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West Point Ethics Conference Attendees Hold Interactive Session

iLEAD, the Institute for Leadership Achievement, Ethics and Development, for the third year in a row, accepted an invitation to nominate four Mount St. Mary's University participants to the annual West Point Ethical Leadership in America Conference held October 7-8. This year's conference centered on “what it means to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.”

west-point-in-text.jpgSenior Colette Robinson, junior Elena Rittie, sophomore Kalie Messner, and first-year student Trey Cook were selected to participate. Richardson and Cook both applied for travel scholarships; each award-winning essay provided free air travel to New York. Rittie and Messner chose to drive. All participants had their hotel, supplies, meals and local transportation underwritten by the United States military.

Three of the participants on November 18 shared in an interactive presentation with the larger community showcasing their newly gained leadership experiences by leading discussion of ethics scenarios. The students hope to once again conduct a panel presentation at the SPARC Festival in April.

Robinson, who was not able to present, has accomplished much as a member of the Mount community. She is widely recognized as a swim team captain on the Mount team and has been a resident assistant since her sophomore year. In addition, she is a Mount Opportunities for Success in Science (MOSS) Scholar and a Thomas Merton Scholarship Recipient. Over the summer she worked as an orientation coordinator where she challenged herself to find ways to best welcome the new students onto our campus. Robinson participates in many other activities offered on our campus such as the Office of Social Justice trips and other volunteer opportunities. Director Sauers was particularly intrigued and encouraged by her personal connection to students during the opening hospitality event led by Diversity Director Leon Dixon and Vice President for Equity and Success Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D.

Rittie and Messner have been outstanding members of the iLEAD training program. Cook will be part of the Emerging Leaders program in January. Rittie was a member of both Tier I and ll within iLEAD. She is a Mount Ambassador director who assists in overseeing the ambassadors and a resident assistant.

Messner said her Emerging Leaders’ experience provided the confidence to join this year’s orientation team as an orientation leader for First-Year Symposium (FYS) students. “Kalie, like her role model former NSLS President and Orientation Leader Morgan Weigle, set up a summer/fall internet group that allowed her to really assist my students," said iLEAD Director Dana Larkin Sauers, who also teachers FYS classes. "I am so proud of this contribution and many others Kalie provided. Her cheerleading role extends far beyond the court.” 

“As soon as I met Trey Cook this past summer at an admission event, I knew he had the makings of a strong 'mover and shaker' kind of leader on campus. It was a delightful surprise that he was later scheduled for my FYS class," Sauers said. "We have worked together behind the scenes to launch a Mount Forensics Team, the start of which is the hiring of a debate coach within the Communication Department who will also oversee the spring SPARC debates. I thank Associate Provost David McCarthy for allowing us to move forward with Trey’s dream.”