The Nick Mamalakis Emerging Leader Class of 2011 with Mr. and Mrs. J. Cliff McCurry, far left; President Linda Bleicken and Bill Kelso, far right; and Christine Sutton (fifth from left).

Armstrong's Emerging Leader Program Graduates 18

(May 3, 2011) Eighteen Armstrong Atlantic State University students graduated from the Nick Mamalakis Emerging Leader Program during a pinning ceremony held in the Student Union ballroom in April.

The 10-week program, which is geared towards providing freshmen and sophomore students the opportunity to develop leadership abilities, was taught by program directors William Kelso, interim vice president for student affairs, and Christine Sutton, assistant to the vice president. Workshops focused on such topics as communication and conflict resolution, servant leadership, ethics and motivation.

“We give the students a toolbox that they can use to do great things,” Sutton said.

This year's program curriculum was changed to focus more heavily on servant leadership by establishing a service project for the students to complete. As a group, the students participated in McTeacher's Night, a charity event for the Ronald McDonald House of the Coastal Empire. A percentage of the night's sales benefited the organization.

The Emerging Leader Program, which began in 1992, was renamed the Nick Mamalakis Emerging Leader Program in 2003 after Mr. and Mrs. J. Cliff McCurry, friends of Mamalakis, made a generous contribution to the program in his honor. Mamalakis, who passed away in 2005, was a longtime community leader and supporter of Armstrong. The program's new focus more closely follows his life's example.

“I hope that students learn that serving others is the most rewarding leadership task there is,” Sutton said. “There is so much they can gain from doing that. It is what we set out to do this year in honor of Nick Mamalakis, and I truly believe we did it. We could not be more proud of our students or our program,” Sutton said.

The Emerging Leader class of 2011 includes:

Lauren Bright, pre-pharmacy
Alexis Burkes, health science/public health
Julie Finnell, chemistry
Bernotta Gipson, nursing
Dominique Hardy, liberal arts/english
Brittany Harris, nursing
Ana Hernandez, history
Kunle Lawal, electrical and computer engineering
Marissa Mathews, rehabilitation sciences
Jessica Olsen, pre-pharmacy
Kelly O'Toole, rehabilitation sciences
Chelsea Patterson, biomedical engineering
Thomas Reams, biology
Amber Roberts, undecided
Kevin Soria, mechanical engineering
Gestine Tablada, rehabilitation sciences
Timeshia Warren, rehabilitation sciences/public health
Brittney Wilkinson, nursing