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Leadership Program Celebrates Record Growth

Michelle Eggink, Assistant Director of Content Marketing & Communications

May 30, 2023 — The annual Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) ceremony celebrated a historic milestone, as the programs saw a record amount of student engagement this year. Membership was up 100 students from last academic year, with increased student participation in leadership workshops.

At the ceremony, students who completed the non-credit certificate leadership program received their Marist ELP certificates and were officially inducted as lifetime members into NSLS, an honor society with over 500 chapters spanning the nation. The partnership between the Marist Emerging Leaders Program and the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as the faculty, alumni, administrators and community members who share their expertise, allows students to develop their leadership styles, learn from thought-provoking presenters, network with successful experts, and earn national credentials.

“I am so proud of our students, our Executive Board, and Melissa Lulay, Assistant Director of First Year Programs and Abigail Hackbarth, Coordinator of First Year Programs, who collaborate on the program,” said Robin Diller Torres, Assistant Dean of Student Engagement & Leadership and Adjunct Lecturer in Psychology and Communication. “One hundred ninety students did the legwork to complete their noncredit leadership credentials this year versus 90 last year. The program also filled 1,717 workshop seats versus 859 last year.”

Notable ceremony speakers addressed the large crowd of honorees including student speakers from the ELP executive board, Dasha Cherkasov, Chapter Success Manager at The National Society of Leadership and Success, and Marist President Emeritus Dennis Murray as the keynote speaker.

Jilda Pauta (left) and Robin Diller Torres and Emily Hanscom (right) at ELP/NSLS Ceremony. 

One of the speakers at the ceremony, Emily Hanscom '24, accounting student and ELP member at Marist, far surpassed ELP and NSLS requirements, attending 19 program events. During her speech, Hanscom discussed how ELP helped her better connect with the Marist community as a transfer student and how her leadership skills developed in the program helped her start two organizations on campus: the Transfer Student Council and the Marist Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

“Being part of the NSLS and the ELP is a privilege and honor that you will take with you throughout your life,” said Hanscom. “This leadership program has truly been a blessing and a major supplement to my education and soul-searching journey here at Marist. It has opened so many doors to connections and opportunities that I never thought were possible.”

Fellow ELP member, Jilda Pauta '25, criminal justice and psychology student, received the $1,000 Robin Diller Torres/NSLS Person of Promise Award, which was created in honor of Diller Torres for her guidance and success as a long-standing NSLS advisor. Diller Torres chooses the recipient of this exemplary student award every year. Pauta discussed how ELP helped her find her voice as a commuter student and played a role in being selected for the highly sought-after Marie & Rupert Tarver Internship.

“Attending ELP helped me develop my confidence and explore different ways I can contribute to the Marist and Poughkeepsie community,” said Pauta. “ELP taught me that anyone can be a leader and to take advantage of every opportunity. As a testament to this, I was selected for the Marie & Rupert Tarver Internship, where I plan to work closely with the Poughkeepsie Public Library and leave a lasting impact on the community.”

Diller Torres sends out email communications to all students at the beginning of every semester with a schedule of ELP workshops that any traditional undergraduate student can attend. You can also learn more about the program by visiting the ELP FAQs page.

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