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Stockdale Fellows take second at regional leadership competition

Barry McNamara
Pictured from left are WIU grad assistant Kris Clayton, Emma Hildebrand, Shannon Wilbourne, Emma Johanns, Serena Venenga, Lexi Brauer and Megan Davis.
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MONMOUTH, Ill. – Six of Monmouth College’s James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows recently brought home second-place honors from a regional Collegiate Leadership Competition in Kansas City.

Led by Assistant Director of Leadership Development Jake McLean, the students competed March 30 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center against five other teams from the Heartland Region.

Monmouth was represented by Lexi Brauer ’20 of Springfield, Ill., Megan Davis ’21 of Gilbert, Ariz., Emma Hildebrand ’21 of Mendon, Ill., Emma Johanns ’21 of Burlington, Iowa, Serena Venenga ’21 of Fredericksburg, Va., and Shannon Wilbourne ’22 of Chicago.

“Our assistant coach (Western Illinois University graduate assistant Kris Clayton) had a good name for the competition,” said McLean. “He called it ‘sports for your brain.’”

The competition consisted of six 45-minute activities. Students had to write and deliver elevator pitches, build a replica of a Post-It mural after only seeing it once, answer leadership-based trivia questions and build an extensive domino chain that connected to the other teams’ chains, among other activities.

“We practiced activities that dealt a lot with mental strategizing that pushed us to work as a cohesive team with a common goal,” said Hildebrand.

The conference’s theme was “Connecting Your Learning.”

“The purpose was to get students thinking about connecting what they’re learning in and out of the classroom,” said McLean. “Our Stockdale Fellows were able to connect what we’ve been building here on campus to the competition.”

The James and Sybil Stockdale Fellows Program is one of the College’s most prestigious scholarships, focusing on leadership and enrichment.

McLean found the conference to be useful personally, as well.

“It exposed me to some neat leadership things that I can nerd out on,” he said.