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Shepherd students, staff play key roles in state leadership conference

ISSUED: 31 May 2023

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVShepherd University played a leading role in the 18th annual West Virginia Student Leadership Conference (WVSLC) from May 15-17 at Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center in Davis, West Virginia. The WVSLC is co-sponsored by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, with Shepherd serving as lead coordinator for the event.  

More than 50 student leaders representing 13 colleges and universities across West Virginia came together for roundtable discussions, networking, and workshops on best practices in student leadership. Topics included how to motivate student leaders, advocate for student needs, practice healthy boundary-setting, and navigate conflicts with civility.  

Group photo of students and staff who attended state leadership conference.

Pictured (front row, l. to r.) are Natalea Johnson, Chrislynne Bard, Samantha Fridley, and Susan Harris, back row, Paul Teter, Dayton Miller, Chelsea Wells, Jim Ramey, Rachael Meads, and Jack Shaw.

Multiple Shepherd staff members served on the overall conference planning committee, including Rachael Meads, director of student activities and leadership, Jim Ramey, student activities assistant, and Jack Shaw, associateice president for auxiliary services, who also served as the conference financial manager. 

Shepherd staff shared their expertise by presenting multiple conference workshops. Meads led the opening workshop, facilitated a roundtable session on best practices in student government, and presented the closing workshop on empowered leadership. Ramey and Shepherd graduate student Susan Harris facilitated icebreakers, teambuilders, and social activities. Wendy Baracka, Shepherd’s director of counseling services, presented a session on healthy boundary-setting to prevent student leader burnout and then collaborated with Cindy Powers from the Stubblefield Institute’s Listen Learn Engage initiative to lead an additional workshop focused on effective listening practices.  

Shepherd’s incoming 2023-24 Student Government Association Executive Board attended the three-day conference, including Paul Teter, president, Chelsea Wells, vice president, Natalea Johnson, campus relations officer, Samantha Fridley, communications director, Chrislynne Bard, treasurer, and Dayton Miller, parliamentarian.  

“I had an absolutely amazing time at the WVSLC,” Teter said. “I got to meet so many fellow students from across the state, learn about their experiences, and gained so much knowledge and information that I can utilize to improve our SGA and better serve the students of my campus.” 

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