WeLead: Diversity Matters Student Leadership Symposium

The WeLead: Diversity Matters Student Leadership Symposium is a one-day experience designed to broaden participants culture competency and leadership knowledge. WeLead is open and free to all FAU students and includes keynote speakers, several break out sessions and opportunities to interact with peers, faculty, and staff. 

WeLead will be held on
Saturday, January 27, 2018
in the College of Business

Registration for the WeLead Symposium will open Fall 2017.

Information regarding workshops, keynote speakers, and registration will be posted in the spring semester.

Interested in Presenting at WeLead? Faculty, Staff, Professionals, and Students will have the opportunity to submit a Workshop Proposal. This proposal should reflect the components of WeLead and incorporate diversity and leadership. Submissions can be entered on Owl Central. The WeLead Committee will review all submissions and notify all presenters.


Click to view WeLead 2017 Workshops:

Hello My Name Is…Nice Shoes! Networking 101 – How to Appropriately Network in Most Situations
Artie Jamison and Marlynn Lopez

In this engaging and interactive session, students will learn why networking is important and how to utilize networking as a tool for professional connections and career advancement.

Leadership Lessons by Working with the Intellectually Disabled
Leah Plocharczyk

Discover how leading a successful book club for intellectually disabled (ID) students at FAU's campus led this librarian on a leadership adventure that she never quite expected. By working with this unique group of college students, she grew personally, figured out how to step outside of her comfort zone, and had a ton of fun while learning the importance of not taking life too seriously. In this session, the audience should expect to learn how taking calculated risks can pay off in one's leadership journey. In addition, attendees will understand the value of working with individuals who differ from them as a way to gain unique perspectives.

New Literacies: 21st Century Literacy Skills
Dr. Philomena Marinaccio Tiffany Manbodh

New Literacies (NL) refer to the view that reading and writing only make sense when studied in the context of social and cultural practices (Gee, 1996). The purpose of the proposed presentation is to report the results of teacher self-perceptions regarding the frequency of classroom activities that reflect NL skills and 21st Century knowledge processes in their own classrooms. Teachers must find a way to incorporate cultural diversity and accommodate cross-cultural communication into the curriculum.

Dialogue on Race and Privilege
Dr. Doug McGetchin

The "Dialogue on Race and Privilege" workshop will be about Race and Privilege in the United States, Globally, and Overcoming the past and Building a Future of Justice. Through these topics, the participants will be able to explore and analyze the basis of racial injustice and walk away better able to contribute to a more just future.

Fight the Façade: Women are Leaders
Dani Iannelli

Women and female empowerment has been a focus of leadership development for young girls for generations. This is still true today in the fact that women are constantly inundated with vast amounts of images portraying powerful women in pop culture and social media. These images are meant to be inspiring, yet at times they may lead all ages of women to feel inadequate and inferior to those around them. Thus, negating the overarching goals of empowerment within the topic of Women in Leadership. Through this interactive workshop attendees will explore the cycle of socialization (Harro, 2000) that has affected their emotional understanding of ‘empowering women' and guide individuals through tools to use in critically analyzing their perspectives of powerful leaders.

Diversifying Madness
Prof. Mauricio Almonte

Within popular parlance throughout much of the Spanish-speaking world, the word "loco" encompasses much more than any of its possible English counterparts. The term is accompanied by a remarkably extensive typology whose scope encompasses the unlucky, the poor, the inferior, the dedicated and the overly passive person, to name a few. Diversifying Madness focuses on what happens to this typology during the introduction of scientific discourses on madness, and the crystallization of these ideas into institutions.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling
Dr. Daniela Nikolova-Popova & Danielle Gray

"Rosie the Riveter" is an iconic figure of a strong female war production worker. Beginning in the 1980s, "We Can Do It!" image was used to promote feminism and other political issues. Today, we hope to empower you to take command and lead in any male dominated job.

Collegiate Spiritual Society: Cultivating Understanding in a World of Disparity
Dawit Rumicha & Gabrielle Rind

The workshop will foster conversations on how to celebrate certain religions or spirituality backgrounds with aim of making the program environment inclusive to groups beyond the represented group. We will take a deeper look at viewing the fostering of inclusivity, leadership dynamics of a spiritual organization, and analyzing the spiritual identity dynamics of a university community. The goal outcome of this session is to have participants obtain the tools necessary in being able to utilize techniques to bring burgeoning growth in their organizations through their ambitions of fostering spiritual inclusivity.

Transfer Triumphs
Melissa Keogh & Jordan Prendergast

The "Transfer Triumphs" workshop will cover leadership definitions, theories, and application to transfer student roles. Through these topics, the participants will be able to better understand their self-awareness as a Transfer Student and how leadership applies to their own journey.

On Being a Servant Leader
Stephanie Aldana Alvez

This workshop will focus on servant leadership, what servant leadership looks like in our society and communities, and how being a servant leader can make our world a better place. Through these topics, participants will be able to comprehend what servant leadership is, explore how they can become servant leaders in their communities, and how servant leadership can change society one act of service at a time. Participants will have the opportunity to further explore servant leadership through activities that will allow participants to question if they are servant leaders and how they can become better servant leaders in their communities.

Differing Identities = Different Realities: Intersectionality & You
Dr. Courtney Weaver & Shakita Jenkins

As humans, we are all intersectional. Our differing identities shape our differing realities. This workshop will be about intersectionality, a new identity model to better understand intersectionality, and disparities resulting from intersectionality. Through these topics, the participants will be able to comprehend/explore/analyze intersectionality and walk away better understanding of themselves and their peers.

Reducing Discrimination in Organizational Personnel Decisions
Dr. Ryne Sherman

All organizations must make decisions and the vast majority of these decisions fall on the shoulders of leaders. In modern organizations, such decisions include determining who to recruit, who to promote, who to assign to which teams, and so on. Despite decades of advances in human resource science, the majority of modern organizations continue to rely on old-school methods (e.g. resumes, interviews) to make these decisions. Unfortunately, these methods tend to be poor predictors of performance and are highly subject to discrimination against protected groups. This talk will present modern methods of personnel decision-making that can reduce unfair discrimination and improve organizational effectiveness. Additionally, students will learn about fair employment predictions that can help them in their own careers.

More Action, Less Title: Empowering Leaders To Do More
James T. Robilotta

Congratulations on your new position! Being a leader in your organization, however, is an action, not just a title. This session will breathe new life into the act of empowering others by challenging them to do better through a three-part strategy: challenging, motivating and appreciating. Leave this session with better recruitment & retention strategies. Note: giggling will occur.

Catch Me Outside: Emotional Intelligence & Millennials
Tevin Ali, Marek Madro, & Catherine Aroca

There is a lack of understanding on Emotional Intelligence and lack of knowledge in the trends of the Millennial generation and how they impact diversity and leadership. This workshop serves to bridge that gap of understanding and advocate for their importance of EQ and how the trends in the Millennial generation impacts leadership in diversity today.

So I'm an Ally: Now What?
Joshua Mackrill

This workshop will define allyship, what it means to be an ally, and why allyship is important and discussing what it means to be an ally, and how to be an ally from a distance. Through a series of activities, students will be able to witness how different marginalized groups are oppressed, and how they can be vital about supporting these groups through role play. Students will be discussing that sometimes the work of an ally is not needed at that point and they can be an ally from a distance. Finally, students will be able to address, "I choose to be an ally because…"

The Invisible Knapsack: Examining privilege & What To Do With It Dr. Courtney Weaver & Shakita Jenkins

As humans, we all have some form of privilege. Often times we are not able to recognize our privilege and when we do, we are not aware of how to use it to help someone else. This workshop will be about understanding and acknowledging privilege, recognizing the difference the difference between acknowledgment and guilt, and using privileges to create a more equitable society. Through these topics, the participants will be able to comprehend/explore/analyze privilege and walk away with a better understanding of themselves and their social obligation.

Vive la Différence
Rosemary Rahill

This workshop will explore ways in which we can learn to do just as the title says, embrace diversity and co-exist in our beautifully diverse world, without unwittingly committing any cultural "faux-pas" – Live and Let Live! President Kelly is proud to express how culturally diverse we are here at Florida Atlantic, so students can already engage with other cultures right here on campus. But how do we accomplish competence in this life skill? It sounds simple, but ideally would involve knowledge and strategies to be continually successful. During this session, we will first define (as a group and with outside input) what this means exactly, and what it entails. And finally, we will establish strategies that we can incorporate into our daily existence to become part of the communication solution allowing us to lead the way to discovering, and embracing, other cultures with a willing and open mind.

Building TRUST: The Pathway to Global Leadership
LTC Craig Halsey

Having served in challenging leadership environments around the world, Lieutenant Colonel Craig Halsey shares his gripping insights and humbling perspectives on how trust is won and lost in the complex world of modern conflict. Through his own trying ordeals in both Iraq and Afghanistan, he harnesses his lessons learned into an impactful and thought-provoking discussion on how war exposes the most basic elements of the human condition. Through this deep understanding of the human dimension of leadership, LTC Halsey highlights the value of why ‘diversity matters' and how an appreciation for our differences creates the fabric for commonality. The pathway to global leadership is truly discovered by forging shared interests, based upon mutual trust and respect, allies, partners, and adversaries from vastly diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, and cultures. Join LTC Halsey's session to launch yourself into the path of global leadership!

Depression in Higher Ed: The Unspoken Stigma of Mental Health Among Students
Tyler Hodges

As college students, we are faced with a plethora of obligations and roles that require our full attention. Ripping and running becomes the norm leaving us burnt out mentally, physically and emotionally. Many times, depression seeps in without us knowing. As Student Affairs professionals, its important of us to navigate the dark pits of life within the university all while creating a culture of self-care.

 Biographies of Keynotes of the WeLead 2017


James T. Robilotta

James T. Robilotta photo

James T. Robilotta is an author, professional speaker, personal coach and entrepreneur. His first book, Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals, and human beings, came out in the summer of 2015. HE speaks internationally to audiences about authentic leadership and promoting memorability. As a speaker, he is doing the two things he loves the most: causing audiences to think critically about their leadership journeys and making people laugh! His thought-proving talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as a trained stand-up and improve comedian.

Originally from Sayville, New York, James attended the University of North Carolina, Wilmington as an undergrad. He then pursued his masters in counseling in higher ed, earning his degree in 2007 from Clemson University. James worked on college campuses for over 10 years, developing student leaders and higher education professionals before going full-time with his speaking and coaching career. James now lives in New York with his wonderful wife, Jacqueline, and their two super-sweet puppies, Kyra and Sophie.

To learn more about James, his book, and read his leadership blog, please visit his website at JamesTRobo.com or follow him on Twitter @JamesTRobo.

Justin Jones-Fosu

Justin Jones-Fosu photo

Justin Jones-Fosu is a full-time husband and daddy who also happens to be an international speaker, young-award winning entrepreneur, and author. He is the President/Chief Inspirational Officer of Justin Inspires International, LLC (www.justininspires.com) where he speaks 50-60 times a year for professionals, colleges, and youth internationally. He has spoken in 4 countries for over 250+ organizations, and given over 450+ presentations. Justin is also is the founder of Respectivity (www.respectivity.com), a company helping workplaces to develop better cultures of respect. He is a CAMPUSPEAK speaker.

He is the author of two books, the most recent being "Finding Your Glasses: Revealing and Achieving Authentic Success," which challenges the reader to live a life of success based on their core values. Justin obtained his MBA specializing in Leadership and Organizational Change. He has also gained valuable leadership experience with three Fortune 500 companies as well as by consulting with individuals and small business on strategy, leadership, diversity and organizational development. In 2008, Justin was named as one of EBONY Magazines "30 Young Leaders on the Rise" and was voted as a "HOT ACT" by Campus Activities Magazine in 2015. He has been featured in SMART CEO Magazine, the Baltimore Business Journal and other publications. Justin was a fraternity leader, president of 3 campus organizations, and on the SGA Executive Board (not all at the same time)!

If you only remember a few things about Justin, it's that he is madly in love with his wife and loves being a daddy. He believes that these are more important than any accomplishments, recognition, or accolades!

 Last Modified 6/28/17