Have you seen the “news” lately? If so, then you have been inundated with images of people needing our help. Lately, we have witnessed a conflagration of serious ethical conundrums. We are constantly seeing local officials flailing during important press conferences, national politicians trying to explain why they continue failing to serve the best interests of the American people, a cantankerous NBA sports team owner who continues to dig his family further into an inescapable abyss of wretched behavior, and we also see how preventable violence in our beloved Nutmeg state continues to weigh down the strong moral fabric which once existed in our neighborhoods. All of this is enough to make us ask two questions.
Where are the role models?
Why don’t we have ethics in our culture anymore?
Well, thankfully, these two difficult questions have very easy answers! In fact, just this past month we saw firsthand how our College’s role models successfully matriculated through the vibrant leadership program. During our most recent round of Capstone presentations, six graduate students put on full display how they are changing our communities for the better.
Jerica Ortiz and Keshia Tigner presented an exciting program titled Stir Up the Gifts Arts Academy. The academy empowers volunteers to serve as teachers who will train our adolescents to find their voices through meaningful arts and civic curriculums.
Rey Ali, Mike Donegan and Kevin Glenn developed a ready-to-use curriculum for newly-hired and seasoned employees who are interested in developing a sound culture within the workplace. Their Leadership Through Emersion course gives companies the ability to build upon the foundation of their leadership corps from the ground up, instead of from the top down. This new pedagogical method ensures that employees recognize that they are true leaders, no matter the current rank they may hold within an organization’s hierarchy.
Fr. Santhosh Syriac gave us all a glimpse into what he is developing for his community in India. Through the spirit of “Anugraha” [grace] he is changing the culture of his homeland one convalescent home at a time. Fr. Syriac and his peers recognize that the old ways of taking care of India’s expanding elderly population need real progressive change. By challenging current methodologies and cultivating healthcare officials, he has brought out the best core values that are taught at Albertus Magnus College.
These six impressive scholars took the theories they learned from their Master of Arts in Leadership courses and put those lessons into praxis. Their willingness to take part in the Capstone exercise afforded them the ability to affect positive social change in our universe, while simultaneously becoming the ethical leaders we all hope to see portrayed in nightly news stories. Our community is in a much better place, because these students unselfishly “shared the fruits of their contemplation’s” with our world.
The great Mahatma Gandhi said quite simply “Be the change you want to see in the world!” It is in that spirit that I salute these six students who made sacrifices so that we could witness true servant leadership in the making. We are all better people due to the work these scholars have put forward for the benefit of others. It is indeed my honor to know them and to call them tremendous colleagues!