True Blue Institute

Dakota Roach –

What is there to do on Sunday’s beside sleep in and binge watch shows on Netflix? Well, on Sunday, April 19, Illinois College is hosting its first ever True Blue Institute in the Kirby Rotunda from 12 pm to 6 pm.

Unlike traditional conferences where information is presented in lecture-like form, this leadership conference will include roundtable discussions, energizers, leader recognitions, and pizza!

Open for all students to attend, and advertised by the Center for Student Involvement as an inaugural leadership conference, this event is for students who wish to gain valuable leadership skills and meet new people in a fun and constructive way.

The day is split up into three sessions with simultaneous presentations taking place at each time. Students who participate will be given the choice which discussion to attend within each sessions’ time block. Those who will be leading a session include Beth Nahlik, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Judy Tonry, Director of Health Services, Jessica Doak, Area Coordinator for Residential Life, Lori Oldenttel, Coordinator of Community Engagement and Service, and JJ Sadler, Internship Coordinator, among others. Some of the discussions taking place include information about authentic leadership, creating yourself in college, caring communication skills for peer leaders, and strengths based leadership.

The idea for the True Blue Institute came from personal experiences of two of the staff members in the Center for Student Involvement, Assistant Director of Students Activities, Ashley Childs, and Sarah Knapp, Assistant Director of Greek Lettered Organizations, who both say had been through similar institutes themselves at previous colleges. When asked what made the True Blue Institute a positive experience for students, Ashley Childs responded that she and Sarah Knapp were, “strongly encouraged by the Director of the Center for Student Involvement, Karen Homolka, to move forward with this event,” feeling that, “this is an event IC students will greatly benefit from.”


When asked what students will gain from the True Blue Institute, Ashley Childs responded, “This conference style event will provide students… leadership sessions based on what they are most interested in. Through this experience we want students to learn more about their own leadership skills, (and) utilize these skills in their futures after IC.”

A quick jump over to Google offers up a list of 100,000,000 results for the search “jobs that require strong leadership skills.” Other searches validate these results. Examples of selection criteria taken from The Australian National University, Human Resources pdf for high paying jobs of the business world include the ability to manage, lead, supervise, interact with people, and contribute to the work group. One of the values of leadership skills is their interconnected relationship with other important job skills including interpersonal communication, acumen decision making, and a perspicacious understanding of management skills. When combined, these additives of leadership skills multiply to equal a truly invaluable experience.

Students who seek a leadership in developing experience that they cannot obtain elsewhere — discussing with other student leaders the opportunities they have and can create for themselves as well as others, learning application skills to carry into student organizations on campus  as well as interactions with faculty and staff in future events — need to register for the True Blue Institute by Friday, April 10th to reserve your spot.

Students can register to participate in the True Blue Institute online at  


Dakota Roach, from Jacksonville, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in English Literature and Creative Writing. Dakota is a Student Ambassador, an active member of CEA and SAGE, and is a writer for The Rambler.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s