More than 100 students and 21 faculty members representing all four School of Pharmacy campuses met Aug. 17-18 in Lubbock for the school’s annual Student Leadership Retreat. The group included 18 first-year pharmacy students and Quentin Smith, Ph.D., the School of Pharmacy dean.
A planning committee comprised of seven leaders from the Phi Lambda Sigma student organization, one at-large student, five at-large faculty members and Office of Professional Affairs faculty Krystal Edwards, Pharm.D., and Kenna Payne, Pharm.D., planned and developed the 2018 retreat theme that focused upon dealing with the difficult and often uncomfortable challenges that leadership can bring.
Logan Winkelman, associate director for the Texas Tech University (TTU) Career Center, kicked off the retreat by helping attendees discover their top strengths utilizing StrengthsFinders, a personality assessment tool developed from the positive psychology perspective. The opening morning also included a session led by Steve Sosland, TTUHSC’s vice president for human resources and chief people officer, who discussed building organizational culture and the challenges of leadership.
Winkelman also led an afternoon breakout session that discussed how to engage one’s strengths to face leadership challenges. The afternoon schedule also included breakout sessions about leading with humility, how to spend time and energy while leading, and leading without a title. An evening cookout at TTU’s Urbanovsky Park capped off the first day.
The second day opened with an interactive small-group breakout session titled, “Challenging Yourself - Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone,” that was created and led by fourth-year (P4) student Jennifer Rivas with assistance from P4 Lydia Girgis and assistant professors Mary Klein, Pharm.D., Brian Terrell, Pharm.D., and Teryn Bibb, Pharm.D. Additional day two morning sessions dealt with leadership burnout, young versus old, stepping back and letting others take over leadership, the influence of gender in leadership and handling difficult people and conflict resolution.
After Smith and Lubbock Regional Dean Charles Seifert, Pharm.D., opened the afternoon with a general address to students, Department of Pharmacy Practice Chair Eric MacLaughlin, Pharm.D., led a session about innovations in leadership. The retreat’s final two final sessions discussed how to empower others to lead and how leaders can self reflect, evaluate and debrief.
Prior to ending the retreat with an ice cream social, Edwards and Payne presented a take-home assignment for leadership in action that challenged the students to work together as a campus and engage their peers to increase community involvement and participation.