Leadership During COVID-19

Stockdale Fellows, named after James and Sybil Stockdale, is Monmouth College’s “premier leadership and scholarship program” said Jacob McLean Assistant Director of Leadership Development and Service for Monmouth College.

“It’s a four year cohort program where we learn all about leadership and how to not only be good leaders but good human beings.” said McLean.

Stockdale Fellows focuses on a different aspect of leadership during the four year program.

“Each year has a different set of competencies that we want to reach. So in the first year it’s all about the exploration of the self, your own identity, the articulation of your leadership philosophy. But also breaking down the misconceptions we have about leadership… Leadership isn’t positional” said McLean.

The second year focuses on leadership in the community and having the Fellows take their discovered leadership identity and apply it on the local level.

The third year is focuses on organizational leadership and involvement. The fourth year of the program focuses on the transition from student to active citizen and what leadership looks like off campus.

Stockdale Fellows engage in alternative Spring Break where the members participate in a week long service project. Alternative spring break is the largest service project for Fellows. During last semester’s spring break, the members were forced to come home early, but not before they cleaned up trash from the Mississippi River in Tennessee.

“The Service project though was fantastic. Spring Break service projects allow people to connect with a cohort of people. The spring break service project is always good for that reason. In our few days of working we had picked up close to 38- 42 thousand pounds of trash. We smashed our numbers from last year. It was a lot of work in a short amount of time. Being able to see the relationships form in relation to the service was the important part for me” said McLean.

Covid-19 has continued to impact the volunteer opportunities for Fellows with in person volunteering being limited.

“We still have in-person service opportunities available in the community. Those are far and few between though because the state of the virus. And so what we are looking to do is how can we do service virtually” McLean said.

McLean said that one possible service project that Fellows may do is a local trash pickup through Living Lands and Waters.

“I’ve been talking to [Living Lands and Waters] actually and we might do a virtual service project or kind of like a do your own service project. They’ll send us the equipment we need and we’ll go around picking up trash in our local communities” said McLean.

McLean also wanted members of the campus community to know that there are leadership opportunities outside of Stockdale Fellows and that he is always up for a life chat and can be contacted at jmclean@monmouthcollege.edu or at the Wackerle Center.

Erin Henkel – Graphics Manager

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