership Part Two

The following excerpt is derived from the forthcoming manuscript, “Lead Me Out to the Ballgame:  Stories and Strategies to Develop Major League Leadership,” which is being written by Dr. Howard Fero and his colleague, Dr. Rebecca Herman.  The work is based on more than 100 interviews, conducted with current and former Major League Baseball players and managers. To follow their progress, their research, and to discuss baseball and leadership, please ‘like’ their Facebook page.

“I don’t care how long you’ve been in this game or what kind of success you’ve had in this game; every day you have to gain their trust, and every day you have to gain their respect.”

Davey Johnson, as Manager of the Washington Nationals

RESPECT

Respect … it is hard to hear or read that word without a vision of Aretha Franklin belting it out; it is something that we all seem to crave and sometimes wonder if we will ever earn enough of it.  As Aretha said, we need to “find out what it means to me,” and to us, even more significant, is finding out what it means to the organization or team as a whole.  How does a manager having the respect of his players impact their commitment and play?  How does a player having the respect of his manager impact the team?  And how does respecting your organization impact the work that you do?  Rodney Dangerfield spent his career proclaiming, “I get no respect,” and as you read ahead, think about the respect you get, the respect you give, and the impact it has on the players in your life.

RESPECT THE POSITION

There is a basic notion when discussing leadership that people follow others who have power. This concept, however, needs a little explanation in that power does not and should not come from a people’s positions alone, but should come from who they are and what they do. The power should come from the person, not the position.  It’s true, as Ned Yost, manager of the KC Royals pointed out, “when you become a manager, right off the bat you garner respect because you’re a manager.”  This is the positional power we mentioned above, and a power that many people throughout the world rely upon.  This type of power, however, only goes so far.  As Yost continues, “you’ve got to earn that ‘respect’ every single day.”  We may get a person’s respect from our position initially, but we will either keep it or lose it depending on our actions once we are there. Following a leader or a manager solely because one is in charge will take us far enough to avoid getting reprimanded or far enough to do a good job.  Following people because we respect them and what they stand for will bring us to levels of performance that will lead to greater personal and in turn greater organizational success.

THE RIGHT FIT

What’s important to point out in regard to respecting the manager (or for that matter, respecting the players, the team, or the game in general) is that the first step in cultivating a culture of respect is putting together a team comprised of people with not only the ability to hit a ball, make a play, or throw strikes, but a team of people with a moral compass, a team of people who have drive and character, a team of people who want to be there and will do what is necessary to support the team as a whole. Talent is important, but fit is vital.  We as leaders need to, as Jim Collins points out, “start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats” (Collins, 2001).

EARN IT

The task of cultivating the respect of his players, as a Major League manager must do, is not any different from earning the respect of an employee or a colleague in any organization, so how does one do this? Well, to borrow a line from the Smith Barney commercials and John Houseman from the 1980s, “he earns it!”  Sean Burroughs, who we spoke to when he was a member of the Minnesota Twins, pointed to honesty and openness as two of the things which lead him to respecting his managers. A manager needs to be honest with his players about their position on the team, what is expected to them, and what they need to do to succeed.  They need to be “true to their word, and true to what they preach.”  As infielder Eric Hosner of the Kansas City Royals told us, “the players notice that, and then ‘they’ gain a lot more respect.”

A CULTURE OF RESPECT

Having respect for the manager, having a manager who respects his or her people, having respect for the organization you work for, and having a respect for what you as an individual are doing…these ingredients together are what will bring out the best from the individual and in turn from the organization as a whole.  A culture of respect will lead to success on and off the field, in and out of the workplace, and with all those who see the individual and who he or she represents.

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Dr. Howard Fero with Washington Nationals Manager Davey Johnson.

Howard C. Fero, Ph.D.
The Leadership Doc
Director, Graduate Leadership Programs
Associate Professor of Business and Leadership
Albertus Magnus College

Dr. Huntitled2oward Fero, is an Associate Professor of Business and Leadership and the Director of Graduate Leadership programs at Albertus Magnus College. When not teaching classes and overseeing the Leadership programs at Albertus Dr. Fero uses his expertise to help individuals and organizations achieve optimal performance and effectiveness as The Leadership Doc. Dr. Fero will be blogging about different leadership topics throughout the year and speaks about these topics in his classes in the Master of and Arts in Leadership Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership Programs. He welcomes your comments and looks forward to communicating with you in our exciting new blog.