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Cultivating Leadership Skills Through the Leadership Certificate Program

Category: Fraternity

Tia Vlasman

Alpha Rho, South Dakota

Throughout my time as a member of Alpha Rho Chapter at the University of South Dakota, whether it is having the honor of being the first vice president diversity, equity, & inclusion (VPDEI) or performing my duties as chapter president, I have learned time and time again that growth is always possible in the most unexpected ways.

After I finished my presidency in December 2022, I was looking for ways to cultivate involvement in Theta while adding to my abilities as a possible juris doctor (JD) candidate. The Leadership Certificate Program (LCP) came at the perfect time. A passion of mine is leading others in an effective and amiable way. Having the ability to reinforce and cultivate my leadership skills through the LCP was the perfect mix of involvement and self-improvement.

I credit Theta with much of my leadership growth. I have had the privilege to grow as a leader by doing hands-on work throughout my own chapter. By integrating my first-hand leadership experience with those from other chapters in combination with the LCP’s utilization of textbook materials and weekly discussions, I was able to bolster my learned leadership.

During week four of the six-week program, I found out I was accepted into law school this coming fall. The joy I felt was immeasurable, and the confidence I have in my abilities is strengthened by what I learned from the LCP. Part of our leadership journey during the LCP was to identify some of our greatest opportunities for growth. Never before was I assigned to study something I did not perform well in. Though I knew there were skills I lacked, I felt uncomfortable focusing my efforts on things at which I was not already proficient. This quickly grew to be my favorite portion of the program. I found that as soon as I concentrated my efforts on the areas in which I fall short, I improved and was able to lead and communicate much more effectively.

The LCP helped me understand myself better. From my leadership style and what I was good at to what I needed to work on and how I could apply it to my future, the LCP experience showed me how diligent we Thetas could be. It gave me a newfound confidence in my ability to lead and fortified my emotional intelligence as both a leader and a student.

Tia created a leadership poster as part of the LCP curriculum.

Theta has prepared me to be a lot of things in life: a good friend, a good mentor, and a good leader. I appreciate the ways Theta has filled my life with confidence in myself and in my learning. The LCP solidified this confidence, and I am so eager to continue growing as an alumna, a JD candidate, and a leader.

The Leadership Certificate Program (LCP) is a cohort-based program for third- and fourth-year students looking to learn and apply leadership skills with an emphasis on career development and networking. The program takes place on ThetaConnect. Learn more about the LCP.