Student Testimonials

Below are comments of how the Leadership Studies Minor has impacted the lives of students involved in the program...

A Very Special Surprise Recognition

Recent emails from a former students:

This is Jonathan Adcock. I was in your LED 311 & LED 411 classes about 3 or 3 1/2 years ago at UNCW (I graduated in May 2011). I'm currently a small groups director at a church in Charlotte, NC. My role is multi-faceted, from writing study curriculum to overseeing various levels of volunteer teams and small group leaders at multiple campuses, but much of what I learned in your classes at UNCW manifests itself daily in my job.

I just wanted to say thank you for your dedication to the Leadership Studies program. I benefitted greatly from the way you pushed us to define leadership, discover our own leadership style, and deepen our belief in our own leadership abilities and practices. I was just talking to one of my co-workers about the Leadership Studies minor and sharing some of the points I learned at UNCW that continually resurface in the challenges we face leading the people at our church. It has truly helped me accelerate my growth here and I love what I get to do, much of which involves putting into practice the theories we discussed in LED 211-411.

I didn't want to let something like that go without sharing. Thanks again for the commitment you make to developing students into future leaders!

Jonathan Adcock

Thank you for making us write those, (at the time excruciating), reflective LED 311 final papers. Their contents have been golden nuggets for many life changes, reflections and papers that have followed.

#blessed - Elizabeth Barnard

I am finishing up my first semester of graduate school at UGA and time has flown by. I wanted to send you an e-mail, because I never realized how much my leadership minor would help me in my current classes. On multiple occasions we have discussed the Social Change Model, leadership styles, and everything in between. I even did a presentation relating to leadership as a functional area in student affairs.

Thank you for your time and efforts with the leadership minor.
Elizabeth Manuel

I hope you are doing well. Although I only finished the Leadership Studies minor last semester, I wanted to send you an email to tell you how much the minor has already done for me. This summer, I participated in a Communications internship with PPD. Towards the end of the three-month internship I asked my supervisor why I was chosen for the position. She said that although many people applied, I stood out because of my ability to confidently express myself, my beliefs and values, and my definition of leadership while applying all of it to my desire for the position. Throughout the internship I was able to remember and apply many leadership concepts to my actions in order to be the best intern that I could be.

Now, in my last year of college I am enrolled in my capstone course for Communication Studies. In this course, we address our values, goals, and vision for ourselves. We have already begun to write papers and speeches on this information. Being a Leadership Studies minor I feel prepared and ahead of the game. I have been able to continue to understand and define myself while learning how to apply leadership concepts in other parts of my life.

Not only did the Leadership Studies minor help me learn how I could be a leader myself, but it also encouraged me to continue to explore and my values, beliefs, and goals and hold them close. I am so grateful that I have realized how valuable the knowledge from the Leadership Studies minor has been.

Caitlin Ford

Hi Dr. Nottingham,

I was in the leadership cohort from 2003-2005. I wanted to send you a note and let you know that your Leadership program really influenced where I am today. Long story short, I have been working in higher education since I graduated in 2005. I currently work at Sandhills Community College (but you gathered that from my email address) as the Director of Student Success. I oversee all academic advising functions at the college, as well as support our Disabilities Services efforts and our Minority Male Mentoring Program.

I was reminded of our class this past year. I completed a leadership training program for future college administrators, and started my doctoral program at ECU. For both the leadership program, and my Higher Education Leadership class, we used "Leadership", by Northouse as our main text. I'm not sure if you still use it, but this was our text in your program! So let the students know that they are getting high quality information in the class. I'm currently looking at my bookshelf and there is the Art of Framing! I reference it all the time.

I'm serious, please tell your students how valuable this minor is. It really did more for me professionally that my undergraduate major. When I go through these internal leadership training sessions and conferences, of course I learn new things, but I am light years ahead of many of my colleagues as far as being able to define my leadership style, and understanding how group dynamics work.

I hope that everything is going well for you. I miss UNCW, especially the program. It really has meant a tremendous amount to my career thus far.

Davis Smith, MAEd.
Director of Student Success and Advising
Sandhills Community College

Dr. Nottingham

I cannot thank you enough after finishing the minor. I am introducing my place of employment the social change model and use it often in my head to figure out how to create programs. I found that to be a strength of mine: creating and initiating ideas. I am creating ideas that effects and helps our community to adapt to the state budget cuts. I proposed a program to find ways around the state policy and budget cuts. I even went out last night to celebrate it being approved because this program will make huge social change for our disability services community.

Really- I do use the social change model a lot . I have been asked to speak around town, on campus, for a student's senior project at her high school. Grad school would not have allowed these opportunities. I even have my own office. I am still using my same vision from my leadership challenge project from 411.

I had to tell you all this; because, I would not know close to any of this without the help of you and the leadership studies minor. I took it seriously; and am still using it now. My new title is Youth Advocate and Peer Mentor Coordinator because of my leadership ability, that I had potential for, but learned how to use and apply it from you and the minor. I also use it from the National Youth Leadership Network website I sent to you and Dr.Mackain. I take what I learned from the minor and your teaching style and applied it. This summer I will be going to the National Conference where we will discuss as youth leaders with disabilities implementing programs for others. I am very excited about all of this .

Well, Doc Nott- I miss you and thank you greatly for your class and teaching style. You were tough on me.. but it was for my own good.

Really, Thank you. I had to tell you because I had no idea how much I would use this in my career and apply it as I climb up the ladder to Washington.

Thank you.

LED Minor Grad, May '10
March 10, 2011

Hey Doc Nott!

It has been so long since I have seen you and given you an update on my life. I thought it was about time. I was actually reading an article in a journal about "changes in college students' leadership behaviors" this morning and it made me think of my experience through the Leadership Minor at UNCW. I'm not sure you if you know, but after graduating from UNCW I went to Appalachian State University in Boone, NC where I obtained my master's in College Student Development. While at ASU, I served as a Residence Director, I supervised 8 RAs and a first-year student residence hall of 300 students. It was an amazing experience. In June I moved to Jacksonville, FL, where I took a position as Area Coordinator for Residence Life at the University of North Florida.

It's so weird to think back to when I was going through the minor and in your class - oh how I miss those days. But, I wanted you to know that "leadership" is so much a part of my everyday life and the minor had such a profound impact on me - as I look back on what I learned. I recognize when leadership is used for good and when it is take advantage of in some cases. The social change model is a part of my everyday work with students who live in the residence halls here at UNF and my role in their development of "self" is key. I frequently look back to papers of projects that I did in your class and apply it to what I am going through as a student affairs professional and in my work with students.

I hope you are doing well and from the looks of the website - the minor seems to be thriving. I will be back to UNCW for Homecoming in January - so I hope to see you then. We should have a reunion or something during this time or at least get together for drinks. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Adam Wade
Area Coordinator for Residence Life, Osprey Crossings
Department of Residence Life
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Tel: (904) 620-4673
Fax: (904) 620-4670

Hey Dr. Nottingham,

First and foremost, I wanted to let you know that I graduated from Duquesne University School of Law in June, and was admitted the Pennsylvania Bar in October. So I am officially a lawyer!

Photo of LED students and Dr. NottinghamI interned for the District Attorney's office in Wilmington the past two summers, and gained some invaluable experience. I clerked for Hon. Ralph Cappy, Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and I was recently offered a position on the staff of Pa. State Representative Matt Smith.

The reason for telling you all of this is not only to tell you about where I am now, but to thank you for your help, teaching and guidance along the way. During each of my interviews since I graduated from UNCW, whether for legal, business, or political positions, I have been asked about my Leadership Studies minor. Employers are always impressed with the analytical approach to leadership and the interdisciplinary education the program offers. The leadership education has undoubtedly been beneficial in my professional life. But more importantly, it has helped me become a better person. I can utilize something I learned in one of my leadership classes everyday.

I hope all is well with you. Thank you again for all you have done.

Justin Lovich
UNCW Leadership Studies
Class of '02

"Leadership Studies has made me look at everything a totally different way. I see people and judge their behaviors and value accomplishments differently. I set my own goals based on completed elevated criteria. And I know that leadership studies will not only help me on my resume but also in everyday decisions that I make and actions that I take."- Marina Akushevich

"Leadership is not a way of life, it is life."-Nelson Baskervill

"The Leadership Studies minor provides more hands-on and real-life experiences than any of the classes I've had in college combined! The way it is structured affords students the opportunity to gain new perspectives from the electives, the core classes, and our peers. I use the skills I've learned from the class every day!"-Lesley Bonds

"The Leadership minor has allowed me to see leadership in a completely different way than I ever had previously. I have learned the value of patience and the importance of trust and delegation. It has allowed me to infuse my natural abilities as a leader with important learned aspects of leadership and I think it has made me a much more effective leader as a result." -Alison Bradley

"The Leadership Studies minor has afforded me great insight on the many aspects surrounding leadership. It has enabled me to gain a better understanding of my personal style of leadership and capitalize on my strengths. Although the classes aren't "how-to" be a leader, they elaborate on the dynamic characteristics that form the multifaceted components of leadership. I am very involved on campus and within my major, Communication Studies, and the minor has helped bring my traits into focus and helped to solidify my leadership abilities. I would recommend the minor to anyone looking to discover their inner style better and learn how to adapt it to others." -Allyson Corbin

"The leadership minor has taught me a lot. It has forced me to critically analyze myself and my leadership abilities. Another great aspect of the minor is that I now have actual theories to explain to others the leadership skills that I have always had." -Daniel Flowers

"The Leadership Studies minor has allowed me to use my leadership abilities to their full potential and has helped me to become more aware of my own visions for the future." -Caitlin Hauck

"The Leadership Studies minor offers an opportunity to learn how you lead, and use these learned skills in everyday situations. I would recommend that every student minor in Leadership Studies and gain skills and abilities that create social change." -Kenneth Johnson

"Leadership Studies has prepared me for my future endeavors, and has inspired me to develop the leader in others." -Katy Locke

"The leadership minor has provided me with a new and refreshed outlook on what it means to be a leader. Because of this minor I have learned multiple ways and styles I can implement leadership in all aspects of my life." -Bri Moran

"Leadership has shaped me into a fine individual." -Jen Overfield

"Leadership Studies makes you understand the unexplainable. A strong bond between classmates allows peer judgments and networking. It gives you hands-on experience with life." -Bradley Reynolds

"I believe the leadership minor has made a difference in my life because it has made me aware of my leadership skills and how they impact my life. I am aware of my own strengths and weaknesses, and am then able to use them to the best of my ability." -Lindsay Robertson

"The leadership minor has helped me reflect on my own leadership style. I have learned how to connect leadership theories with practice." -Tiffani Skandier

"The leadership minor has allowed me to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses. I have learned how to incorporate these with my leadership style. My understanding of leadership has grown these past three years. I have developed a leadership style that I feel is much more effective than when I started the LED minor. I hope to continue to learn and grow as a leader and continue to mold my leadership style." -Lindsay Stuart

"The leadership minor has influenced me in many ways. It has taught me the foundation and also what type of leader I have the potential to be. The leadership minor has opened my mind to the change I want to bring about after I graduate - locally and globally." -Holly Szawara

"I enjoyed the leadership minor because of the emphasis placed on collaborating with others and learning the various styles of leadership. I appreciate that students are allowed to talk openly and candidly about leadership. I have enjoyed learning from my peers and also assisting them in their endeavors." -Erica Tucker

"The Leadership Studies minor has provided me with the necessary skills to rule the world." -Matt Vilar

" The Leadership minor has allowed me to expand my networking possibilities within the UNCW community. I have developed several skills throughout the semester that essentially has created me to become the leader I am today! " -Alisha Murray

" I believe that everyone should go for this minor. There is a variety of courses that teach you how to act when you are put in a leadership position. It also teaches you to present information in front of others. This class has given me confidence in front of my peers as well as in the business world. When you have this minor on a resume, others will know that you can work with others smoothly." - Michael Armstrong

" The Leadership Studies Minor has taught me that your actions can create a legacy that will inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. This minor allows students to become excellent leaders by learning the theory behind strong and timeless leadership. The group work and creative projects are most meaningful because although leadership at one time meant muscle, today it means getting along with people. This program will give your resume and yourself and competitive edge." - Anna Barrett

" The leadership minor has broadened my horizons, opened my mind, and encouraged me to shine. " -Sara Medley

" I have been amazed at how these classes have taught me things that I see and help me in my every day life. " -Heather Williams

" Leadership is a collective value-based process concerned with affecting change on behalf of others and society. So join us and take a stand. "- Garrett Hoffman

" True Leadership is the selfishness that makes the world go around. " -Skipper Melvin

" As I read about leadership, I find that it applies to every aspect of my life. " -Rebecca

Photo of LED students" Reasonable people know that great achievements require hard work. Leadership is the key. " -Dustin Harrison

" Leadership minor has opened my eyes to the different leaders in my community. It has also allowed me to learn valuable real-life skills, which I can take with me in my post-graduate endeavors."- Jessica Risinger

" The Leadership minor has helped me discover my potential at UNCW…I couldn't have chosen a more fun and inspirational minor. " -Eric Vander Straeten

" Leadership has really taught me to approach group problems and situations differently. " -Katherine Stamper

" To be a good leader, you must first watch and follow a good leader. " -Keith Howard

" The leadership minor has made me more equipped and prepared for taking on current and future leadership opportunities. I would recommend this minor to any individual that would like to hold a leadership or management position in the future. " -Carlo Laurore

" The Leadership minor compliments any major. All students can benefit from learning to set goals, visions and frame for future situations. " -Jessica Dixon