UTEP L.I.V.E. Invites Students to “Lead Like a Boss”

By Lisa Y. Garibay

UTEP News Service

No matter what career path you’re looking at, a solid sense of leadership is the key that can open almost any door. The UTEP L.I.V.E. program kicks off on Feb. 1 specifically to give students a boost with this life-enhancing skill by focusing on strengthening leadership, innovation, vision and engagement (L.I.V.E.).

Under the theme “Lead Like a Boss” (Boss stands for “Better Opportunities for Successful Students”), UTEP L.I.V.E. is designed to educate and engage students in discussions about critical aspects that lead to greater success in life. All of the programs will include influential leaders from the campus and surrounding community who will provide their personal insight about what it means to be a successful leader in today’s society.Students participate in the UTEP L.I.V.E. Leadership Conference Day in 2012. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News ServiceStudents participate in the UTEP L.I.V.E. Leadership Conference Day in 2012. Photo by J.R. Hernandez / UTEP News Service

“UTEP L.I.V.E. is a monthlong initiative that provides students with several leadership resources at their fingertips, which will then help them recognize their own leadership strengths to apply to their personal, professional and academic experiences,” said Shannon Osborne, student leadership coordinator for the Student Engagement and Leadership Center. “Regardless of where you are in your academic career, you’re going to get something out of this program.”

The program is anchored by four events taking place throughout the month of February during which attendees will hear from influential UTEP, local and national leaders, including keynote speaker Tom Krieglstein, the award-winning entrepreneur behind student engagement tool Swift Kick (honored as the 2007, 2008, and 2009 National Campus Speaker of the Year), peer-to-peer learning platform Red Rover, and StudentLauncher.org (formerly AlumniChoose.org), an online fundraising tool so student leaders spend less time fundraising for great events and more time doing those great events. Krieglstein will speak during the program’s finale, Leadership Conference Day, taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22. On this day, students will participate in an interactive opening session hosted by Kim Morren of Caliber Collision in Dallas/Ft. Worth, then attend self-selected breakout sessions led by campus, community and regional leaders.

Getting the program started on Feb. 1 is “Develop Vision Like a Boss,” where attendees will have an opportunity to hear motivational messages focusing on developing a vision that inspires others to work hard and achieve their goals from UTEP President Diana Natalicio and Sean Kugler, head coach of the UTEP football team.

“Engage Like a Boss” follows on Feb. 8, focusing on the importance of being an engaged citizen in the community. Junius Gonzalez, provost and vice president of academic affairs, will open the discussion, followed by a panel of community leaders including Scott Lynch  of Candelighters, Azuri Gonzalez of the UTEP Center for Civic Engagement, Jason Brewer of Avance, and Ben Fyffe from the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department.

“Innovate Like a Boss” is next up on Feb. 15 with a presentation by Kathleen Staudt, Ph.D., professor of Political Science, and Sandra Braham, Ph.D., CEO of YWCA El Paso del Norte Region, who will share their understanding of how leadership development and innovation intersect.

Rounding out the more discussion-oriented programming is an etiquette dinner on Feb. 21, during which students will be guided by table captains in cultivating better formal dining skills, socializing professionally, and presenting themselves in public with poise. It’s the kind of experience that develops greater confidence, maturity, and opportunities in life, no matter your job title or degree plan.

“You don’t have to be vocal or actually leading a group to be a leader,” Osborne said. “It’s a lifestyle!”

Previously known as the “Shape Your Life, Shape Your Future” program, UTEP L.I.V.E. has engaged more than 500 students since it began. Students can choose to attend only the events that interest them rather than have to commit to the entire program. Sponsoring student organizations for the UTEP L.I.V.E. program include Business College Council, Engineering Student College Council, Miner Ambassadors, the Honors Program, University Honors Council, Liberal Arts Honors Program, ONE Campus Challenge, and the National Society of Leadership & Success.

All events take place on a Friday from 12:30 – 2 p.m. at the Union Cinema, except for the etiquette dinner, which will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 and requires advanced registration by calling the Student Engagement and Leadership center at 915-747-5670. All UTEP students are invited to all events, regardless of academic level or course of study. No pre-registration is necessary for the presentations on Feb. 1, 8, and 15.

In going beyond the traditional boundaries of a day or weekend-long leadership conference where participants are mostly talked to versus talked with, UTEP L.I.V.E. is working towards empowering students to be more proactive about creating the kind of future they want and having the tools they need to make their efforts a success.

“When students walk away from the events, they will have a greater sense how to begin their own legacy at UTEP,” Osborne said. And when they leave UTEP or even the city of El Paso, they’ll be all the more prepared to be in the lead.