Students are reviving the NSLS Newman Chapter

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Anyone walking around the Newman campus has more than likely noticed an increase in posters advertising live telecasts of well-known motivational speakers, famous actors and authors, and even a real estate tycoon.

This boost in activity is due, in part, to Newman sophomore James Leggett, who has taken on the role of publicity chairperson for The National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS), Newman Chapter. Legget's current role includes handling the marketing of NSLS live broadcasts to the Newman community.

Leggett says he is merely a piece of a larger puzzle, though. The group that launched the comeback of the NSLS Newman Chapter consists of Bailey McGuffey (President), Marik Groom (Vice President), Alyssa Blakley (Secretary), Joel Sponsel (Treasurer), and Luke Sponsel (SNT Coordinator).

Together, the five students have worked to build awareness for the NSLS Newman Chapter on campus — inviting students to participate in the society and to utilize the tools provided by NSLS to build the skills necessary to become successful in the areas they wish to focus on throughout their lives.

NSLS Newman Chapter Executive Board

(L to R) Joel Sponsel, Marik Groom, Alyssa Blakley, Bailey McGuffey, Andrea Wheeler, (chapter member) and Luke Sponsel

NSLS is a leadership honor society that works with colleges across the United States to help students be better leaders in their communities. Membership is open to any Newman student that carries a 3.0 or higher GPA. There are currently more than 150 members of the Newman chapter.

"There's been an increase in interest during these last two semesters," said Leggett. "Next semester, we'll have a full executive board. We've had more interested than we have positions. It's the first time in a while that it's happened."

Leggett said hand-written invitations are sent out to incoming traditional freshmen each semester.

"They can go online to fill out the formal application," he said. "Then they pay a one-time lifetime membership fee of $85 that covers the training and some materials."

The money collected from membership fees is divided up between the Newman chapter and the society to help pay for things like scholarship funds, training, and speaker fees.

James Leggett

James Leggett

Leggett heard about the NSLS through word of mouth. Once his interest was piqued, he did a little digging to find out how he could get involved. He said he really likes what the society offers to students.

He said, "The members get to experience a dynamic set of classes that have been put together that shows them not only their own personality and communication style but the same for the students around them."

Knowing these things, he said, helps the members with communication and better understanding themselves and others around them.

Once members sign up, they attend an initial orientation, followed by a three-hour training on Leadership Training Day, which is the primary training that members go through.

"Leadership Training Day is the longest meeting, but gives the best information," said Leggett. "They’ve done the DISC assessment ahead of time and we talk to them about setting goals, helping them understand ways that help them figure out who they want to be.

"This can really help them figure out who they are and what they’re interested in which could lead to something else. At the end of that, we go through different ways of communicating. We have activities throughout that help them interact with each other, talk about their goals. They break up into groups based on their communication style."

Leggett explained that the activities completed during the meeting provide insight into how different people think, which engenders a better understanding of how other people work.

Both the orientation and Leadership Training Day take place at the beginning of the semester. Once those things are completed, members attend events and activities such as the live speaker broadcasts and Success Networking Team (SNT) discussions.

"The SNTs are a time when we sit down and talk about goal setting," said Leggett, "and that’s an important ability to have, to be able to organize yourself and drive to reach goals."

Leggett recently ran a survey with the current members, asking them for feedback on how NSLS is helping them in their education and daily lives.

"I asked them to rate their experience from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most satisfied," he said. "Most of them came back with 8s or 9s. We had many people comment, saying they find their experience with NSLS to be helpful with personal organization and accountability."

After becoming members, students can work toward an official induction into the honor society.

"They have to meet a certain minimum requirement to become officially inducted," said Leggett. "At the end of the semester, we hold an induction ceremony for those who've met the requirement."

Being inducted into the NSLS opens up more benefits for members. Leggett said along with access to a private job board, other benefits include scholarships, leadership training certification, local leadership opportunities, customized recommendation letters, and a nationwide network of support.

The next induction ceremony is scheduled to take place on Friday, May 5, 2017. The location is yet to be determined, but it will be held on the Newman campus. The ceremony is open to the public and anyone interested is encouraged to come.

Leggett will soon take over as the president of the Newman chapter and will also be recognized as a Nationally Engaged Leader at the May 2016 induction ceremony. He was also honored with being chosen as a representative on the NSLS President's Advisory Board. When asked about this honor, he said, "I'm excited to be a part of shaping the curriculum for chapters across the nation."

The live broadcasts are also free and open to the public. "The speaker broadcasts, the theme is based 99 percent on leadership and success stories — people who’ve come from almost nothing to becoming very successful in what they do."

Leggett said the society focuses on helping members become better leaders.

"It’s making a difference in the world," he said. "That’s the purpose — our whole mission — is to make better leaders that make a better world."

For more information about the society or becoming a member, contact Leggett at leggett470213@newmanu.edu, or 316-882-1000.

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