WJU, others partner on leadership initiative

WHEELING – Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU) has partnered with several other institutions to promote leadership as a discipline to develop and empower the next generation of leaders.

WJU Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Beverly Whelton and current M.B.A. student Adrionna Dickerson’14 participated in the Nexus for Leadership Program – Innovations in Leadership: Moving Forward from where you are held at the University of Charleston in June.

Becky Forney, director of Professional and Graduate Studies at WJU, said, “Wheeling Jesuit University was invited by the University of Charleston to partner with them on sponsoring a regional meeting to promote the development of leadership as a discipline. Because Wheeling Jesuit University offers two degree programs in leadership, the Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Development (BOLD), and the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, WJU was eager to collaborate to advance the understanding of the discipline.”

The conference attracted more than 40 academic, business leaders, military personnel and first responders from around the country. The University of Charleston partnered with several regional colleges and universities that offer degree programs in leadership including Hollins University, St. Vincent’s College, West Virginia Wesleyan College, as well as WJU.

“The partnership enabled faculty and students to interact regarding career advancement, networking and changes to the discipline. By participating, Dr. Whelton, a respected faculty member in WJU’s leadership programs, and Adrionna, were able to meet other individuals interested in promoting the degree programs focused on leadership,” Forney added.

Whelton facilitated the Stewards of Leadership session. She noted the presentations were “stunning, providing background knowledge and information that can nurture the next generation of leaders.”

The first day of the conference, Whelton said the sessions offered attendees the information and processes to develop leaders, while day two dealt with leaders from specific disciplines.

Each session featured a presentation by an invited speaker or lecturer and a student. For students, like Dickerson, she added, “The conference gave them a taste of what academic presentations are like and I think they left empowered.” She said, the invited speakers were also examples of effective leadership.