Judith Gallegos ’14, Samantha Chapman ’14, and Megan Hunt ’13 (from left) presented at the National Bonner Summer Leadership Institute Conference at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. June 4-7.
“They represented LC so well,” said Bev Pfluger ’06, ’09 M.Ed., director of LC’s Bonner Leaders Program. “These students presented to a full workshop on topics of maintaining innovation within our program, of course utilizing Lynchburg as an example, but empowering these participants to take tools of reflection back with them.”
Summer Leadership Institute is the annual Bonner Conference for administrator, student, faculty, and partner representatives from roughly 75 colleges and universities in the Bonner Network. The prominent theme this year was how individuals and campuses can take action to contribute to greater social justice.
The institute provides participants with learning and professional development opportunities intended to enable them to strengthen the quality and work of campus-based service efforts, with an emphasis on themes such as deepening community partnerships, supporting students to develop and engage fully, and building vibrant, sustained infrastructure for campus-community engagement.
“The most important things I got out of the conference experience were the new ideas that were generated in our group discussion on ways to improve our own Bonner program,” Judith said. “I learned creative ways to better the connection between the Bonner Leaders and the community. I also learned how to take a new perspective of old problems and that if one way doesn’t work, there are other paths I can travel to fix a situation. This experience was very rewarding because I got to know a different side to the Bonner organization and I feel a refreshed appreciation for what Bonner stands for and what we do in our communities.”
“It was a really neat experience to see how other Bonner schools are run and to be around such a diverse range of passions and perspectives,” Sammie said. “I loved getting to know the other schools and even my LC Bonners a little better. This Bonner Summer Leadership Institute gave me the desire to take fresh ideas back to school and I’m very excited to see what will come of it.”