Guest Speaker!

by Jenni Kraft

So now that I’ve been able to host 2 successful leadership conferences, I’m getting a bit more confidence in all that it takes to put on! I plan way ahead. I’ve got all the timings better planned. All the nametags are ready. We even had center pieces this time! I truly enjoy the planning, but even better, I love watching the reactions of the students who are learning! During the sessions you can see little light bulbs switching on and it’s so exciting. I surely saw and heard about these bulbs lighting up during each session (especially in the session evaluations). But the “brightest” session was our closing session with Arlene Manthey, Associate Director of Development for Student Affairs at Southern Methodist University.

Arlene shared an intriguing story about lighting the fire within: finding what inspires you and using it to inspire others! It was a very unique story as she spoke about what inspired her and how it lead to her being nominated by those she inspired to carry the Olympic Torch in 2012. If you don’t know, those who are bestowed the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch get to keep it! So, she proudly shared the torch with my students and they got to experience a glimpse of the excitement!
After her wonderful speech, I was so happy to wrap up the program and take her to dinner! She and I talked for about 2 hours about leadership programing and student development! I truly enjoyed being inspired by her and getting to know her! I look forward to learning more from her and I can’t wait to select my next guest speaker!

Jenni with an “I”


Student Affairs - the First Years

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