June 9, 2014
PITTSBURGH-The Cathy and John C.Pelusi Family Life Skills Program hosted their 10th Annual Panther Leadership Academy Conference at Pitt-Johnstown on June 6th and 7th. A highlight of the Life Skills program, the two-day conference engaged over fifty student-athletes in small group discussions and other hands on activities that promoted team building and the development of other key leadership qualities and characteristics.
Penny Semaia, Assistant Athletic Director for Student Life remarked, "We had great facilitators, which included former student-athletes that attended this very conference in previous years. Their experiences and expertise were invaluable in helping our student-athletes gain the tools necessary to be effective leaders."
On day one, the event kicked off with an introduction of student-athletes from all sports in attendance to their facilitators. The student-athletes were then divided into four teams, consisting of both Rising and Veteran leaders as they bonded through both social interactions and small group discussions. The following day, student-athletes participated in activities, which included an individual "Dance-Off" and team building exercises and a series of "Minute-to-Win it" style team challenges. The conference then concluded with short skits intended to showcase each teams' retention of the conference curriculum with all activities keeping to this years' overall theme of "Confidence."
"I didn't think it was possible to have so much fun and learn so much at the same time", commented Martin Vogel of the Men's Swimming & Diving team.
Tyler Swenson, a member of the women's track & field team also added, "I had an amazing experience. It was a great time and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I really appreciate all the effort that was put into this event, to make such a great program for us. I will definitely recommend the program to other student athletes for next year."
Throughout the year, the Panther Leadership Academy program provides student-athletes with comprehensive leadership development skills, helping them to grow into effective, vocal leaders that will help them to succeed in whatever path they choose to embark upon after graduation.