The OSU Leadership Conference is a day dedicated to the development of student leaders on campus, and is designed to: aide students in comprehending their own and various other leadership styles; provide opportunities for students to gain an understanding of identities different than their own; and to develop new skills and awareness of best practices to help students become more effective leaders.


Conference Details

Saturday, February 18, 2017  |  10:00AM – 3:30PM  |  Memorial Union

Registration is now open! The deadline to register is Feb. 13.


Learning Outcomes

After participating in OSU Leadership Conference, students will:

  1. Be able to articulate an aspect of their personal leadership style that they had not previously considered.
  2. Demonstrate empathy for identities and leadership styles that differ from their own.
  3. Give examples of a best practice for leading others.
  4. Illustrate how their skills and/or strengths assist them in their leadership style.



10:00AM - 10:30AM

Check In

MU Lounge

10:30AM - 10:40AM


Horizon Room

10:40AM - 11:10AM

Opening Keynote Session

Horizon Room

11:20AM - 12:10PM

Session One

Various MU locations

12:15PM - 1:00PM


Horizon Room

1:00PM - 1:50PM

Session Two

Various MU locations

2:00PM - 2:50PM

Session Three

Various MU locations

3:00PM - 3:30PM

Closing Keynote

Horizon Room



Susana Rivera-Mills This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Susana Rivera-Mills, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.


Susana Rivera-Mills serves as Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and is a professor of Spanish Linguistics and Diversity Advancement at Oregon State University. She holds B.A and M.A degrees from University of Iowa and the Ph.D. from University of New Mexico. She has been at OSU since fall of 2007 serving as Spanish Program Coordinator, Department Chair, Director of Student Success, Associate Dean, and Executive Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts. She is also the founder of OSU’s Center for Latin@ Studies and Engagement. Susana has been involved in developing mentoring and leadership programs, student engagement and success strategies, advancing diversity in higher education, promoting learning innovation, and advocating for equity and inclusion. She is a sociolinguist and her research focuses on Latino communities and issues surrounding identity, Spanish language maintenance and loss, and linguistic attitudes. Susana is passionate about providing access to education, creating new programs, developing leadership at all levels, and giving a voice to those who aren’t always heard. As Vice Provost, she oversees many academic support programs for OSU students and advances OSU’s Blueprint for Undergraduate Student Success. When she is not juggling her various work duties, you can find her training in Japanese Shotokan Karate, reading her favorite books, or with her family and dogs (a Berner and a Beagle) named Boomer and Luzy walking the beautiful Oregon beaches.


Workshop Titles & Descriptions

From Difficult to Developmental: Reframing Hard Conversations as Leadership Opportunities

Stephanie Heffner, Student Conduct & Community Standards GTA
Linda Alexander, Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life GTA

For students in higher education, it is important to have the ability to engage in difficult conversations. This interactive discussion based presentation seeks to promote solidarity, awareness and confidence for students involved in leadership roles and student’s organizations in college. Content will include analyzing starting points, conflict styles, and human relations theory as they apply to difficult conversations. Additionally, this presentation will utilize group collaboration and discussion to break down and share moments in our experiences and leadership roles that challenge us to persevere in our relationships, our understandings and our values. Often a necessity for many, challenging situations can transform into personal, professional and community growth.

Why to How: Transforming Goals into Enlightened Programming

Logan Adams, National Residence Hall Honorary President

This program is designed to teach participants about creating impactful and enlightened programming; those who attend will get the chance to learn about the importance that programs can have on college and life experiences, how to better engage communities, and how to better invest themselves and their time into their efforts. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to create structures of support for quality programming, and with a new awareness of practices to be a more effective leader.

No Beaten Path: How People Discover Leadership

Logan Adams, National Residence Hall Honorary President

This program is designed to highlight the important role that our personal history and our surroundings have in shaping our life choices and actions. Through debriefing how the lives of leaders are affected by their personal experiences participants will better understand how their own lives have prepared them to tackle specific issues in their own unique way, and to better understand how those who have gone through different lived experiences might see the world differently and approach problems with a different philosophy.

Captivating Presentations

Brady McBride, Mechanical Engineering student

Leaders need to be able to communicate and inspire ideas to others, but this is not always done effectively. This interactive session explores aspects of presentations that deliver powerful, engaging messages.

Effective communication is vital for any position of leadership and slide-shows are often the default method of execution. Unfortunately, slide-shows are traditionally boring, text-heavy and overly complicated. This workshop will examine the relationships between verbal, visual and textual information as they relate to slide-show presentations.

In this interactive workshop, attendees first define the purpose of a presentation and then explore different techniques to achieve this purpose with audience participation. A specific technique demonstrated is the act of story-telling, which fundamentally matches the theme of “The Leader in You”; everybody has a story to tell.

Servant Leadership and Rendón’s Sensing/Thinking Pedagogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice, and Liberation

Freddy León, Human Services Resource Center GTA

Para mis ancestros, who intuitively knew the way of the heart and mind. How long I have been waiting for you! And to the teachers/artists/healers/activists/humanitarians of the world— In Lak’ech (I am you and you are me) (Rendón, 2008, p. vii).

Come explore Laura I. Rendón’s (2008) seven agreements in education and how they connect to our understanding of leadership, servant leadership, and our roles as individuals within systems within systems within systems…

Identity, Inclusivity and Intersectionality - Oh My! 3 ingredients for Leadership Growth

Whitney Archer, Associate Director of Diversity & Cultural Engagement; Women’s Center Director
Elijah Stucki, Women’s Center GTA

In this highly interactive session, attendees will engage with the facilitators in order to examine the impact identities have on one’s self as well as the programs we design. Workshop participants will experience two activities designed to reflect on their leadership style and the development of inclusive programming.

Leadership Skills and Your Character

Teresa Sorensen, International Living Learning Center Resident Assistant

How does personal views and agendas affect our ability to be a good leader? When does a leader cross the line and not represent everyone? A more personal view of what it takes to be a leader and asking ourselves the most important question; why do we want to become a leader?

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! Analyzing Different Levels of Engagement

Jasmine Armas, Student Leadership & Involvement Peer Advisor

This workshop is about challenging the leader in you to be critical about membership retention and engagement. Not everyone can put all of their energy into an organization, but how can we maximize the amount of work we do together?

Developmental Networks and Mentoring

Jennifer Edwards, Online Professional Development Coordinator
Annie Friedman, Mentoring Program Coordinator

This presentation will help participants gain a better understanding of what developmental networks are and the important role networks play, particularly in leadership. Attendees will walk away with tools for how to start finding connections and building relationships.

The Use of Risk in the Development of Leadership

Kevin Hoffheins, Adventure Club Coordinator

“Risk is at the heart of all education.”
Willi Unsoeld --Associate Professor and Alumni, Oregon State University
First American Expedition to Mt. Everest - 1963

Risk taking and the potential for loss are key components of adventure education, and for leadership development. Recognizing and carefully matching risk and challenge produce experiences toward personal growth and leadership development. Speaking up during conflict, sharing ideas within the group or stepping back and letting someone else take the lead, are necessary risks of everyday leadership.

Deconstructing “Political Correctness”: Identity and Leadership in the 21st Century

Lyndi Petty, Center for Civic Engagement Outreach Coordinator
Ashlei Edgemon, Center for Civic Engagement External Coordinator; Women’s Center Communications Representative

This workshop will help students explore concepts of identity, including the examination of their own identities, and the importance of being mindful of the intersections of identities that they will encounter as a leader. We will analyze the term “political correctness” in order to understand the power of language and its relevance to leadership roles.

Developing Your Teamwork Toolbox: Activities that Work

Christina Blake, Experiential Education Facilitator, Adventure Leadership Institute
Kate McKee, Experiential Education Facilitator, Adventure Leadership Institute

Tired of name/major/unique fact about yourself? Learn how to facilitate effective and engaging icebreaker activities. Participants of this workshop will learn how to facilitate a handful of icebreaker activities. They’ll also think critically about the purpose of icebreakers and learn what to consider when choosing effective icebreaker activities for their own group. Last but not least, we’ll share some facilitation tips to successfully lead icebreaker activities.

A Social Justice Facilitator Toolkit: Navigating Difficult Topics with Your Peers

Sylvia Hall, Student Conduct & Community Standards GTA
Eliza Allison, College of Pharmacy Student Services GTA

Are you interested in improving your facilitator skills, specifically regarding social justice issues?  This workshop will provide students with tools, activities, and resources to help them become a stronger facilitator who can navigate difficult situations that arise in group conversations. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how to incorporate equity-based values in various situations, even when social justice is not the main focus of your group, class, or event.

The Introvert in You: How the Quiet Can Rule the World

Katherine Leibel, University Exploratory Studies Program GTA

Have you ever asked yourself, “how can a quiet person like me be a bold student leader?” If yes, then this is the workshop for you! In this session, we explore what the connection between introversion and leadership, and aim to debunk the myth that leadership is only for the extroverted among us. You’ll learn how to maximize your unique qualities as an introvert, and discover the tools necessary for you to find success in your next leadership role.

Networking Your Way

Sarah Garcia, College of Liberal Arts Student Services GTA

Networking is a major key to personal, academic and professional success, but it can sometimes be a scary and intimidating process. Come learn the tips and tricks to network like a pro in this fun, interactive workshop. You will also have the chance to network with other student leaders. See you there!