Volume 2 April 25th, 2014
CONTENTS 03 Introduction
04 Explore. Dream. Discover.
08 Women in Leadership
14 Undergraduate Survival: The Impact of Campus Involvement
18 My Leadership Transformation
*Research findings presented in this journal are associated with particular studies and are not generalizable to a larger population. 2 2
“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” - Marianne Williamson Engaging in leadership can produce incredible and transformative experiences – experiences that have the power to impact individuals, groups, communities, and society. In many ways, the transformative nature of leadership mirrors the transformative nature of college; both experiences have the ability to reveal new insights about ones’ values, strengths, challenges, and vision for the future. It is appropriate, therefore, that we dedicate our second volume of the National Collegiate Leadership Journal to a series of articles that explore the transformative nature of college and leadership. In this edition of the journal we will hear how the opportunity to study abroad can bring about substantial growth in leadership skills and the capacity to think more globally. We will explore how the growth in female leadership is transforming how we view and respond to gendered messages in leadership. We will learn how campus involvement can have a profound effect on a student’s connection to their peers and campus. Finally, we will see how one author’s experience volunteering transformed her confidence, knowledge, and vision of her own career path. We hope as you read through our second volume of the National Collegiate Leadership Journal that you are able to reflect on the experiences you have had that have transformed you into the person and leader you are today. We encourage you to consider how your personal transformation has the potential to make positive change not only in your own life, but also in the lives of others and your communities.
Jessica Crombie Director National Collegiate Leadership Association
Courtney Fields The University of Arizona
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover” (Brown, 1990). This inspirational quote suggests that individuals should challenge themselves to do things that they never imagined possible. Studying abroad is a dream for most students who wish to explore new places they have never been, but most importantly studying abroad is also an opportunity for them to discover themselves. The study abroad experience impacts students in many different ways, which can vary based on their individual experiences. Students are
in a new place, constantly traveling, learning about a new culture, and creating new friendships with those studying with them. Being in a new society can have a large impact on people because they have to adjust and abandon their original comfort zones. 95-98% of students who study abroad experience an increase in personal self-confidence (Dwyer & Peters, 2004). Ultimately, studying abroad can change one’s perspective on a variety of aspects concerning his or her everyday life. Self-confidence is just one leadership skill that can be enhanced from studying abroad. Assimilation theory is easily understood as adaptation. Because of the vast differences that are often present in countries in which students study
abroad, students will adapt to certain customs when abroad including culture, language, and societal norms. When using assimilation theory with studying abroad, the participant will take new experiences and incorporate them into existing ideas (Gordon, 1961). Study abroad participants tend to modify their experiences and relate them to preexisting beliefs. The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore the impact of studying abroad on leadership skill development of undergraduate students. Leadership skills are defined by analyzing a period of growth and development during the studentâ€™s time abroad. The two leadership skills used for this study include global perspective (understanding world issues) and social change (understanding critical issues that need social adjustment). This study was conducted to provide information to universities to demonstrate that study abroad is valuable for the development of leadership skills. Literature Review One reason universities promote study abroad programs is because of the positive impact that the programs have on students who participate. Students find studying abroad to be a developmentally powerful experience (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). The effect of this powerful experience on students includes an increase in reflective thought, self-reliance, self-confidence and personal well-being (Kuh & Kaufman, 1984). Studying abroad can also give students a new global perspective due to the hands-on experience of culture when living abroad (McCabe, 1994). In addition, several studies were conducted in the 1980s to determine whether or not oral language proficiency increased after studying abroad, and it was determined that language proficiency did in fact improve (Freed, 1998). Interest in studying abroad among undergraduate college students has increased since the 1960s (Dwyer & Peters, 2004). Many students make the decision to study abroad in order to become fluent in a foreign language. However,
students can make a variety of goals before studying abroad. Some examples of these goals include: connecting with family heritage, engaging with locals, understanding the business environment, and gaining open mindedness (CAPA International Education, 2012). The International Education of Students (IES) surveyed over 3,000 participants and found that studying abroad is a defining moment in a studentâ€™s life and continues to impact his or her life years beyond when he or she encountered this experience (IES, 2004). However, how long do these skills remain intact after the student returns to his or her native country? Several students have expressed that the skills they learned while abroad helped prepare them for their future career, and they are still using these skills 25 years later (IES, 2004). Several studies have also been conducted on the effect of studying abroad on students once they return to their country of origin (Pitts, 2009). Some American students have expressed interest in living abroad after foreign study, but it varies based upon where they studied (Pitts, 2009). Also, most students are thankful to be an American (Pitts, 2009). There is a retransition experience once students return home, based upon the duration and the site of their study experience (Dolby, 2007). After students return to their country of origin, they become more aware of their own national identity as well as the impression that other nationalities have of them (Dolby, 2007). Students become culturally immersed with new experiences, and then become accustomed to a very different atmosphere from the one to which they return (Pitts, 2009). Up to this point, much has been studied about the effect on personal growth from study abroad, but this study seeks to explain the effects that study abroad may have on oneâ€™s leadership development. Methodology The purpose of this study is to determine if a
relationship between studying abroad and leadership skill development exists. This study was conducted with students who have studied abroad during their time as a student at The University of Arizona between 2009 and 2013. Qualitative research was conducted in an effort to better understand human behavior and understand if studying abroad contributes to leadership skill development. The population of the study included students at The University of Arizona who have studied abroad during their four years at the institution between 2009 and 2013. This resulted in a final 31 participants serving as the sample of this study. Twentyfive of these students identified themselves as being Caucasian, three as Hispanic/Latino, two as Middle Eastern, and one as Asian. A survey was used to obtain information for this study. The survey was created through OrgSync, an online platform used at The University of Arizona, and included 25 questions. Participants were recruited through Greek Life and study abroad alumni listservs. An email was sent to all Greek Presidents asking them to have members participate in this study. This information was obtained through the Greek member directory. Certain students who participated in specific programs became recruiters of study participants as well. Finally, an email was sent to 101 students from the Global Links study abroad program who were from The University of Arizona and had participated in their study abroad programs since 2009. The data was collected through the OrgSync platform and was recorded in an Excel spreadsheet. The data was analyzed through coding and determining average percentages for a variety of results. These results are deemed consistent because,
when coding, similar responses were found on several different answers. During coding, the following four categories were used: organization, change, group, and communication. Students were asked to describe two leadership skills they gained during study abroad. Although a variety of skills were given, each skill was able to fit in the four categories. Students were also asked if they experienced a “change” while studying abroad. These responses were coded under the categories: experience, confidence, development, and passion. Participants were asked if they studied in an Englishspeaking country in order to determine if the personal growth of learning a new language was developed for those students who chose to study in a non-English-speaking country. Lastly, the two different leadership skills, global perspective and social change, were analyzed. Students were asked to answer “yes or no” questions to determine if they developed each skill. The results were coded according to the response. Because participants were asked questions only applicable to their own study abroad experience, there was no room for bias in the answering of questions. Students were asked to give truthful and honest responses throughout this survey and were given the option to leave the survey at any time. There were several open-ended questions in the survey in order to find various outlets to code the data. These answers can be determined valid because participants knew their identity was anonymous. In addition, calculations were analyzed due to computer-collected data and Excel. These formulas are proven to provide accuracy in the results.
There were four different limitations for this study. The first was time because only four weeks were given for students to complete this survey. Because the survey was administered during midterms, some students may have had too many competing priorities to fill out the survey. In addition, the Study Abroad and Student Exchange office at The University of Arizona was not able to send the survey out to potential survey participants. This resulted in a smaller sample size than was expected. The third limitation was the failure to ask participants to indicate the duration of each study abroad experience. The amount of time that one spent abroad may have an impact on his or her experience. The fourth limitation was in demographics. Although not asked in the survey, one could make the assumption that most of the students who answered this survey were in Greek Life because much of the outreach for participants was through Greek listservs and Greek student referrals. This may have created a bias of sampling from a fairly homogeneous population. Results It was determined that there was a relationship between leadership skill development and studying abroad. 87% of students indicated that they believed that they developed their leadership skills as a result of studying abroad. Two specific leadership skills were the focus of this study: global perspectives and social change. 43% of students indicated believing that after studying abroad, they have a greater understanding of global perspectives and a greater understanding of the world and other countries. Social change can be experienced through community service initiatives, and 54% of students engaged in community service during their study abroad experience and feel that their participation impacted their life post study abroad. In addition, 97% of students said that studying abroad improved
abroad experience and feel that their participation impacted their life post study abroad. In addition, 97% of students said that studying abroad improved their college experience and helped prepare them for future employment. Students pushed themselves to reach new challenges while abroad by doing activities that they never would have done in the United States. It has previously been assumed that studying abroad impacts students but has rarely been viewed through the lens of leadership (Pitts, 2009). Throughout this study, two different leadership skills were the main focus, yet there are several other leadership skills that might be developed during the study abroad experience. Thus, future research may involve exploring the development of a range of other leadership skills as a result of participating in study abroad. The findings from this study can demonstrate to college administrators that studying abroad has a far-reaching impact on a studentâ€™s development and is a valuable collegiate experience beyond what the current literature indicates. Through these findings, students indicated that they experienced leadership skill development from their study abroad experience. Leadership skills are crucial for students to be successful in their future careers (Dwyer & Peters, 2004). Studying abroad allows students to have an experience of being in the â€œreal worldâ€? for a period of time, and 87% of students expressed that their leadership skills did develop as a result of studying abroad. In conclusion, there are leadership development benefits of studying abroad, and studying abroad provides another avenue for students to develop their leadership abilities. Courtney Fields is a student at the University of Arizona.
ShannenMarie Devine The University of Arizona
During World War II, Rosie the Riveter was the ideal image of an attractive, hardworking, and patriotic middle class woman used by the United States Government to glamorize factory work and attract women into the workforce. Rosie represented the ideal woman of the time, strong in crisis while simultaneously retaining a distinctly feminine charm. Over time, Rosie’s “We Can Do It” tagline morphed into a symbol of the feminist movement and is still recognized as a call to action for many women today (Rosie the Riveter, 2013). Now, several decades later, women continue to make up a large portion of the general workforce. Yet when one looks at the number of women in top leadership positions, that percentage drops dramatically. In 2011, women made up a 8 8
minuscule 3.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs. Furthermore, women in 2010 earned an average salary 19% less than their equivalent male counterparts (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). This discrepancy between women in the general labor force and women in leadership roles has spanned several decades and inspired
numerous comprehensive studies in an attempt to explain the phenomenon. One such study by Eagly and Karau (2002) involves role-congruity theory, which proposes that there is an incongruent relationship between leadership and female-gender roles. The presumption is that leaders are generally associated with masculine behaviors such as being assertive in discussions and being goal orientated. In contrast, the female gender is associated with gentler behaviors such as being supportive and soft-spoken. The study claims that this incongruence leads to two possible prejudices: â€œ(a) perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and (b) evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a womanâ€? (Eagly & Karau, 2002). While the study on role-congruity theory has produced ample evidence of gender prejudice, research on how women respond and adapt their behaviors to counteract the prejudice enacted by their peers is scarce. The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover and explore specific behaviors used by women to dispel prejudice regarding their leadership capabilities resulting from gender role congruency.
Literature Review An Overview of Gender Bias in Leadership The definition of a quality leader is constantly changing to include various leadership styles and people. Despite this evolution, a negative bias exists towards females and stereotypical feminine behaviors when evaluating the effectiveness of leaders (Eagly, 2007). While there is evidence of equality between men and women in leadership ability and competence, women are more likely to be burdened with socially constructed stereotypes that undermine their credibility (Valentine & Godkin, 2000). The gender bias against females is supported in Crystal Hoytâ€™s analysis of gender role and hireability. Her results found that when job applicants were described as primary caretakers for their children, a stereotypical female-gender role, employers were significantly more likely to choose male applicants over female applicants, demonstrating a bias against females ascribing to typical feminine behaviors that males do not experience (Hoyt, 2012). Unfortunately this gender bias does not disappear when women do manage to obtain leadership roles. In another study, researchers found that female managers who displayed feminine behaviors were seen as less effective than male managers who displayed conventionally masculine behaviors. In addition, male managers who displayed a mixture of feminine and masculine behaviors were consistently rated more favorably than female leaders who did the same (Kark, Waismel-Manor, & Shamir, 2012).
These results are indicative of an unfavorable bias towards female leaders that employ gender associated behaviors on any spectrum, whereas male leaders are allotted a greater range of freedom. To further complicate these findings, evidence shows
that female leaders are viewed unfavorably when â€œusing masculine [behaviors] such as directive and autocratic [leadership] stylesâ€? (Valentine & Godkin, 2000). Backlash for women demonstrating masculine-based behaviors is also evidenced in the evaluation of agentic leaders. Such agentic leaders are described as aggressive, brutally honest, and critical in their feedback of others in order to maintain high standards for their subordinates. Women who exemplified these agentic behaviors were often rated less favorably than men in both likability and hireability (Rudman, Moss-Racusin, Phelan, & Nauts, 2012). Because studies show that individuals generally prefer women to be relationship oriented, kind, and supportive, failure to adhere to the gender role causes a backlash for female leaders (Eagly, 2007). The conclusion drawn from all of these studies is that female leaders are subjected to a higher level of scrutiny than male peers when evaluating ability and effectiveness. Expectations for the female gender role are contradictory to the leadership role, which leaves women in the awkward position of trying to accommodate both ideologies. As a result, female leaders are either perceived as too feminine or too masculine in their behaviors.
Furthermore, any effort to balance feminine and masculine leadership behaviors does not eliminate gender-based discrimination for female leaders. In fact, when female leaders do display an even mixture of masculine and feminine behaviors, they are still rated less favorably than their male counterparts who display the same mixture (Kark, Waismel-Manor, & Shamir, 2012). Additional evidence for gender bias comes from a poll conducted from 1975-2006, which indicates that individuals statistically prefer male bosses to female bosses. What is interesting about this poll specifically is that there is no description of either boss other than gender; yet men are still favored 20% more than women in 2006, down from a 50% difference in 1975 (Eagly, 2007). While women have gained acceptance in the general workforce, their consistently low ratings in likability and effectiveness in leadership positions suggests that a gender-based bias still exists within the workplace. In order to battle this inherent prejudice against their biological sex, female leaders must attempt to find a balance between masculine and feminine behaviors. The purpose of this qualitative study is to discover and explore the specific behaviors used by female students at The University of Arizona to counteract
gender-based biases regarding their leadership capabilities. Methodology Participants and Procedure The purpose of this study is to discover and explore specific behaviors used by females at The University of Arizona to dispel prejudice regarding their leadership capabilities resulting from gender role congruency. Participants included 33 female undergraduate students at The University of
Arizona who were contacted through the university email listserv (electronic list of student university emails). The participants were not obligated in any way to participate in the study, and they received no compensation for their voluntary efforts. All participants received an electronic link to the survey hosted by SurveyMonkey.com, a free third-party survey-generating website. None of the participants were asked for identifying information of any kind. The survey was open and accessible for participants for a total of 22 days. Controls included identical survey questions and answers, including the order in which the questions were presented. Additionally, only students who identify as female were solicited to participate in the study, and participants were asked to confirm this as part of their agreement to participate in the study.
Construction of the Survey All survey favorite position?” questions and answers were distributed and collected from participants electronically and were automatically -Lauren Conrad, TV personality, book author, fashion designer, and recorded. The entrepreneur, when asked an survey consisted of inappropriate question during an both qualitative and interview. quantitative questions. Excluding two questions that related to participant consent and contact information for questions, the study contained five quantitative questions and three open-response qualitative questions. Two of the quantitative questions were forced-choice multiple choice and the other three quantitative questions contained a matrix of choices in which participants were asked to rank their agreement based on a provided statement. Quantitative questions were automatically tallied and recorded into a spreadsheet by SurveyMonkey.com, and analysis of these questions was conducted primarily on the frequency of responses. Qualitative questions were coded based on the appearance of similar words, phrases, and sentiments expressed in individual responses. The primary codes used to analyze the results are as follows: values male audience, values female
In addition to a distinct awareness of gender’s influence on leadership success, 35% of participants indicated that they did consciously think about and adapt their behaviors to be taken more seriously in a leadership role. Common answers from participants included comments about dressing more “conservatively” and being seen as “more approachable if you look like everyone else.” In Accuracy and Limitations contrast, one participant explicitly stated dressing to A major limitation of the study is its please her male peers saying, “I sometimes try to anonymous nature. Because all of the surveys were make sure I look my absolute best because I know distributed and responses were collected males will be more attracted to that.” While electronically, there is no way to confirm that personality behaviors such as being “more assertive” participants did not forward the survey to a male and “not goofing off” were mentioned several times peer or simply lie about their gender identification if they received the survey in error. With this limitation by participants, the recurring references of the relationship between coworkers’ opinions on a “cute acknowledged, there is no compensation for outfit” and “likability” as a leader is indicative that participating in the study and therefore also no foreseeable benefit for a male to lie about his gender at least a portion of survey participants consider their clothing choices and physical appearance to be an identification and complete the survey. A further important factor in their success as determined by limitation of this study is the small number of female peers. Furthermore, when participants were participants whose answers may not be wholly asked to rate how strongly they embody a variety of reflective of all females at The University of traditionally masculine descriptors such as being Arizona. Accuracy of the findings is ensured assertive and critical versus feminine labeled primarily through the automatic recording of descriptors such as compassionate and respective, quantitative answers and the relatively small the participants indicated that they valued both sets collection of quantitative answers that needed to be of descriptors equally. Data showed that although transferred into qualitative findings. The small participants indicated a slightly higher embrace of sample provides limited information, which is less likely to become overwhelmingly complicated when masculine descriptors over feminine ones, 92% versus 85%, a being tallied and Figure 1A: Please indicate which of the following statements is the t-test revealed recorded by the that this was most true. “My gender has had a __________________ influence on primary not a my success as a leader. investigator. significant enough Results difference to This study warrant any found that while 15% further 45% of investigation participants Positive (Figure 2A). perceived their 5% Influence Thus it can be gender to have 45% concluded that had a generally Situational these positive influence Influence participants do on their not necessarily successfulness as Negative see embracing a leader, only Influence feminine 15% saw their 35% qualities as a gender as No Influence threat to their irrelevant to their position as a success (Figure leader. 1A). audience, values physical appearance/conservative, values physical appearance/provocative, values conforming behavior, and values non-conforming behavior. These codes were then tallied and recorded into a spreadsheet for quantitative analysis of the group.
a discrepancy in the value they place upon male versus female peers. While participants acknowledged the leadership abilities, participants instead revealed a discrepancy in the 90% value they place upon male versus Embrace 80% female peers. While participants Masculine acknowledged the weight of male 70% opinions on their leadership success, Embrace 60% they seemed primarily concerned Feminine with adhering to the expectations 50% regarding the cuteness of an outfit 40% Avoid and fitting in with their female peers Masculine than with standing out as a competent 30% leader. While this finding may be 20% Avoid unique to this particular group of Feminine participants, it can be speculated that 10% this lack of interest in leadership 0% behaviors, aside from appealing to Descriptor men on a physical level, is supportive of a cultural norm in which women are not viewed as natural leaders While the findings indicated that women may (Eagly & Karau, 2002). Future research should only be aware of prejudice against them as leaders attempt to explore the validity as well as the longwhen it comes to their physical appearance, what is term effects this has on female success in the particularly interesting about the findings is how workplace. What we can conclude from this study is often the perspective of male peers was mentioned that women at The University of Arizona are acutely over female peers. In one question, 80% of aware of the opinions of their peers and the participants indicated that they valued being discrepancy between pleasing their male versus accepted by their female peers whereas only 48% female peers. valued acceptance by their male peers (Figure 3A). ShannenMarie Devine is a student at the University Despite these indications, the opinions of a of Arizona. male audience was explicitly acknowledged in qualitative answers 12% more often Figure 3A: In a leadership role I would like (a) my male peers than female peers, indicating that to think of me as “one of the guys” (b) my female peers to while young women value being think of me as “one of the girls” accepted by their female peers, the opinions of male peers hold 14 significantly more weight when 12 discussing leadership roles. Several participants reflected this by saying 10 things such as “all the boys think I’m acceptance by dumb and cannot do all the things they 8 male peers are able to do” while another said 6 “they [males] see females as inferior acceptance by at times.” female peers 4 While this study was originally 2 designed to examine the behaviors women undertake to dispel 0 misconceptions about their leadership strongly slightly neutral slightly strongly abilities, participants instead revealed agree agree disagree disagree 13 Figure 2A: Please indicate to what extent the following statement is true. When in a leadership role, I try to_______ behavior more than normal. 100%
Gary Lowery The University of Arizona
A young woman stepped into her first year of college in a new city with her eye focused on her grades, but by the end of the academic year she realized that she had not made many friends or felt connected to the institution. As a result, she decided to transfer to a college closer to home, the one college where she would know many faces from high school. The relationship between each student and the university is important, as it relates to Person-Organization (P-O) Fit, a concept in which a person and organization should share the same vision and values (Daly, 2010). If they do not share the same vision and values, then the person may search for an organization (in this case, an institution) that is a better fit. Involvement opportunities with organizations offer students something that bonds them to the
university (Gardner & Barnes, 2007) which can result in higher P-O fit. Campus involvement at the undergraduate level has also been associated with producing higher retention rates, higher college satisfaction, better academic performance, greater academic success, and higher development of career abilities in addition to more cognitive growth (Gardner & Barnes, 2007).
This study will address the question: What is the impact of involvement in organizations on students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Arizona?
Literature Review Undergraduate persistence and satisfaction, including expansion in social competence, confidence, autonomy, and self-awareness, are linked to those students who enrich their lives by participating in extracurricular activities and conversing with peers and faculty members (Kuh, 1995). Interactions with peers and faculty as well as activities that occur out-of-the classroom assist in advancing the character and ability of the student (Astin, 1999). Peers are
considered to be instrumental to the
development of social skills through interaction in a productive and positive manner (Kuh, 1995). Peers also help to develop a personâ€™s humanitarianism or, rather, kindness and sympathy by having the opportunity to comprehend the lifestyle and background of those that are around them (Kuh, 1995). Positive interactions with faculty only accounted for 5% of students gaining in cognitive complexity (Kuh, 1995), thus peers are far more influential.
Methodology The purpose of this study is to discover if and to what extent students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences are impacted by being involved in student organizations. In this study, undergraduate students at the University of Arizona, within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, were asked to participate in an online survey. Twenty-seven undergraduate students participated. The survey was available for a week during the Spring 2013 academic semester. The survey was anonymous, and participants were not given any compensation for filling out the survey; the only cost to them was time. The majors in the College of Social and Behavioral Science include: Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Gender & Women Studies, Geography, Government, History, Journalism, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Mexican American Studies, Middle Eastern &
North African Studies, Philosophy, and Sociology. Students in these majors have the commonality of studying individuals and groups. Many of the courses that these students take are on topics such as language, gender, politics, land, communication, and cultures. At different institutions, each of these majors might be found under different colleges, departments, or programs. The survey was sent to the students via instructors of Linguistics 303 and 320. Both courses
are cross-listed with at least two departments within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, such as Communications and Anthropology. The survey was also promoted via direct communication with students who are employees of a store in the Arizona Student Unions due to ease of access of this population. The survey incorporated quantitative and qualitative questions. The quantitative questions were related to major, minor, gender, race, class standing, and organizational involvement. For the question for “type of club,” a “select all” format style was provided in which the survey participants had eight categories possible to describe their organizations. These eight categories included: Leadership, Academic, Greek Life, Honorary, Cultural, Religious, Service, Professional, Social Club/Organization, and Other (includes work and internships). The survey included qualitative questions such as, “Why did you become involved in clubs and organizations?” and “How has your involvement impacted your undergraduate career?” The majority of the qualitative questions were aimed to determine the impact of involvement on students who participated in campus organizations. All the students that selected the “other” category were asked to identify if the other was work, internship, etc. Twenty-seven surveys were collected. All of the students surveyed were from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, primarily Linguistics, Mexican American Studies, Geography and Regional Development, and Communications. The data was coded under one of three themes: Social Opportunity, Career, and Other in order to
One limitation of the study is the number of students who participated as it was limited. There are various undergraduate students who have selected a major within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and this small sample of surveys reflects only a few of the future career paths and situations of the participants. Another limitation includes not being able to ask follow-up questions as the survey was online and anonymous. Results There were 27 students from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Arizona who completed the survey for this research; 9 males and 18 females. The majority of those who participated in this survey were of senior, junior, or sophomore classification. Out of the 27 individuals, 11 currently held a leadership position within an organization. Many of the students indicated being involved with organizations that were focused in the area of academics, leadership, or fraternity/sorority involvement. The leading group for the Other theme included work experiences. In the survey, one of the questions that was significant to code was “Why did you become involved?” This question was divided into four themes: Social Opportunity, Career, Other, and Not Involved. When a student mentioned meeting people, being social, or even speaking about involvement in organizations of high interest to them, the response was defined as Social Opportunity. The Career theme included responses about getting involved in an organization related to a student’s career objective and focused on networking and resume building. The Other theme included having a job or participating in an internship and not about involvement in an organization itself.” And, Not Involved was simply a category to classify non-involved students.
In Figure 1, the lines on the left indicate the motivation for initial involvement, and the lines on the right indicate the motivation for continued involvement. After taking out those who were not involved and those who were only involved in internships or work but not a student organization, the Career theme appears to be more of a reason for a student’s initial involvement because resume development and networking were seen as opportunities to develop one’s strengths and status. On the other hand, it appears that social opportunities keep students involved because they wanted to make connections with other college students. Participants expressed a desire for making friends and connecting with others over simply viewing involvement as an opportunity to add to their resume. 33% of survey participants indicated that making friendships and connections was the most impactful aspect of being in a student organization. Six of the students revealed that being able to make connections in their organizations impacted their undergraduate education. The importance in asking why students stayed involved relates directly to the notion of P-O Fit. If the values and ideals of the organization failed to match with the student, then the idea is that the student would become disengaged from the organization and quit. Influences of Involvement Chart 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Career Initial-Involvement
Social Opportunity Continued Involvement
Figure 1: Discussion Figure 1 presents findings related to the motivations for becoming involved and staying involved in organizations. Obtaining a social life provides a way that individuals network and connect 17 with one another for the social development of skills
that may prove to be necessary in the future. Although more students are initially drawn to organization participation for the career and professional benefits, as students progress in their organization, their involvement becomes less about producing an amazing resume and more about maintaining healthy relationships with the people who surround them. Either way, becoming involved in a student organization has its benefits. “Student quality of effort in scholarly activities (careeroriented activities) and informal/interpersonal activities (social activities) are positively related to reported gains in intellectual skills and personal/social development” (Ory & Braskamp, 1988). Conclusion The purpose of this study was to discover the impact of involvement in organizations on students in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Arizona. Study results concluded that students initially become involved for the opportunity to build their resume and develop their career and professional skills. However, students remain involved for the social opportunity to make friends and connect with individuals they may have never had the chance to meet otherwise. This research contain implications for both undergraduate students and their advisors who may advise them into joining a student organization. The findings show that students may start to get involved in student organizations that apply more to their career objective in order to gain real-world experience and develop professional resources and skills but that they stay because of the social connections they have made. Once they have invested in an organization and find that the organization is a good match for them, they will more than likely become passionate about the organization and the members who participate. Regardless of the motivation for involvement, students are likely to stay if they feel connected to the individuals involved. Thus, it is more than just signing up for an organization; it is about creating meaningful connections with others in the organization.
Gary Lowery is a student at the University of Arizona.
We pranced around and hummed sounds that returned us to our preschool years. As the other volunteers and I "moo'd" and "oinkoinked," the children sang along, slowly increasing the rhythm. Some leapt as high as they could; others swayed their hips from side to side. Their faces slowly perked up; their smiles curved higher and higher. The Kids Who Care Foundation (KWCF) volunteers and I had successfully brought joy to the families of hospitalized children at the Ronald McDonald home - with something as simple as a puppet show. As an audience member at my temple, I heard the organization's founder present one of the most touching speeches detailing KWCF's mission 18to brighten hospitalized children's lives. As a non-
profit 501(c)(3) foundation, Kids Who Care relies on its volunteers to help cheer up children with critical medical illnesses both nationally and internationally. Some ways of cheering these children up is by assembling a large array of cards called a “card quilt,” sending a “Smile Pack,” which is a package with DVDs, books, games, etc., and by performing a mini talent show called the “Traveling Variety Show.” The speech motivated me to volunteer. Of all the organizations I have encountered, KWCF's mission best aligned with my aspiration to make others smile. Although our puppet show that night was complete, by no means was my work finished. I sought out the opportunity within KWCF to become a Youth Ambassador, allowing me to visit various 18
after-school programs to teach students a lesson of compassion. My goal was to help them understand that hospitalized children are as normal as any of us. As an immigrant who adjusted to a new American lifestyle, I knew firsthand the importance of acceptance and how much hospitalized children would value it. After researching articles on different diseases, organizing presentation materials, and devising an after-school card-making activity, my mock presentation to the Executive Director convinced her that I was ready for the role. Before long, I had visited over 400 children at eleven childdevelopment centers. As an individual who appreciates learning, the world is my learning laboratory, and my experiences become my life lessons. By presenting to large groups of people, I increased my self-esteem and reinforced my public speaking skills by using more effective hand gestures and making better eye contact. After this Youth Ambassador experience, one of the biggest lessons I learned was that words are a powerful medium for bringing peace. I gained a greater appreciation for how leaders in the past, such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., have used words as an outlet to express their views to make a positive change. In this way, I learned that my personal style of leadership revolves around two of my strengths—persuasion and woo—both which I tried to incorporate as a Youth Ambassador. Of all the projects I worked on for KWCF, being a Youth Ambassador was my favorite since it gave me the opportunity to train others who wanted to give presentations as well. I learned that educating people about goals that are important to me prioritizes the issue in the other person’s eyes in a peaceful manner.
During one particular presentation, too many hands went up when I asked the children if they ever ignored people who were hospitalized or had a disability. When I asked a more powerful question, "Why?", their faces were ghost-like. It seemed like the question had startled them, as if no one had ever asked them that before. A courageous third-grader confirmed my original theory: because they were "different." I told my audience stories of hospitalized children who also read books and watched Pokemon. I assured the children whom I was presenting to that they could not "catch" the diseases by being around their hospitalized peers. As I watched these children make cards to brighten the hospitalized children's day-in their best writing and with fully colored drawings - I could confidently say something inside them clicked. I was overjoyed to receive over one thousand cheer-up cards from all my presentations. Even though the Executive Director's "Youth Volunteer of the Year" nomination and thoughtful thank you letter confirmed that my efforts were making a difference, the biggest satisfaction for me was when the children personally approached me to describe the change in their perspectives and how they would be more inclusive with others. Specifically at the mall, a sixth grade girl stopped me as I was walking to inform me how she has started associating more with children with disabilities at her school after hearing my presentation. Although I covered a small segment of the local population, I was proud that I could raise awareness and encourage acceptance. Others can get involved with KWCF by similarly presenting or even helping put together “Smile Packs” or “card quilts.” I cherish my contributions to KWCF because whenever I made someone smile, it made me smile just as big. Varuska Patni is a student at the University of Arizona.
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