Leadership Minor Equips Grads for Success

Published: Apr 30, 2012
Seth Morenzoni ’12 and Abbey Ray ’12 are the first two UT students to graduate with the leadership minor.
Seth Morenzoni ’12 and Abbey Ray ’12 are the first two UT students to graduate with the leadership minor.
In the fall of 2010, Seth Morenzoni ’12 and Abbey Ray ’12 took the inaugural step in becoming the first to enroll in UT’s leadership minor. When they graduate this May, the two will leave behind 28 students who have followed in their path.

“The experience shed light on the mistakes I’ve made as a leader in the past, helped me learn how to make change, how to deal with people and how to add organizational value,” said Morenzoni, a criminology major from Rhode Island.

Ray, from Maine, learned about inciting change and really examining her own personal styles of leadership.

“When I came to school, I hadn’t taken the time to step back and look at myself as a leader and what kind of leader I wanted to be,” said Ray, a government and world affairs major with a second minor in law and justice.

The minor in leadership studies is an 18-20 credit hour program for students seeking cross-disciplinary areas of study in developing leadership skills. The minor, which is coordinated by the TECO Center for Leadership, has 18 students in continuing cohorts and 10 new students for next year’s cohort.

Morenzoni and Ray sought a formal learning experience to add to their extracurricular activities. Among other things, Morenzoni is in ROTC, and Ray is a President’s Leadership Fellow.

“Both students were serious about learning leadership theory and were ready to engage in personal development,” said Joe Sclafani, interim associate provost and dean of academic services and co-chair of the Leadership Resource Team. “Their capstone experience allowed them to reflect and grow even further in their last semester.”

During the final semester, Sclafani described the capstone as a time of reflection and in-class discussion where the students examine what they’ve learned, encouraging personal synthesis and re-definition.

“We hope to develop the leadership skills, philosophies and attitudes of the students. We also hope to teach them about different leadership perspectives and approaches,” said Sclafani. “We want them to know that leadership is about being a change agent and making positive contributions in the contexts where they live and work.”

After commencement, Morenzoni will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and will be stationed in Colorado on active duty with the Signal Corps. In the fall, Ray is headed to law school at the University of Baltimore.


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