FIU Students Learned What It Takes to Be an Excellent Leader

The educators and co-founders of educational platforms JeffDess and Lenny Williams, and FIU students during the Keynote session. Photo by Fabian Osorio/PantherNOW.

By: Fabian Osorio / Staff Writer

Around 185 students learned to create a diverse network and to identify people who can push them to achieve more. The leadership Summit experience was held on Saturday, Feb.1.

Dr. Anthony DeSantins, Assistant Vice President of Biscayne Bay Campus welcomed FIU students and thanked them for participating at the 17th annual Leadership Summit event at the Wolfe University Center.

“I just have a few tips for you today. There are like 10 things I just want to go over really quick that I want you to do today. One, I want you to create a diverse network. So, leaders create a diverse network, right? They get to know other people that they don’t know,” said DeSantis during his greeting. “it’s so important to understand that the connections that you make here today will help you in your career, too.”

He also said that thanking people is really important when you are a leader. He said he was glad that the leadership event was so well attended by students. 

The event started with a keynote presentation by Jeff Dess, who was one of the two speakers, is the author of five poetry and motivational books and holds a master’s degree in English Literature. Lenny Williams, an MBA-holder shared the stage with him. 

Both Dess and Williams have traveled nationwide and abroad as public speakers, educators and co-founders of their educational platform, “Trill or Not Trill” which focuses on culturally responsive leadership and student development. 

Dess explained the meaning of Trill. He said that Trill was the combination of two words: true and real.

As per the description that was sent out prior to the event, Dess and Williams have dedicated their lives to changing lives and disrupting success. 

“When you put that together at a little Southern Texas swear, you get trill just talking about trill being authentic, being something that brings it to the next level,” Dess said.

During the keynote presentation, they talked about “The Laws of Trill” and provided five tips to the audience on how to become a work of art, work together and succeed. 

Students were able to access the entire agenda for the Leadership Summit event through the AttendeeHub App. The application included the list of all the sessions from 11 am until 3:30 pm. Besides the sessions, the Committee of the FIU Academic & Student Affairs also offered breakfast, lunch, and takeaways. 

Minouche Destina, a sociology major, says she decided to attend the event because she needed to improve her knowledge and learn more about leadership. Also, she wanted to find out how to motivate herself. 

She heard about the Leadership Summit event when she was selected by the Honor Society at FIU. She enjoyed the event from the very beginning and liked the meditation

a lot during the keynote session. Something that she took away from the event was “believe in yourself.”

“I believe that this is one of the biggest obstacles that many current and future leaders have. They have the capacity, but lack of self-confidence,” she said.

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