Colorado State University - Pueblo PLP scholars use internships to hone leadership skills

Colorado State University - Pueblo PLP scholars use internships to hone leadership skills

PUEBLO – Eleven seniors representing the President’s Leadership Program (PLP) at Colorado State University-Pueblo are providing a wide variety of assistance to local businesses and non-profit organizations, including several University programs. In return, they are learning how to be better leaders.

Students selected for PLP are required to complete a leadership studies minor, of which one requirement of that minor is an internship-based course called Working with Experienced Leaders, completed during the senior year.

“This class is more than a field placement, it’s an opportunity for students to take a lead role in some relevant capacity,” said Trish Orman, PLP academic director and instructor for this fall’s course.

Orman said students have class sessions where they share placement observations, opportunities for leadership, and ways to handle problems should they occur. The students work in the field for a minimum of 60 hours, and they attend six to seven additional dialogue sessions where they discuss what they are learning about leadership.

Three students are using their major areas of study as the template for a leadership experience: Patrick Dahmen, an athletic training major Colorado Springs, has taken on oversight and marketing tasks for In-Zone Fitness; Colorado Springs computer information systems major Dakota Deutsch is handling some problem-solving opportunities for Integrated Documents Solutions; and business management major Jacob Eunice is studying finance and business development through his placement at Legacy Bank of Pueblo.

Six PLP scholars are taking leadership roles with local not-for-profit agencies in the Pueblo area.

•Vicky Bonetto, a biology-chemistry major originally from Venezuela, created her own placement through Catholic Charities of Pueblo. She works with individuals who are preparing for the U.S. Citizenship exam, particularly those who need help with English as a second language, a course she also teaches.
•Kelsey Goettel, Pueblo West, works with the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce to assist in developing a database of Leadership Pueblo alumni. An exercise science major, she reports to director Rod Slyhoff.
•Nicole Kirby, Pueblo West, is taking her business management degree one step further by assisting Bessemer Historic Society with database projects and planning for future fundraising events.
•Andrew Ritterling, a veteran participant and project leader for Rocky Mountain Youth Leadership Conference, is developing a 2012 action plan centered on his experiences with the Colorado Springs-based organization. He is a Pueblo senior also studying business management.
•Colin Scott, a music performance major from La Junta, is setting aside his cello to complete more organizational tasks for Pueblo Symphony Association.
•Keely Severance, a nursing student from Pueblo, has joined a political action campaign for a Pueblo School District 70 bond issue and mill levy override.

Psychology major Nichole Beaudin, Pueblo West,  and pre-service teacher Ashley Silva, Pueblo West, have located their placements on the CSU-Pueblo campus. Beaudin is the student assistant to Carol Loats and the Young Women’s Real World Conference planning committee. The annual event for female teens will be held on the CSU-Pueblo campus on Nov. 1. Beaudin will also serve as a mentor and coach for the event. Silva is serving as the class assistant for the President’s Leadership Program, working as a teaching aide to PLP director, Shelly Moreschini. In addition to class presentations and observation, Silva assists students with class projects and course evaluation.

The students will make oral presentations about their learning goals, observations, and leadership opportunities at a final session on Dec. 4.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.