Robert E Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania -- Rising Leaders

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The Robert E Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is an environment that fosters leadership and growth in all areas of society; humanitarian, political, religious, athletics, and many more.

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The honors college environment fosters leadership skills in that students are encouraged to speak up and support their opinions and ideas in class which easily translates into speaking and supporting ideas in clubs and organizations.

During their 2006-2007 winter break, a group of students represented Indiana University of Pennsylvania during a trip to Mississippi in order to help Habitat for Humanity with clean-up from hurricane Katrina. The students held fundraisers and received donations to fund their week-long journey, where they hung dry wall, cleaned out houses and tore shingles off of roofs.

Although the chapter of Habitat for Humanity belongs to the entire IUP campus, students from the Robert E. Cook Honors College participated through leadership in the community. Those honors students who participated in the event included Joseph Lipsitz, Ryan Easton, Mason Young, Carlee Lee-Lampshire, Shannon Harkins, Daniel Huygens, Andrew Shoop, and Zoe Phillips. Robert E Cook Honors student Dominic Luciano, president of the Habitat for Humanity chapter at IUP, organized this philanthropic activity and helped students represent their college in a most positive way.

Luciano is just one of many honors students in leadership positions across campus. Through their involvement in many athletic, academic and personal interest groups, students from the Robert E. Cook Honors College are helping to lead the campus in a big way. At the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology, many honors students are involved with business organizations. Ryan Easton, class of 2008, serves as the president of the Eberly College of Business Student Advisory Council. Easton explained that "We oversee all of the other business organizations within the business college. We organize events and act as a collaborative body so that the individual organizations can communicate with all of the others." In his sophomore year, Easton served as the president of Students in Free Enterprise, one of the college's associations, but passed off his leadership role to another Robert E Cook Honors College student, Joseph Lipsitz, class of 2008.

Robert E Cook Honors students are also active leaders in the residential system at IUP. Many of the residence assistance in the halls on campus hail from the honors college, including Joey Dipple, Becky Duane, Ryan Easton, Tabitha Wiest, Mavis Norwich, Elizabeth Wilking, Laura Halbedl, Robert Steinman, Quiana Lightner and Carol Rosenthal. Actively involved in the Residence Hall Association is Maureen McGrory, the vice president of the council that allows all residence halls to communicate and plan programs.

Athlete and scholar Ian Duckworth serves as the acting president and leader of the IUP lacrosse team. Many students from the Robert E Cook Honors College are represented in other organizations such as men's and women's track and field, equestrian, rugby, and cross-country teams, women's basketball, tennis and hockey and men's lacrosse and golf. Through participating as student leaders in athletics, Robert E Cook Honors students not only develop leadership skills, but their time management skills as well.

Leaders from the honors college are also active in groups for personal development and interest. Sean Green, president for the Lutheran Campus Center and Ben Murphy, president of IUP Alive, work with religious organizations on campus.

Melissa Yates, class of 2008, is the vice president of development in the IUP Ambassadors and treasurer of the IUP Fashion Association. In the past, she has served as chairwoman of the IUP College Republicans and also received the Ronald Reagan College Leaders Award. Melissa said of being an honors student leader, "The honors college environment fosters leadership skills in that students are encouraged to speak up and support their opinions and ideas in class which easily translates into speaking and supporting ideas in clubs and organizations."

Ms. Yates summed up the leadership experience by noting, "If I have the skills and the knowledge to be helpful to the IUP community, then it's my duty to be as involved as possible."

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