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FHSU leaders take 2nd

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

A Fort Hays State University leadership studies team recently took its skills to an international competition, bringing home second-place honors.

The team of Laura Dougherty, Colby senior, Jill Moeder, Hays senior, and Megan Rinkenbaugh, Augusta junior, competed in the student case competition in October in Denver at the International Leadership Association Conference. Winning the competition was a University of San Diego team, with third place presented to a team from the University of Pittsburgh.

Several FHSU faculty members traveled to the ILA conference as presenters. They were on hand also to mentor and witness the team's success.

"We are just extremely proud of the students," said Department of Leadership Studies Chairwoman Jill Arensdorf. "It showed that we're teaching students and giving them the opportunity to apply their learning beyond the classroom.

"Not only to present a case study, but to be able to talk intelligently about their recommendations and to be able to present those in a way that was professional. It was so fulfilling for all of us to see that."

The three students competing on the team, although all leadership studies majors, are at different levels in the program.

"So for them to come together and work together as a team unit on such short time constraints was really fulfilling to see," Arensdorf said.

The competition, consisting of a written case study analysis, a poster session and a final presentation connecting the case study to conference presentations, was part of ILA's 14th annual global conference.

The theme was "Leadership Across the Great Divides: Bridging Cultures, Contexts and Complexities."

"I was grateful to have the opportunity to listen to and learn from leadership scholars, academics and practitioners from all over the world," Moeder said. "I enjoyed having the opportunity to put the leadership lessons I have learned into practice."

With more than 90 on-campus majors and 150 virtual majors, the FHSU's leadership studies program also offers two certificate programs for non-majors.