2011-12 Academic Year in Review

Phew, that was a marathon! After having completed my final presentations, tests, and research papers, sent my community’s newspaper to print, helped host a corporate spotlight event with the Business Club and Aflac, persevered through a rigorous election campaign, and managed my relationships with God and people in the course of two weeks, it all came to a close. What ensued were long awaited 10-hour sleep nights and celebrations all around.

You can view the election results video below; this year featured a record turnout at the polls. Guess who will be Student Government President at Nyack College NYC? Special thanks to everyone who participated; they made this election an unforgettable experience.

After it was all said and done, we enjoyed quite a few celebrations. Brenda and I visited a local restaurant in light of the semester’s end; I spent some time in the city with some senior graduates, and my family even threw a dinner for me with relatives as guests.

Brenda and I enjoyed a dinner celebration at The Door Restaurant

Last year I listed a few lessons I learned about taking college classes. Here is a new list with equally relevant info:

  • Resolve in the beginning of your education that you want to aim for the valedictorian of your school, and let others know so they can keep you accountable! (If you’re entering Nyack College this upcoming semester, let’s talk! I’m on Twitter: @LelioAD)
  • In the fine balance between academics, student activities, work, ministry, social activity, and entertainment, always be willing to sacrifice entertainment and self-gratification first. You can receive gratification from doing well in school and enjoying the company of friends–and don’t forget sleeping after the semester’s over!
  • Working hard is (often) the consequence of not completing the work in a timely manner. Avoid procrastination and catch up by working smart, setting realistic goals, and completing your homework and other responsibilities on schedule! Then you can avoid late-night cramming and put quality into your homework efforts.

Celebrating the class of 2012 graduates

I’m especially proud of this year’s graduates, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure to know personally. S.G.A. members were invited to serve at the baccalaureate banquet, a dinner held just days before the actual graduation. As a greeter, I had the opportunity to see many of them off one more time as official Nyack College NYC alumni. Of course we’ll meet again–some sooner than others, as certain students have considered taking job positions at the school.

Now, planning begins to make this summer the most worthwhile and productive one yet. Stay with us; there’s plenty to write about during the break. I’m surely not leaving campus either, as we intend to have S.G.A. meetings throughout the summer semester!


Change is on its Way (Inside and Out)

It’s election time at the NYC Campus!

Students are really getting into this one. First it was the flyers letting students know that Student Government applications were available in the library and at the Student Development office. Conversations broke out around the school between those who knew about the elections and those who were just finding out.

By the way, I’m definitely running for S.G.A. President for the upcoming 2012-2013 academic year! Wish me… uh, godspeed?

Then flyers started appearing for the new presidential candidate, Rolando Rozales. He started appearing in classrooms, sharing his vision for the school. Next thing you know, it was debate time! We had a healthy turnout as the two presidential candidates answered questions from the Dean of Student Life and the students.

Rolando (left) and I participate in the April 18th Presidential Debate. Exciting stuff!

Now here ‘s the thing: I’m not really the “talk about your ideas and accomplishments” person–at least I wasn’t before this election. I’m well accustomed to taking the background, having been Vice President of the Business Club, Vice President of S.G.A.,  Assistant Editor of my community newspaper, and Executive Assistant of a startup Christian music company. I’ve had the opportunity to serve in all sorts of ways, from folding chairs to piecing together large events.

Now, be the face of an organization? “Nah, I’ll pass,” I’d say, “(he or she)’s got that.”

But Nyack College’s President, Dr. Michael Scales, said something prominent during a past Nyack Experience that I still remember: “You don’t take a position because you want to, but because there’s a need.”

Deep, huh? It’s also true; because I’ve been given so many opportunities to practice leadership at Nyack College (I’m even taking classes on leadership development and organizational behavior), I know a lot about how to make a difference:

  • It starts with the organization. If your team is dissenting, you’ll make little to no progress.
  • You must have respect for everyone, not just those who can help you out.
  • Be a listener more than a talker. Always take opportunities to learn.
  • You can never have enough knowledge and wisdom to lead efficiently. Stay reading, especially the book of Proverbs!
  • It’s not about the position, but serving God through whatever position He gives you that counts.

I could go on and on about leadership–don’t get me started! But the one experience that really motivated me to speak, campaign, and maintain a vision was a conversation I had with a fellow, non-traditional student.

She shared how she was also a background person, until she realized the organization she volunteered in was in disorder. She had built relationships with people in that organization, knew the needs and the solution, and was ready that week to take up the mantle and become its president.

Although neither of us were seeking presidency (I wasn’t seeking Vice President of S.G.A. either, another good story for another time!), we were being redirected. “Sometimes He pushes you into the position,” she explained, “and you just have to be ready.”

So, may the best man win! Like Bill Clinton said in a 1992 interview, “I stayed in [the presidential race] because I thought I could be a force for change… and I wanted the voters to make up their mind. If the voters say, ‘Hey, we think some other person will be a better president,’ I will go home a happy man to the life that I’ve got, it’s a wonderful life. But I would have been a gutless wonder to quit… in the face of the convictions I have.”

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