Oswego State introduces OZ leads to strengthen leadership development

A leader can take many forms: a team captain, a teacher, a manager, a class president and many others. But becoming a good leader may take some guidance along the way. Oz Leads offers just that.

For the first time, Oswego State is offering a leadership program that is designed to teach students how to become effective leaders. Oz Leads was founded by Dr. Jerri Drummond, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Drummond said the idea came when Dr. Jerald Woolfolk, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, spoke with her and said the school needed a leadership institute.

Drummond realized there are many students on campus looking to improve their leadership skills and students that lack leadership qualities and want to learn how to attain them.

“There are everyday students who are currently not involved in any activities who want to learn, what is a leader? Do I have the qualities to be a leader? What are leadership styles?” Drummond said.

The program launches Sept. 21, and Drummond said she is very excited to welcome the participating students. Since Oz Leads is in its first year, only 25 of the 50 students who applied were admitted.

“Our hope is that it will expand and we can invite more students next year,” Drummond said.

Oz Leads will consist of 20 weekly sessions throughout the fall and spring semesters that will lead up to a student presentation at the end. The weekly sessions will be presented by faculty and guest speakers and cover components such as relations, self-awareness and positive change.

The goal of Oz Leads is to prepare students for the real world.
“This is a program where we’re building them up to have life-long leadership skills,” Drummond said.

Drummond also expressed the useful network students will have the chance to build with this program. Between the speakers at the weekly sessions and working with other students in the program, Oz Leads will encourage students to work with others while also giving them the chance to lead a group of peers.

One of the 20 weekly Oz Leads sessions will consist of a national speaker, which the entire campus will be welcome to attend. This will be a way for students who are not in the program this year to learn more about what Oz Leads has to offer, Drummond said.

Although Oz Leads is voluntary and does not count for credit, it is an opportunity for students to learn how to become the best version of a leader.