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Where leadership is a process, not a position.

Table of Contents A Message from the Director 3 “Celebrating 10 Years of Developing Leaders� 4 Student Participation Outcomes 6

HSLC Programs Leadership Certificate Program 7 Cougar Excursion 8 Leadership CofC 10 LeaderShape 12 SALA Awards 14 Fall Leadership Conference 16 Dance Marathon 18 Omicron Delta Kappa 19 Student Spotlights 20 About the Center 21 A Great History and a Boundless Future 22 2

Report Contributors: Michael Duncan, Diane Cumbie, Patrick Hart, and Dylan Mazelis

A Message from the Director Michael Duncan Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Director of the Higdon Student Leadership Center

Like the old adage says, “time flies when you’re having fun!” And so once again, we find ourselves at the end of another academic year. As in years past, we present our Annual Report for your enjoyment. For several years, we have designed this publication to serve as a source of education of our programs, along with their impact on the student experience at the College. In this edition, we highlight student success and learning, new staff members and their contributions to our leadership programming, new community partnerships, and the beginning of our ten year anniversary. Specifically noted in this year’s report is how our assessment data shows an improvement in awareness and learning that is happening for students involved with the Higdon Student Leadership Center. The report details the hiring of a new Associate Director and Graduate Assistant that brings needed assistance in program development and advising. And finally, the report explains how our community footprint expands through the developing partnership with the Jefferson Awards Foundation, Students in Action program and the upcoming addition of an AmeriCorps VISTA position. So, in light of our ten year anniversary, which began in January, let’s get started with a reproduced article written by Dan Dickison and first published on The College Today ( website. Dan did a great job of capturing our beginning, present, and future concisely. Thanks for checking us out!

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


“Celebrating 10 Years Originally posted on The College Today


en years is a long time. For the Higdon Student Leadership Center, it’s a whole lifetime. That’s how long this College of Charleston office has been providing leadership opportunities and training for students nearly year-round. Located at 69 Coming Street behind the Addlestone Library Established in and Rivers Green, our iconic historic house cannot be missed January 2005, the leadership center has evolved from a one-person office with just two programs to a fiveperson operation (two of those are part-time) delivering programs that engage almost 1,000 students annually.

The center’s founding director, Michael Duncan, explains, “Our programs, including Leadership CofC and Dance Marathon, directly touch 500 to 700 students each year and close to 200 indirectly.” Roughly 130 students attend the office’s leadership conference each fall.

Duncan is careful to convey that the center defines leadership in a unique way. “In our view, it’s a concept that goes well beyond the positional model. A title doesn’t make a leader,” he says. “For us, it’s much more about the process of developing leadership skills. In part, that is due to former President Lee Higdon’s passion for leadership. His background, particularly his experience in the Peace Corps, informed that outlook, and I have always shared that view. In the broad sense, says Duncan, “our charge is to encourage students to look at different leadership styles and then develop opportunities for them to practice leadership.” 4


of Developing Leaders” January 20th, 2015


Written by Dan Dickison

He and his staff do that in part by collaborating with local businesses and organizations to bring in presenters and to offer their students leadership experiences in the field. Dylan Mazelis, a senior psychology major, knows the value of these efforts: “Leadership CofC gave me the opportunity to connect with inspiring local leaders,” he said. “We try to make leadership training and opportunities accessible to every student,” continued Duncan. “Many of our programs are competitive and selective and thus limit participation, but we also have those that are available to any student who is interested.” To mark its 10th anniversary, the center isn’t planning any special occasions. Instead, Duncan and his staff are firmly focused on the current agenda. “The challenge for us now,” he offers, Lee and Ann Higdon, our Center’s namesakes “is to balance our interest in expanding our work with keeping our signature programs fresh and relevant.” For the future, Duncan says that he has three specific goals: “No. 1, we want to increase our impact. My hope is that we can get some of the students that we don’t characteristically see. No. 2, we want to become more collaborative and deepen our partnerships. We’ve begun working with the Jefferson Awards Foundation to get more involved with high school kids. We had 50 of those students at our fall leadership conference last year, so it’s a good start. And No. 3, we’re also looking at our alumni and beginning to tap the potential there for mentorships. “When I think about 10 years in this work,” muses Duncan, “it’s impressive to see how quickly our programs have become part of the student experience here, and that was always the goal.” ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


Student Participation Outcomes HSLC Events In-House Programming Attendance


Fall Leadership Conference


Leadership CofC




SALA Awards


Omicron Delta Kappa


Leadership Certificate Program


Campus/Community Outreach Workshops and Presentations

Resident Assistants and RHDs


Jefferson Awards Foundation


Student Athlete Academic Services


IMPACT (Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life)


First Year Experience Classes


The Art Institute


Office of Sustainability Interns


Orientation Interns





1305 students! 6

Learning Outcomes Learn to empower self by discovering one’s strengths and areas of development and achievement of goals.


Cougar Excursion

Using a standard survey format for the participants of Cougar Excursion, Leadership CofC, and the LeaderShape Institute, we measured the programs’ impact on three learning outcomes. The chart below shows the percentage of participants who agree and strongly agree that these programs helped them to improve.

Leadership CofC


Cougar Excursion

Dance Marathon

90% 94% 98%

Understand the concept, development and application of leadership and how to 97% 94% 95% effectively integrate them into everyday situations. Building meaningful interpersonal relationships through communication, motivation, and teamwork.


98% 93% 93%

Leadership Certificate Program A fourth group of students completed the Leadership Certificate Program in April. With guidance from the Higdon Student Leadership Center staff, this program helps students successfully set and accomplish their goals, increase their skill development, as well as effectively articulate and apply their abilities to leadership areas in their lives.

CONGRATULATIONS! The following students were honored at this year’s SALA Awards Ceremony for completing the Leadership Certificate Program:

Alannah Aldstadt Kathryn Boyle

Some of the requirements of the program include: attendance at two Leadership Conferences as well as approved professional development workshops; holding a leadership position on campus, and completing a personal leadership reflection that is displayed at the SALA Awards event and then at the Center for the following year.

Rebecca Drewry Kathryn Kirchoff Dylan Mazelis

Student Perspective “The Higdon Student Leadership Center and the Leadership Certificate Program has presented me with boundless opportunities. The chance to learn and grow in my leadership skills and abilities has lead me to believe in myself as a leader. The many conferences, workshops, and events held through the HSLC all played a high role in me becoming the person I am today. Without the HSLC and the fantastic staff, I would not be the leader I am today. I cannot express my gratitude enough to the HSLC and the Leadership Certificate Program for playing such a high role in my college career. Go Cougars!” Rebecca Drewry, Class of 2015

Leadership Certificate Program participants Rebecca Drewry and Kathryn Kirchoff

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015



Cougar Excursion Cougar Excursion was held August 10-12 at Camp St. Christopher, located on Seabrook Island, SC. Participants had the opportunity to meet, interact, and bond with over 100 other driven first-year students. Through three days of leadership development, training, and good fun, they formed friendships

with 30 upper-class students who served as staff facilitators for the program. These student leaders were some of the most involved on our campus and serve in capacities all over the College of Charleston campus. Selected by an application and interview process, they committed this time solely to help teach the participating freshmen what they need to know in order to succeed at the College. Also several influential staff were at CE to get to know the

participants, with the hope of creating meaningful and lasting connections with the

The Maroon Group prepares to show their spirit to other

students. Lastly, the

participants during the banner cheer competition.

CE Executive Board selected Melissa Hortman, the Study Skills Coordinator in the Center for Student Learning as the featured

namesake for this year’s event. On day two of the program, Melissa spoke with the participants on the importance of developing a personal and reliable time management system as one of the most important tools for academic success.


Cougar Excursion Outcomes are glad they attended and would recommend

100% the program

feel better informed about involvement

99% opportunities at the College of Charleston feel better equipped to begin their college

96% career after attending the program

feel more confident about getting involved on

92% campus and/or taking on a leadership role


As one of the core components of the Leadership Center’s programming, this interactive experience is specifically designed so participants gain knowledge and develop a sense of community that is pertinent to a successful first year at the College. Based on model programs from colleges across the nation, this program has proven to foster the Melissa Hortman, the CE 2014 student experience, better a student’s chance namesake, speaks to participants. at finding a home here and ensure academic success and a higher GPA. Participants tend to be more satisfied overall with their college experience than those who have not attended such programs. Through the participation in Cougar Excursion, the students’ natural leadership talents begin to transform into skill sets that are pivotal to mastering their freshman year and beyond.

Student Perspectives “I’ve always been a bit shy but Cougar Excursion helped me find myself and I would love to step up as a leader in the future and help people like myself.”

“CE allowed me to make a lot of friends that I wouldn’t have made otherwise, and it also helped me grow more confident.” “I know I have a good group of friends to start the year.” “CE was a great experience and it helped me to learn a lot about myself and others.”

Participants during a Day 2 team-building exercise

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015



Leadership CofC Leadership CofC is a prestigious cohort of 60 juniors and seniors selected to learn about leadership through a commitment to monthly oncampus or off-campus programs. Most of the students are nominated for the program by CofC faculty and staff. Once nominated, students complete a rigorous application and interview process.

The cohort members expand their personal development through exposure to leadership topics presented by professionals from various areas of expertise. Expert hosts include leaders in technology, education, philanthropy, tourism, and medical, to name a few. The evening includes dinner and discussion, host group presentation and when time allows, a group Q & A session. Participants Ky Davis, Garrett Beinbrink, and Abi Rodriguez

Leadership CofC Outcomes 100%

94% 88%

88% Junior participant Charlie Essi delivers an insightful speech to his peers


enhanced their perspective on the concept of leadership were impacted in a positive way will be able to apply what they learned to other aspects of life gained self-confidence and networking skills


A few of our programs this year: Cindy Grosso with Charleston School of Protocol and Etiquette kicked off the year and set the foundation of professional etiquette used at all events. Thriving companies — like Blackbaud and SPARC — explained how their unique work environments are beneficial to employees. Community non-profits such as Metanoia shared their passions and experiences, showing the positive change that great leadership can create.

Participants enjoy a meal, listen to a few words of wisdom about leadership, and engage in thoughtful discussion

Professionals in the hospitality industry at the Charleston Visitor’s Center provided an inside-look into how to lead and manage initiatives in a booming city.

Student Perspectives “There haven’t been many times throughout my college career where I have had the opportunity to dress for a business event and network. It was also great to build further connections with my peers and learn more about what leaders in the Charleston community are doing.”

A group of the College’s Orientation Interns at a Leadership CofC event

“I gained a new perspective on leadership and was able to rethink my past leadership roles and experiences to apply what I learned.” “It was very informative and I learned valuable tips that I will continue to use throughout my professional career.” ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015




For our ninth year, 50 students participated in the LeaderShape Institute for the College of Charleston, held May 10-15, 2015 at Bonnie Doone, Walterboro, SC. Driven by a national based curriculum, the program content of the LeaderShape Institute reflects key leadership issues of vision, partnerships, integrity, and results. In addition, all participants leave with a “LeaderShape Breakthrough Blueprint", a well-conceived vision and plan of action for the participants to implement back in their organization or community. As well as being an opportunity to develop skills to improve their organizations, participants praise the LeaderShape Institute as a time of great introspection. The week is structured so that participants first gain a deeper understanding of themselves and then how to effectively work with others. The program includes a half-day outdoor team building experience; a Guest Leader Forum in which participants are exposed to role models in business, industry, education, and other professions; quality facilitators from a variety of backgrounds; and learning and sharing in small groups. This year, former College of Charleston President and HSLC namesake Lee Higdon delivered his worldly leadership insight to participants.

LeaderShape Outcomes Before


“I have tools/skills to empower myself and others.”



“I can define my values.”



“I know how to incorporate my values into my leadership style.”



“I know about the different leadership styles that exist.”




Were impacted in a positive way

LeaderShape participants and faculty outside of the Bonnie Doone mansion



Will be able to apply what they learned to other aspects of life


Can now commit to and act consistently with their core values



A Special Thank You Thank you to the members of our CofC family who dedicated their week to ensure this program was incredible this year. Our On-Site Coordinators: Easton Veremis, Undergraduate Student Patrick Hart, Graduate Assistant at HSLC Our Family Cluster Facilitators: Diane Cumbie, Associate Director of HSLC “Challenge by choice” becomes a theme during the week at LeaderShape, as participants are encouraged to expand their perspective by stepping out of their comfort zones.

Casey Domnick, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life Shannon Farrelly, Academic Advisor at AAPC Justin Lyons, McConnell Residence Hall Director Sam Tang, Assistant Director of Student Life

Student Perspectives “I’ve learned my visions are possible.” “I’ve gained the tools and focus to start empowering others.” “I have found so many friends that will hold me accountable for my leadership capability and encourage me to pursue my vision.” “I can now take abstract thoughts and values and apply them in a practical way.”

By the middle of the week, participants have been charged with outlining their vision for change in the world. The visions are then displayed and shared with everyone.

“I am so confident, open, positive, and wanting to lead! I believe my life is changed in such a positive way.” ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015



SALA Awards The 11th Annual Student Activism and Leadership Achievement Awards and Reception was held at the Sottile Theatre on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

SALA recognized and honored outstanding students and staff that contributed their time and energy to improve our campus and their communities. Through their leadership and accomplishments, they have brought distinction to the College of Charleston. In 2005, the inaugural SALA Awards was our first official program. Previously, there was no ceremony on campus that recognized the efforts of our student organizations’ Hall of Leaders recipients accept their awards on stage at Sottile Theatre leadership. Over the past few years, we have needed to seek larger venues for this event as we are continuously honoring more and more student leaders every year. We have also provided a venue for the Division of Student Affairs and Student Government Association to present their own awards to students. The event recognized seven first-year students with the New Student Leader Award, thirteen students with the Cistern Award and one recipient for the Advisor of the Year Award. Eighteen students from varying organizations were inducted into the Higdon Student Leadership Center’s Hall of Leaders.

New Student Leader Award and Hall of Leaders recipients Alexandra Schwartz, Kelly Venezia, and Anne Pedrick proudly show off their new awards


Additionally, five students completed the Leadership Certificate Program and had their capstone artifact on display during the ceremony and reception.


Cistern Award

Cistern Award recognizes senior students who have been motivated and engaged contributors to an organization.

Ezinne Agim Tessa Di Gennaro

Caroline Kenny

Sharnae Robinson

Katie Friedman

Cara Lauria

Danielle K. Stout

Haley M. Habenicht

Devon Meneeley

Kelly Venezia

Jordan Kelly

Anne Pedrick

Isabel Williams

New Student Leader Award Allison Camp

This award recognizes first-year students who contributed time and energy to learn about leadership and contribute to our community.

Alexandra Carroll

Jordan Carter

Hannah Manzi

Theodore Carrigan-Broda

Madeline Leibin

Alexandra Schwartz

Advisor of the Year Dr. Kate Pfile

Advisor of the Year recognizes a faculty or staff advisor who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to student development and leadership practice while fostering such growth in students.

Student Sports Medicine Association

Hall of Leaders

Hall of Leaders recognizes a member of particular student organizations that have specific governing responsibilities and who has made a continuous contribution to the campus.

Rebecca Hall

Mariah Peralta

Samaria Vereen

Alternative Spring Break

Cougar Activities Board

National Pan-Hellenic Council

Emma Denley

Andrew Perry

Victoria Thompson

Bonner Leader Program

Dance Marathon

Omicron Delta Kappa

Kristina Kunasek

Isabel Williams

Elizabeth Eumont

CisternYard Media

Gay-Straight Alliance

Panhellenic Executive Council

Gillian Spolarich

Christopher Garrett Smith

Cierra Anderson

CisternYard News

Honor Board

Residence Hall Association

Meredith Wohl

William Vesely

Ryan Spraker

CisternYard Radio

Interfraternity Council

Student Government Association

Kathryn Kajfez

Dylan Hopper

Julia Duda

CisternYard Video

Miscellany Literary and Art Journal

Volunteer Corps

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015



Fall Leadership

Held annually since 2007, the Fall Leadership Conference provides students an opportunity to learn valuable lessons from discussions with professionals on campus and from the community. On Saturday, October 18th, at College of Charleston’s Stern Student Center, 115 College of Charleston students and 75 high school students attended the eighth annual Fall Leadership Conference. There were two rotations of educational sessions available to attendees, which was followed by the keynote speaker, Lance Smith.

Conference Presentations Making Meaningful Connections with LinkedIn Tina Arnoldi Digital Marketing Speaker and Licensed Counselor

“Tribal Leadership” and “The Butterfly Circus” Ray Snyder Business Professor at Trident Technical College

Be the Creator of Your Success — Not a Victim of Your Circumstances

Smith, owner of Claysmile, LLC, an educational consulting company and publisher of Ladder magazine, a motivational magazine, spoke about “The Power of Positivity”.

Keisha Rivers Shorty

FLC Outcomes

Professional Development Strategist

Bargaining with the Devil: When to Fight, Negotiate, or Lump It Dr. John Crotts


Hospitality and Tourism Management Professor at CofC

Create Your Career from an Idea: Why Entrepreneurship may by the Career Option You’re Looking For Jason Torres Speaker and Entrepreneur

Leadership from a Distance: Excelling in the Digital World Trent Salvaggio Management and Marketing Professor at CofC


Lance Smith, keynote speaker

will be able to apply what they learned to other aspects of their life

agreed their overall experience was

95% impacted in a positive way 90%

agreed program helped them become a better member of the campus community gained perspective on the concept

88% of leadership


Conference Jefferson Awards Foundation

High School Presentations

This event marked the beginning of the partnership between the College and the Jefferson Awards Foundation, an organization that aims to empower today’s youth by encouraging impactful service and providing opportunities to engage intellectually.

Working as a Team Caroline Kenny and Charlie Essi

“True Colors” Leadership Style Victoria Thompson

Critical Thinking and Decision Making Dylan Mazelis

This year, we invited about 75 high school students in the Jefferson Awards program to join our event. They participated in discussions hosted by current College of Charleston students involved in HSLC, and then joined the rest of the group for the keynote speaker. Please see our spread at the conclusion of the Report for more information about the future of our partnership with the Jefferson Awards Foundation.

Create an Impact — Goal Setting Easton Veremis

Marketing Yourself and Ideas Brett Powell

Assessing Community Needs Joey Baldwin and Matt Holden

Conference participants with keynote speaker Lance Smith

Student Perspectives "Great leadership begins with yourself."

“Definitely changed my life.” “Great conference. As a first timer I will definitely attempt to return next year. Thank you for putting this together!” “This was the most engaging, informative and fun presentation I’ve seen at the College!”

Enthusiastic participants high-five each other as Lance Smith energizes the crowd.

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


Dance Marathon College of Charleston held its first Dance Marathon on February 9th, 2007 with 100 participants raising $21,000. Since then, it remains the single largest student-run Over $55,000 was raised this year for Dance Marathon! philanthropic event at the College, with over 2,700 students having participated and with over $450,000 raised for DM Total Fundraising the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital. 2007 $21,000 st On February 21 , 2015, over 360 2008 $43,000 participants raised more than $55,000 2009 $71,000 to support the cause. Not only was our ninth event one of the most lucrative 2010 $75,000 fundraisers for the event, but it also 2011 $62,000 saw more in-event fundraising than 2012 $36,000 ever before. This undoubtedly sets a precedent that will benefit the resilient patients at the local branch of the Children’s 2013 $42,000 Miracle Network. The executive board members hosted several 2014 $53,000 percent nights across the tri-county area, while selflessly promoting a worthy cause. Despite constant setbacks and 2015 $55,000 hurdles placed in their way, these dedicated students pushed Over $450,000 total! onward to better the lives of others in their community. The seamless event seemed effortless to the participants; one of the patient’s mothers even noted it was the best Dance Marathon she ever attended.

Student Perspective “After experiencing the unexplainable sense of belonging, accomplishment, and joy of being a part of Dance Marathon in high school, I knew I had to get involved in college. Little did I know that I would spend my 4 years in college with passionate, dedicated, and life-changing students who want to make a difference in the lives of families and patients at MUSC Children's Hospital. Dance Marathon has showed me that college students CAN make a difference and have a blast while doing it! I'm so honored to be a part of this organization and now serve as the Executive Director to make more miracles happen in the lives of these kids!” Paige Bippus, Class of 2016 18


Paige Bippus, 2016 Executive Director

Omicron Delta Kappa Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) is a national collegiate honor society that recognizes and encourages achievement in leadership and service in extracurricular activities. ODK initiated over 1,000 students, faculty, and staff at the College of Charleston between 1975 and 2001, when it became inactive. In 2011, the staff of the Higdon Student Leadership Center, along with several student leaders, began to bring the chapter back to campus and house it in the Leadership Center. Since the fall of 2011, ODK has initiated 92 new members, including 13 new members during Fall 2013. ODK has gained 34 students this year between its fall and spring initiation rituals. The honors fraternity continues to grow in size and presence on campus. Though 13 members graduated in May, including three of the four executive members, the new executive board is focusing forward and looking for more involvement both on campus and in the greater Charleston area.

ODK Fall 2014 Initiation in Towell Library

Student Perspective This year we elevated ODK's commitment to leadership on the College's campus by increasing the amount of executive board meetings to plan member development and outreach initiatives. To accomplish this goal we also added a treasurer position to our executive board. The treasurer position was elected president for the coming year which will make for smooth execution of initiatives the previous board outlined for the future of our Circle. Jack Wagstaff, Class of 2015

Jack Wagstaff, ODK

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


Student Spotlights Andrew Perry Andrew Perry (Class of ’15) was drawn to the community outreach effort of Dance Marathon, so he assumed the role of Sponsorship Chair. His ambition was admirable, but it was his grace and affability that made his name and face known across town. “We work with local businesses that come from our own community, student leaders on campus, administration, [and patients’] families. It really makes a huge difference when so many people can come together to become a united family and surround the children and families that are in need of our help.” Thanks to Andrew’s relentlessness, over 20 local businesses donated nearly $2,000 worth of merchandise; his drive helped Dance Marathon accrue more in-event fundraising than ever before. For Andrew, however, the event was more than just about monetary donations. “The biggest highlight of the night came from one of the family members, who said that it was the best Dance Marathon that she had ever been to. I got a chance to introduce myself to her sometime thereafter and, with tears in her eyes, she said ‘Thank you for all that you do.’ That is something that will stay with me forever.”

Dylan Mazelis Dylan Mazelis (Class of ’15) first got involved with leadership through the College’s LeaderShape program in 2012. “It was incredibly life-changing, and it was easily the best week of my life. That is, it was the best week until I went back as the on-site coordinator for LeaderShape 2014!” When he walks into a room, it is impossible to miss his effervescent smile; but even more impressive, is his résumé. Mazelis, originally from Washington, N.J., has been involved with nearly every initiative the Higdon Student Leadership Center offers — LeaderShape, Leadership CofC, the Leadership Certificate Program, the Fall Leadership Conference, Dance Marathon, Omicron Delta Kappa, and he has been recognized at the annual SALA awards, as well. These programs taught Mazelis that leadership is not a title, but rather a way to become an influencer, a connector, a facilitator, and a resource. Furthermore, these lessons illuminated a path that changed Mazelis’ life. “After many enlightening interactions with my fellow faculty and the student participants, it became very evident that this was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life— a career in Higher Education and Student Affairs was meant for me.”



About the Center Meet Our Staff Michael Duncan Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs; Director of the Higdon Student Leadership Center

Brenda Evitt

Dylan Mazelis

Administrative Coordinator

Student Assistant

Welcome Aboard! Diane began at the College in November 2014. Prior to this, she served as the Assistant Director for Programming in the Office of Student Activities at Western Illinois University (WIU), Macomb, Illinois. Diane earned both her Bachelor’s degree in Communication (Interpersonal and Organizational) and Master’s degree in College Student Personnel from WIU. In our Center, she oversees Leadership CofC, Cougar Excursion, Fall Leadership Conference, SALA Awards, presentations and workshops. Patrick began in this position in January 2015. He plans to graduate with a Master’s of Arts in Elementary Education in the Fall of 2016. Patrick obtained his Bachelors of Arts in Communication (Media Studies) and a minor in Spanish from the College of Charleston in 2010. After graduation, he plans to teach high-risk students in low-income areas. In our Center, Patrick works actively with Dance Marathon, Omicron Delta Kappa, and coordinates the LeaderShape Institute.

Diane Cumbie Associate Director

Patrick Hart Graduate Assistant

Our Facilities We don’t want to brag too much, but we really do have a great facility. Located at 69 Coming Street, we are close to all the great spots on campus. Our building is beautiful, and it can be difficult for some to walk by without poking their head in. Our front piazza boasts lots of room. Students, faculty, and staff alike are more than welcome to come by and enjoy a peaceful break out there. We also have a great conference room that has been used by members across the College community, including the Board of Trustees Facilities Committee, Board of Trustees Governmental Affairs and External Relations Committee, Sigma Nu, First Year Experience courses, Counseling and Substance Abuse Services, Center for Civic Engagement, and Alumni Relations. Please do not hesitate to contact us if our space can serve your needs!

ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


A Great History, So Far... We say “leadership is a process, not a position” around the Higdon Student Leadership Center a lot, and we are no exception to that mantra. After a very successful first ten years of serving the College, we have grown to a position where we play a significant role in the student experience, impacting the campus in a productive and positive manner every day. However, this is still all part of that process.


FALL 2004 FALL 2005 FEB. 2007

Dance Marathon hosts inaugural event

MAY 2007

First year of LeaderShape, one of our most highlyevaluated programs

AUG. 2009

Leadership Certificate Program established

JAN. 2015

First Fall Leadership Conference

Launch of initial programs Leadership CofC and Leadership Seminar

Launch of sophomore leadership development program, LeadMORE

FALL 2014

Center renamed in honor of Ann and Lee Higdon

69 Coming Street selected as the Center’s location, right next to the soon-opening Addlestone Library

Jefferson Awards Foundation partnership

AUG. 2015

FALL 2004 SPRING 2005 AUG. 2006

Cougar Excursion program added for first-year students

OCT. 2007

First SALA Awards kicks off to recognize student leaders

FALL 2011

Michael Duncan brought on board as first Director of Student Leadership Center

MAR. 2007

A Decade of Highlights

AmeriCorps VISTA position begins

10th Year Outcomes 100% agreed their overall experience impacted them in a positive way

95% will be able to apply what they learned to other aspects of life 200% increase in participation in the Leadership CofC program since 2005 290% increase in Cougar Excursion attendance since 2006 Over $450,000 has been raised by Dance Marathon since 2007


...And a Truly Boundless Future Reflecting upon how far we have come since we launched our very first programs, we wanted to share a few of our biggest highlights. Our growth and achievements are certainly to be celebrated, but we must continue to look forward.

Beyond our Bricks 

New partnership with Jefferson Awards Foundation marks a new focus for the Center

Team grows to include AmeriCorps VISTA to oversee partnership; a few goals: 

Consistency and longevity of relationships with area schools in need

Establishment of possible mentorships between high school students and our student leaders

Creation of leadership training programs for high school students that is guided by our student leaders

Targeting Success 

Reaching out to alumni to understand more about how their experiences with the Leadership Center have been most beneficial in the long run

Adapting program evaluations to more accurately measure goals and learning objectives

Filling in the Gaps 

Additional leadership programming for second-year students

Leadership development training targeted toward multiculturalism and inclusivity

Intentional facilitation of conversations to frame the educational experience within particular programs like our Fall Leadership Conference or a possible new Multicultural Leadership Summit

Raising the Bar 

Even more collaboration on campus along with a greater footprint in the community through more outreach efforts and mentorships

More sessions of some of our greatest programs, Cougar Excursion or Leadership CofC as examples

These are just some of the potential and incredible ideas coming up, which if enacted, would give us even more reasons to celebrate our next ten years. ANNUAL REPORT | 2014—2015


Thanks for checking us out! 69 Coming Street Charleston, SC 29401 843.953.6356

Higdon Student Leadership Center



Higdon Student Leadership Center Annual Report 2014-15