More than three dozen students were welcomed into the Brookdale chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success on Dec. 15, during a an official induction ceremony in the Student Life Center. Surrounded by a capacity crowd of family, friends and classmates, the inductees became only the cohort to join the personal and professional development program since it was established at Brookdale in Spring 2016.
“This is only the beginning of something much larger,” said vice president of student success David Stout. “This journey will continue for years to come, not only while you are here at Brookdale, but long after you graduate and enter your careers. Please accept our heartfelt congratulations for all that you have achieved.”
The induction ceremony began with an overview by chapter advisors Sarah McElroy and Jill Donovan, who explained the benefits and requirements of the NSLS and what students can expect after joining the nation’s largest leadership organization.
The organization, they said, offers intensive workshops, leadership training sessions, community service and peer mentoring opportunities, exclusive seminars offered by internationally recognized experts, and much more. So far this fall, McElroy said, the incoming NSLS members have completed a combined 768 hours of leadership development training, in addition to performing community service and participating in chapter social events.
The induction ceremony continued with addresses by Brookdale’s NSLS chapter officers, including chapter president Chanell Singletary-Eskridge, chapter chair Ariana Martinez, secretary Mary Helotis and treasurer Michael LaMura.
LaMura and Helotis spoke passionately about the unique paths that led them to Brookdale, describing their efforts to overcome personal tragedies and hardships and make the most of their time in college. LaMura, who recently received a $5,000 NASA STEM Fellowship toward his associate degree in science, said the NSLS has provided him with the confidence and direction to achieve and goal he sets his mind to.
Culinary student Erin Cotterell (right) is welcomed into the NSLS by advisor Jill Donovan on Dec. 15.
“Since being inducted, many more doors have opened up for me,” said LaMura, who also completed a volunteer aerospace engineering program and was invited to visit NASA this summer.
“None of these things were planned, really. But I was present and prepared to take advantage of them. Every door you walk through leads to ten others. The universe will give you opportunities to get where you want to go. You just need to learn how to recognize them.”
The NSLS chapter also presented awards to Brookdale employees who have helped support the program by hosting workshops, mentoring NSLS students and providing grants to the chapter. The award winners were Christopher Jeune, director of Student Conduct and Compliance; Nancy Kegelman, associate vice president of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness; Dineen Jackson, coordinator of Grants and Institutional Development; Joan Scocco, director of operations for Continuing and Professional Studies; Jonathan Shaloum, instructional designer for the Innovation Center; and the office of Student Life and Activities.
Laura Qaissaunee, director of Grants and Institutional Development, was presented with the chapter’s Honorary Membership Award. Four students also received with the chapter’s NELA Award for going above and beyond the requirements of general membership.
All inductees were presented with an NSLS pin, t-shirt, and an official certificate of membership.
“In life we are faced with so many obstacles and challenges. It’s so easy to be pessimistic, and it’s so easy to want to give up. But you haven’t,” Singletary-Eskridge told the new NSLS members. “You have completed our leadership [training] program. Perseverance is one of the most important things you can develop, and you have that. You can accomplish anything with that mindset. And you all deserve a round of applause here today.”
Close to 150 Brookdale students were nominated this term for induction into the NSLS. In order to achieve full membership, nominees must complete a series of orientations, training sessions, meetings and speaker broadcasts. To learn more about the chapter and the requirements for nomination, click here.
Check out more photos of the induction ceremony here.