Leadership summit educates students on communication, integrity


Photo by: Sabrina Ariss

“You want your style of leadership to be formed by your faith in Christ,” Milo Milburn said at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s annual Student Leadership Summit, hosted over the weekend of Jan. 25-26 in the Gentile Gallery.

Milburn, who holds a doctorate in clinical psychology, opened the summit with a presentation on the importance of assertive communication in the face of aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive behavior from family, friends or coworkers.

Milburn said that while it is often easier to “avoid rather than address” problematic situations, failure to address an issue always yields substandard results.

“At the heart of assertive communication is the attitude that my rights, my dignity, my sensibilities matter, and so do those of the other person,” Milburn said.

Milburn went on to say that an assertive person makes reasonable requests, feels free to decline inconvenient requests or demands and adheres to his or her values and needs in any situation.

“The assertive person knows that they have dignity,” Milburn said, “and they know that whoever they’re dealing with, no matter what the conflict, is also a person with dignity.”

Milburn’s presentation was followed by a Eucharistic holy hour led by the Rev. Matthew Russick, TOR, in Christ the King Chapel, replete with light music and a time for silence.

The summit continued the next morning with coffee and donuts in the atrium of the J.C. Williams Center before moving into the Gentile Gallery for a talk by Mark Joseph, executive director of the university’s Christian Outreach Office, entitled, “Lose the fear: you were made for greatness.”

Joseph emphasized the fact that each person has been created by God for a great purpose.

“(God) doesn’t make junk; he doesn’t make mistakes,” Joseph said. “We’re all 10 on a scale from 1-10, right?”

Following Joseph’s talk was a presentation on the importance of every minute from Sarah Harmon, assistant director of student success and Austrian enrollment.

Harmon said that it only takes a second to make an impact that each student can and should be willing to make on his or her campus.

Both Joseph and Harmon spoke on the importance of living a life of integrity built on a foundation of silent prayer and consistency.

The 2019 Student Leadership Summit was organized by Anna McNamara and Kateri Mooney, two seniors in Franciscan’s Center for Leadership program.

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