Archive | Leadership RSS feed for this section

Student body president to attend AIPAC conference

13 Jan

Sydni Mitchell - SGA President

Sydni Mitchell, SFA’s student body president and graduate assistant in the Office of Student Affairs Programs, was recently offered a full scholarship to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

The annual conference, set for March 4-6, takes place in Washington, D.C. Mitchell is one of 200 student government presidents nationwide selected to attend, and the scholarship covers all costs for travel and the conference. More information about the AIPAC conference can be found at

Mitchell, a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Administration program, is also a former student member of the SFA Board of Regents.

“We are always thrilled to see our students receive opportunities like this,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “Sydni will be able to make so many valuable connections and bring back great experience to use in her involvement at SFA.”


Former ODK President awarded prestigious scholarship

13 Jan

By Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service

Jeff Briggs

Jeff Briggs, the president of SFA’s Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa in 2010-11, was recently awarded an Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Scholarship.

The ODK Foundation chose 20 students out of more than 140 applicants to receive scholarships to help fund their graduate studies. Briggs, who graduated from SFA in 2011, is a first-year medical student at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth and will receive $1,000 toward his studies.

“We were thrilled to hear that Jeff had been awarded an ODK Foundation Scholarship,” Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, said. “SFA’s ODK members are an amazing group of students, and it is always encouraging when their accomplishments are honored by the ODK national office and foundation.”

Omicron Delta Kappa is SFA’s leadership honor society and is housed within the Office of Student Affairs Programs. Students interested in applying for membership in ODK should have a 3.0 or higher GPA and be a junior, senior or graduate student with leadership experience. Applications will be available Jan. 18 at

Lumberjack Leadership Academy improves students’ skills while helping the community

26 Oct

By Jamie Bouldin – Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

Students may now sign up for the 2011-2012 Lumberjack Leadership Academy. All students who are interested in gaining leadership skills and learning more about how to be an effective leader are encouraged to apply.

The program, sponsored by the Office of Student Affairs Programs, offers participants the chance to take part in leadership-based retreats, workshops and service projects with other current and future student leaders. The program is free of charge for students.

Students can sign up online at Students must sign up by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, and be available for the LLA kickoff, set for 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, as well as attend the ODK Leadership Conference from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.

A calendar of events for the spring semester, including retreats and other off-campus events, will be provided at the kickoff.

During the LLA program, students will attend weekly workshops throughout the spring semester, where, along with their fellow students, they will learn skills to improve their leadership abilities, create an e-portfolio, and design and implement their own service project.

In past years, students have created projects to benefit the Family Crisis Center of East Texas, the Best Buddies program and the Martin Center for Educational Achievement. The Martin Center project received funding this year from Americorps and Texas Campus Compact’s Students in Service program to continue efforts begun by the LLA group that created the project.

In addition, LLA participants will have the opportunity to attend not only SFA’s on-campus leadership conference, but a conference at Texas Christian University, as well.

LLA provides students the opportunity to become better leaders, and provides ways for those skills to improve the community. For more information about the program, contact Jamie Bouldin at or (936) 468-1088.

Arun Gandhi headlines annual leadership conference

26 Oct
Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi

SFA’s leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa welcomes Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, as the keynote speaker for its third annual leadership conference.

The event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom, is free. Students are highly encouraged to take part in this prestigious, once-in-a-lifetime event. The RSVP form is available here (

Gandhi, who lived with his grandfather for 18 months, is a renowned speaker and activist who has continued working in the footsteps of his grandfather. Together with his wife, Gandhi founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, now headquartered at the University of Rochester in New York. The institute’s mission is to foster understanding of nonviolence and how to put that philosophy to practical use through lectures, workshops and community outreach programs.

Following Gandhi’s keynote, participants may choose from a number of educational sessions presented by SFA student leaders, faculty and staff.

The closing speaker is Karen Walrond, the author of “The Beauty of Different” and popular blog Chookooloonks ( Walrond orchestrated a “photobomb” when members of a church in Florida threatened to burn copies of the Quran on the front lawn. She asked readers to mail her peaceful photos, and hundreds responded to her call for action.

Walrond will be available for a book signing at the close of conference. Copies of her book are available for purchase at SFA’s Barnes & Noble bookstore in the student center.

The event is cosponsored by the Office of Student Affairs Programs, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and Office of Multicultural Affairs, with additional support from the SFA School of Honors and E-Tech.

For more information, contact Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, at

ODK’s Peace Project seeks submissions from students, parents

26 Oct

By Alyssa Tenorio – Member of Omicron Delta Kappa

Omicron Delta Kappa, SFA’s leadership honor society, invites parents to participate in its Peace Project as part of the organization’s annual leadership conference.

In 2010, Karen Walrond, a blogger and author of “The Beauty of Different,” was taken aback by the actions of a church in Florida. On Sept. 11 of that year, members of the church were planning to burn many volumes of the Quran. Karen hated what this church was about to do, so she asked her followers to send her images of whatever they considered peaceful – she called it a photobomb. She would collect all the images – or homemade cards, coloring book pages, etc. – to send to this church as a reminder that the church’s mission “should always and eternally be one of peace.”  Hundreds of pictures and cards later, Karen sent the box – decorated by her daughter with rainbows and more peaceful messages – to the church in Florida.

That’s the back story. Our story, here at SFA, is almost the same, just tweaked a little bit. We are working on our own photobomb project, what we have called the Peace Project, as part of ODK’s annual leadership conference on Nov. 5. Our images will be heading to Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, the group that protests military funerals.

Why did we decide to do the Peace Project? Besides the fact that Karen Walrond is one of our guest speakers (along with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), as a whole our organization decided it would be good for the campus to participate in a peaceful act against Westboro. We wanted to educate students on a different way to demonstrate their frustration with groups such as Westboro, as well as promote peace.

Why did we choose Westboro? At some point in time, almost everyone has met or known someone in the military, or been in the military themselves. The student in charge of our conference is a military

The Gathering

26 Aug
Student leaders at The Gathering

Student leaders at The Gathering

More than 70 student leaders gathered at SFA’s Piney Woods Conservation Center Aug. 23-24 for The Gathering, a retreat for student leaders from areas across campus to come together to collaborate on how they can work together to make SFA a better place.

Students represented the following areas:

  • Orientation
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Activities Association
  • The BIG Event
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Panhellenic
  • Traditions Council
  • Involvement Advisers
  • Student Publications
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Organization of Latin Americans
  • African Student Organization
  • Jack Camp
  • Lumberjack Cultural Association
  • Student Government Association
  • Fashion in Motion
The students brainstormed on issues they saw on campus and how they could make an impact in those areas, and ultimately decided as a group to focus on campus beautification. The students will be meeting regularly to follow up with each organization who committed to helping on this project and how they can move forward to make a difference on campus.
The retreat was put on by the Office of Student Affairs Programs and staffed by representatives from Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Greek Life, Orientation, Student Publications, Multicultural Affairs and Campus Recreation.

Represent your fellow students in SGA

12 Aug
Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Sydni Mitchell, Student Body President

The purpose of Student Government Association is to ensure that the students are represented in every phase of their experience on our campus. For more than 70 years, SGA has contributed to the rich, independent tradition of the Lumberjack student. The projects and bills passed by SGA every year are an important stepping stone to real change in the life of the SFA student.

Your student could be part of making changes and making a difference on our campus by applying to be an SGA senator. Applications for senator positions will be available Aug. 29 in the SGA office, Room 3.304 in the BakerPattilloStudentCenter. For any questions or comments you can contact SGA at or by calling (936) 468-3500.

As student body president, I want to ensure that every student group is represented and that their concerns and issues are addressed. I hope to utilize our resources to their fullest while keeping a realistic mind-set for our goals. A few of the initiatives that I hope to accomplish this year are:

1) to create more resources for veterans on our campus by creating a Veteran’s Resource Center

2) to ensure that the voices of the students are heard on issues such as tuition increases and creating more accountability in the way that student fees are spent

3) to work in partnership with university officials on improving the commuter bus transportation on our campus

4) and to continue the Green Initiative to make SFA a more environmentally friendly campus.

A few of SGA’s recent accomplishments include the passing of resolutions that directly led to the construction of the SFA Student Recreation Center and the renovations to the Baker Pattillo Student Center. By partnering with the University Police Department, we were able to improve lighting and safety protocols on campus. We also have registered more than 500 students to vote in the state and national general elections over the past three years. The students involved in SGA strive to continue making changes on our campus to ensure that the students are able to have the best experience possible.

I am excited to serve SGA this year as the student body president, and I hope to be a resource to all students. During Welcome Week, students can learn more about SGA and its plans for the year at the annual State of the Student Body Address, set for Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. on the Baker Pattillo Student Center Plaza. I look forward to meeting students there and addressing the exciting year ahead of us.

Axe ’em, Jacks!