Megan Morrisey, Academic Coach with the Center for Student Success. (Photo by Margaret Okakpu)

by Anthony Krueger

Do you ever feel like there is something keeping you from your goal? Is there something blocking your path? If you answered yes to either of these questions, last week’s Leadstrong event was for you.

“The Leadstrong Series consists of two to three talks a semester that help students grow as leaders,” said Leadership Development Coach Jessica Mushel.

Mushel, and Academic Coach, Megan Morrisey, hosted the year’s second Leadstrong talk.

The title for this talk was Breaking Barriers.

“As student leaders, you find yourselves running into barriers all the time,” said Morrisey. “This could make you feel frustrated or angry.”

Mushel spoke up and said this frustration was the reason she asked Morrisey to come and speak to the student leaders in order to help them through their challenges.

Morrisey played a video of a high school working together to create a lip-dub video to Katy Perry’s new single “Roar.” When the clip concluded, Morrisey said that the students should pay attention to how an entire school could come together and work as one collective unit.

“Barriers may exist, but we need to be able to take the first step,” said Morrisey.

Morrisey asked students what they thought a barrier was.

Junior Nate Dimmie said, “A barrier is something that blocks you from your goal.”

“A barrier is always something you can see,” said Freshman Elizabeth Lavin. “The best way to overcome a barrier is to break away from ‘cliques’ and work with everyone.”

Mushel said that Lavin’s point was emphasized simply based on who attended the event. She said that with athletes, Leadership Scholars, Resident Assistants, and Student Government Association students in attendance, every group on campus was represented.

Junior Danielle Farragher said, “With all of us here, we need to think about coming out of our comfort zones.”

Morrisey spoke in accordance with Farragher by saying that we have to remember that, as leaders on campus, our goal is make a difference for Mount Saint Mary College.

“Most people expect someone to walk in and hand them a college experience,” said Morrisey.

Morrisey herself said that because so many people don’t make the effort to be involved, it makes our jobs as leaders all the more important.

“Breaking barriers is a gradual process,” says Sophomore Asma Neblette. “In order to get the whole campus involved, we need to take each challenge one barrier at a time.”

“There will be ups and downs,” says Sophomore Bradley Moody. “We can’t be afraid to take the initial punch and reach our goal.”

Morrisey said she liked everyone’s input.

Junior Laura Lomolino reminded everyone that, “It’s not about the title; it’s about the experience that makes someone a leader.”

Before Morrisey made her final point, Mushel reminded everyone to be friendly and all there is to do is try to make a difference. “There’s more on this campus than meets the eye,” said Morrisey. “Go out, leave a legacy, and break a barrier.”

Mushel said she was happy to have Morrisey there.

The next Leadstrong will be offered on November 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hudson Glass Lounge, as well as November 19 at 4 p.m. in the Hudson Auditorium. The event is titled Pandas and Zebras and will look at encountering a different culture by observing and interacting with members of that culture, as well as developing strategies to learn all there is about the culture.