May 19, 2014

BY TERI CAMPBELL
Logan Media Services

A new student organization at John A. Logan College, the National Society of Leadership and Success, recently held its first induction and awards ceremony in the Batteau Room at the college.  The society is a leadership honor society with more than 200 college chapters nationwide.   

Toyin Fox, director of diversity and inclusion at JALC, and Nikki Brooks, TRiO project services coordinator, are co-advisors of the organization.  Fox was instrumental in establishing the chapter at Logan this semester.

“I had heard many good things about this organization and I wanted to bring it to our campus,” Fox said.  “The society offers many opportunities for personal and professional growth, and I believe the students will find it beneficial if they get involved.”  

Brooks said students have shown a great deal of interest in the organization.

“We didn’t really know what to expect, but we’ve been really pleased with the response from students,” Brooks said.  “Nearly 90 have signed up to join and 32 completed all the requirements to be inducted, which is a pretty rigorous process.  To get inducted a student must attend an orientation, attend a leadership training day, participate in at least three success networking team meetings, and attend three live speaker broadcasts sponsored by the national society.  That was a lot for them to accomplish between February and May.”

At the ceremony all of the inductees received a certificate, a T-shirt, a lapel pin, and a decal for their car.  In addition to the students, JALC President Dr. Michael Dreith, Terry Crain, dean for student services, and Carolyn Gallegly, director of the Student Success Center, were all inducted as honorary members.

“The national office allows each chapter to give out nine awards every year,” Brooks said.  “The students chose Dr. Dreith, Terry, and Carolyn as honorary inductees because they have been really supportive and helpful in getting the organization going.”

The students gave Excellence in Teaching Awards to Jeneece Bishop, associate professor of English at Logan, Perry Knop, professor of political science, and Angel Marjanovich, a part-time math instructor.  Brooks, Fox, and Jane Minton, director of academic advisement at JALC, were recognized by the students with Excellence in Student Service Awards.

The national chapter presented Logan students Greg Jones and Mary Margaret Kelly with Outstanding Leadership Awards.  That recognition came with a plaque and $250.

“Greg is our chapter’s president and he has worked extremely hard to organize our meetings and communicate with everyone to get the organization up and running,” Brooks said.  “Mary Margaret was the success networking team coordinator and she did a great job facilitating those meetings.”

Jones, a computer forensics major from West Frankfort, said he enjoys being part of the organization.

“Toyin urged me to get involved and take a leadership role in the society,” Jones said.  “I was hesitant at first, but I’m really glad I did.  I’m meeting lots of new people.  At the success networking meetings, we talk about our goals and how we plan to achieve them.  It’s nice being around so many people who are striving to get through college and further their careers.”

Kelly, a non-traditional student who has 20 years of experience in human resources, encourages students to check out the society.  

“This organization is different than anything else I’ve encountered in college,” Kelly said.  “It teaches the importance of communication skills, brainstorming, and how to collaborate with others.  These aren’t skills we are all born with, but they can be developed.  It focuses on achieving goals and finding success beyond the academic environment.  That’s important because we aren’t always going to be students.  We’re going to be in the workforce and working with others.”   

For more information about the National Society of Leadership and Success, contact Fox or Brooks at 618-985-2828 or 618-457-7676, Ext. 8586 or 8410, respectively.