4 Mistakes Some Leaders Make

Posted on April 14th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

With being human we all make mistakes, it is inevitable. Mistakes can actually be a blessing in disguise though. By committing a mistake, this gives us an opportunity to learn and grow. You may currently hold a leadership position, and if so, this post will point out some mistakes that leaders make.

1. Delegate findings and developing leaders

This has deep ramifications for the future of the organization.  You are the leader.   Finding and developing future leaders is your responsibility.  Don’t delegate it.

2. Confuse management with leadership

Most organizations are over managed and under led.  These are two distinctive and complimentary systems of action.

  • Leaders press for change.  Managers promote stability.
  • Leaders provide inspiration, vision and set direction.
  • Leaders prepare organizations for change and help them cope with it.
  • Leaders motivate people.  Managers control and problem solve.
  • Leaders recognize and reward success.

3.  Fail to create or institutionalize a culture of leadership within the organization

Creating the proper culture to develop leaders starts at the top.  It’s the leaders’ responsibility to create the culture to grow future leaders.

4. Fail to clearly communicate the vision of the organization

This needs to be done early and often.  Leaders need to clearly communicate the vision and direction of the organization.





City Year

Posted on February 24th, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen




Are you looking for leadership experience outside of the university aspect? If so, then City Year maybe for you! City Year is an organization that seeks to demonstrate, improve and promote the concept of national service as a means of building a stronger democracy. City Year unites a diverse corps of young adults, ages 17 to 24, for a demanding year of full-time community service, leadership development and civic engagement.

Here is what a fellow Warhawk, Jasmina Badic, had to say about her experience volunteering with the program:

City Year’s “Give a Year” program is a great way of gaining leadership skills. You take a year off from school to mentor, tutor, and be a role model to the youth ranging from elementary school to high school students. Not only do you gain leadership skills, you also grow as a person while you help end the drop-out crisis at a school. You are put in a team of diverse individuals who not only have their own group of youth they mentor, but you also have leadership roles. These leadership roles can range from being a Math coordinator, ELA coordinator, attendance coordinator, or a behavior coordinator for your team. You provide help for your team in those areas while working with the youth.  The closest office is in Milwaukee which mainly works with Milwaukee Public School (MPS). I can say that I really enjoyed my experience with the organization because it helped me become a stronger leader.

During the 2013-2014 school year, I took a year off to serve at City Year Milwaukee where I wanted to give back to my community. I already had some experience as a leader on campus, but what drew me to the program was the fact that your are helping eliminate the drop-out rate in schools, as well as having Friday office days where you are trained to help the youth, as well as how to be more outspoken. I was assigned to a diverse team of eight individuals who all brought something unique to the team. Although we brought something different to the team, we each worked together intertwining all of our strengths as well as working with our weaknesses. What was so great about this program is that they help turn your weaknesses into your strengths. I can say that at the end of the program I grew as a leader by being more comfortable talking in public, learned how to work around obstacles and grew as a person by helping others.

If someone was to go through the program I would have to say that they would gain a lot of networking opportunities, different leadership skills, how to spice up your resume after City Year and you would gain a second family working with your school team. You will also build bonds with your focus group where they can teach you a thing or two about your own leadership style.

I highly encourage anyone to take the opportunity to serve for City Year. Not only will you have leadership skills, but you will have created bonds with your students as well as your team during your corps year.

If you are interested or would like more information, call the local Milwaukee chapter at 414-882-2023 or visit www.cityyear.org/Milwaukee


New Addition to the Team

Posted on February 3rd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen


Hey Everyone!

It’s the beginning of a new semester which means that things are changing.  Here, in the Student Involvement Office, changes have also been made: new interns have been hired, including me!  My name is Jordan Moncivaiz and I am the new Leadership Intern.

Having a new position comes along with new responsibilities, coworkers, experiences, and more.  Overall, it is giving me opportunities to not only enhance my leadership skills, but to foster new leaders on campus and get them involved.

If you would have asked me in high school, or even in my first year in college, if I considered myself a leader I would have said no.  Because I took advantage of numerous amounts of leadership opportunities available here on campus, I would now call myself a leader.  Now, with myself in my senior year, I can say that I have come a long way. Some of my campus involvement includes me being a Resident Assistant, a Hawk Squad Leader, and a member of Lambda Alpha Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.

Being a leader doesn’t just consist of involving yourself in such activities; one must embody the title all the time. There is a motto in the Greek community that follows: no matter where you are, you are always wearing your letters. This can be applicable to many positions. People know who you are and will associate you with your position, organization, or title.

I recently had the opportunity to interview someone for a position on campus. I asked the applicant, “what is a motto that you live by?” and her response was noteworthy. She responded with “Leadership is acting consistently even when no one else is looking.” I’m sure saying this is easier said than done, but it is something we should try to live by.

With that being said, if you or anyone you know is interested in getting involved on campus whether it be leadership opportunities, community service, or looking for an organization to join, do not be afraid to stop by the Student Involvement Office located in the University Center where either myself, or other interns, will be able to help you achieve your goals.

Be on the lookout every Tuesday for a blog update! Take a peek at the blog “Career Spotlight” as well.  Also, if anyone is interested in writing a post please feel free to contact me.


Whitewater Student Government Meeting 1/26/15

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

Good Afternoon,

This upcoming Monday Whitewater Student Government is having its first meeting of the semester. Attached to this email is the Agenda for the meeting. There will also be a listening session about what you would like to see in a new chancellor. If you have any questions about the Agenda or need accommodations feel free to contact me.


Nathan Perry
Whitewater Student Government President

1-26-2015 Agenda (1)

How Parliamentary Procedure Can Benefit Your Meetings

Posted on April 28th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen



Ever feel like your meetings can drag on and on? Does it seem as if people interrupt each other in an untimely fashion? Is there that one member that raises the same point as if they were trying to extend the meeting time into the next day?

If only there were a way to solve these problems, increase meeting efficiency, and frankly, get stuff done. Well there is! Thanks to Robert and his Rules of Order, there is a specific guide to making your meetings more official and less confusing.

“The purpose of parliamentary procedure is to make it easier for people to work together effectively and to help groups accomplish their purposes. Rules of procedure should assist a meeting, not inhibit it.”

I know I used to dread the phrase “parliamentary procedure.” It seemed so archaic, outdated, and simply put—not for me. After a year running an organization such as student government; however, my tune has changed and I’ve become one of the biggest advocates of how empowering the members of any organization with helpful parliamentary procedure will increase efficiency as well as save the organization’s members time to actually finish their homework and have a social life while they’re at it.


Reasons Why and How Parliamentary Procedure Rocks

         Everyone is allowed to state their opinion…in a timely, organized, and respectful fashion

  • One of the best parts of Robert’s Rules is that it ensures the opportunity for everyone who wants to speak on the topic at hand the chance to. By having the Chair of the meeting have to recognize the person speaking, it insures that no one interrupted, and if it does happen, gives a formal process to stop the person who is being disrespectful and giving the floor back to the initial person.


–         It’s easier for the secretary to document the minutes

  • By having a formal structure of how the meeting is run, the secretary will already have an idea or outline of how the meeting will go, making it easier for them to be able to accurately record what happens for future record.


–         There’s less confusion

  • I mean this in a multitude of ways. There is more consistency from meeting to meeting as well as a set way for the new Chair to run the meeting when they come into office. Because parliamentary procedure is nothing new, it’s easy for anyone to pick up a book at the library on it and be able to be as versed as the Chair in a matter of months.


–         Provides a specific way to deal with complaints

  • If a decision is made by the Chair, there is also a formal way for the aggrieved member to voice their compliant there and then. Nearly any issue that occurs during a meeting can be resolved via parliamentary procedure. This prevents petty argumentation that can occur when meetings stretch on for hours




If you have any other questions about parliamentary procedure, feel free to reach out to involvement@uww.edu

Below are some helpful links to parli pro tips:








Leadership Transition

Posted on April 22nd, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

It’s about that time of year again where either your organization has elected their new executive board, or you’re preparing for the upcoming Fall semester with a new fresh set of faces who have joined within the past semester. This is the perfect time to reflect not only on the success of the last year, but also to critically evaluate ways in which your organization can better serve its members and the campus as a whole. This column will cover helpful ways to insure a successful leadership transition, tips for finishing the year strong, and preparing for the year to come! At the end there will also be a selection of helpful links that will surely provide you a personalized plan to success for your own organization.


Leadership Transition

  • Documentation– If the previous officer hasn’t done so already, set some time aside to sit down and write out important things they’ve done in their current position. This includes everything from how they planned a stellar fundraiser to how they handled e-mailing their weekly agendas to their organization. These are the types of tips that will ensure the person entering the position in the Fall will be able to hit the ground running by having been properly informed of what’s expected outside of what your Constitution states.


  • Knowledge Transfer Sessions– Besides creating a handy dandy binder that the new executive board member can refer to, a great way to foster a sense of respect and create an energy of excitement for the next year is to have one-on-one sessions where the past and new position discuss the ups and downs of what it is to be that specific position. These kind of casual settings can also allow brainstorming on what can be done with the position that has never been accomplished in the past. This is the perfect environment to inform the newly elected officer of the obligations they have to do even before starting their role, such as meeting with your organization’s advisor to ensure there is a cohesive vision for your organization outside of the mission statement that your organization believes in.


Tips for Finishing the Year Strong (in your org)

  • Re-evaluate your initial goals– One of the most critical things any person in an organization can do is to look back at the goals that were set in the beginning of the year. This is especially imperative to the executive board members due to the fact that they are the elected leaders of the organization. An important question to ask yourself is if you have successfully achieved all of the goals your organization set out to accomplish. If not—why was that the case? There may still be time to help your organization reach goals that have previously fallen by the wayside. Even if you have accomplish all of your main goals, you can still push your organization and its members to continue to push beyond the initial goals you set by picking up additional community service projects to do together that will have a positive impact on your organization as well as the rest of campus.



  • Leave Things Better Than You Found Them–  All too often the end of the year leaves people eager to finish the year and start their summer without always taking the time put things back in order as well as finding a way to leave the organization in a better condition than you entered it in. This can be done in a multitude of ways—some more abstract than others. A great place to start with leaving an organization better than you found it is to think of an essential struggle that you faced when first entering the organization. This can be anything from, “Wow, it was really hard to understand how to behave and what to do during meetings,” to “I never knew how to submit my community service hours.” If you can make a guide or pamphlets on pointers to alleviate the confusion that exists with whatever specific problem it may be.

Preparing for the Year to Come                                                                                               

A lot of this advice is aimed towards the newly elected officers:

  • New Executive Board Retreat– A fantastic way to get the new executive board on the same page is to have a retreat to get to know one another better, as well as to review the history of your organization, your mission statement, as well as what it means to your current executive board personally. Each person was elected for a reason based on their own personal vision for their position in the organization. The most critical goal for the new president of the organization is to figure out how everyone’s unique vision can come together to produce a united team that will work together harmoniously. A retreat setting is a perfect time to get together to see how individuals interact together as well as getting time to see where they are with their own goals.


  • Set Your Goals-As mentioned above, goal setting is crucial, and chances are each member has a large list of goals they want to achieve within the upcoming year. It’s important for the executive board to collaboratively understand each other’s goals as well as setting overarching goals that each member will assist in accomplishing. These goals can be made at the suggested Retreat. These goals should be written down and documented as well as having an initial approximation as to how the goal will be accomplished, and the expected result if all goes well. This activity will also create a more realistic vision of how your executive board will function together and will assisting in uniting different perspectives.



  • Figure Out How-To Create Buy-in– Once you have your executive board united, they must work to ensure the buy-in of the rest of the organization. There is an unending amount of importance on an executive board to not separate itself from the rest of the organization if a goal of the executive board is to foster a sense of community. A larger scale retreat geared towards the rest of the organization explaining the goals of the executive board after the organization creates its own personal goals are fantastic ways in which to get everyone on the same page, ensuring a cohesive organization.


  • Plan Your Events In Advance– Events are one of the best bonding and fun ways to engage your members. However, something that often prevents maximum attendance is poor notice as to when the event will be happening. By planning your event in advance, (hint: now is the perfect time!) you ensure enough time for your public relations director to be able to publicize the event as well as getting an approximate idea of how many members will be able to attend. By planning now, you also ensure you’ll have a space to have your event in by contacting room reservations.


I hope all these tip help, and feel free to visit any of the information in the links below for more assistance.





Student Involvement Office
UC 146
Facebook & Twitter: Uww Involvement

SEAL (Student Entertainment Awareness League)
UC 146

UC 253

-Policy Information





Posted on February 18th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen


Emerge is a seminar based on Kouzes and Pozner’s Leadership Challenge that UW-Whitewater students can participate in. Students who participate will be given the tools to develop successful leadership skills.

The seminar will be focused on the five practices of exemplary leadership.

  • Model the Way
  • Inspire a Shared Vision
  • Challenge the Process
  • Enable Others to Act
  • Encourage the Heart

Participants will create a plan to implement the five practices in everyday life.


What are the benefits of participating in and completing Emerge?  There are several!

  • Gain the skills and knowledge to become a successful leader.
  • Get to know other leaders on campus.
  • Learn from other leaders.
  • ULEAD graduates can apply to be a ULEADer once they complete Emerge.

Emerge Sessions

Attend one of the following Emerge sessions!  To register, please go to my.uww.edu and sign-up for the session that works best for you.

  • March 6th 11am-1:30pm in UC 68B or  5pm-7:30pm in UC 266
  • March 7th 1pm-3:30 pm in UC 68B
  • March 13th 11am-1:30pm in UC 68B or  5pm-7:30pm in UC 266
  • March 14th 1pm-3:30pm in UC 68B

Leadership is not about personality; it’s about behavior—an observable set of skills and abilities.”- Kouzes and Posner

Hope to see everyone there!

-Faith Karst

A Look Back At the Spring 2014 Involvement Fair

Posted on February 12th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

Hello and happy Wednesday everyone,


This past Monday, Whitewater Student Government hosted the Spring 2014 Involvement Fair, and it was an absolute blast. I had the privilege of interviewing the main coordinator of the event, Lucretia Limerick. She serves as the WSG Student Affairs Director, and has done so for the past two years.


First, let’s look into more of what her leadership position entails—after all, any student at UW-Whitewater is eligible to apply for this position at the at end of the Spring semester.


  • WSG: Student Affairs Director

    • Serve as a liaison between student organizations and administration on campus.
    • Organized and managed an involvement week during the Spring semesters.
    • Promote student development and a sense of community on campus by hosting events.
    • Implemented new duties for successors in the student government standing rules.



  • Major:  Finance with and emphasis in financial planning
  • Year:  Senior (graduate in December)
  • Spring Involvement Fair: 80 Organizations
  • Student Turn out:  Roughly 100 students walked through the fair
  • Most Rewarding Part: The most rewarding part of organizing and managing the involvement fair is noticing students getting involved and hearing candid comments that students enjoyed the fair and that they found organizations that they want to get involved with. I also enjoy helping students get involved on campus (i.e. I showed a few students how to use the JOIN account to look up different student organizations.

    ©UW-Whitewater/Jenny DuPuis


“Getting involved is a high impact practice for students, which then alludes to higher retention rates for the university. Being involved also leads students to network with potential employers. ”


-Johanna Klay

Benefits of America Reads

Posted on February 10th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

Benefits of America Reads
America Reads is a volunteer/work study program that gives Whitewater students an opportunity to give back to the surrounding communities. Students are placed in schools surrounding Whitewater. They participate in classrooms and in after school activities reading/tutoring students. Many students at Whitewater have already signed up for this program, but it is never too late to volunteer. You may not get your first choice of where you would like to be placed, but you can still contact Katelyn and see if there is an opening that would work with you schedule. You can e-mail the involvement office at involvement@uww.edu or call 262-472-6217.

There are many benefits to volunteering for America Reads. Giving up a few hours of your time to help kids in the surrounding communities can be very satisfying. If you are majoring in something that has to do with kids for example, teaching it is a great way to get your foot in the door. You are able to get volunteer hours for America Reads that could count towards your organization or the 20 hours you have to complete if you are a business major. Another benefit of America Reads is that you become familiar with the community that you are volunteering in. You will get a sense of the differences and similarities in that community compared to your own. Experiencing diversity is a great benefit for you and others. There are countless rewards that come with volunteering. It is up to you to be the leader and take the initiative to experience them for yourself.
What does this have to do with Leadership?
Participating in any volunteer program is a great way to start your leadership path or continue on your journey. Volunteering allows you to make connections not only with your supervisors, but also with the people you are helping. Who knows maybe volunteering can lead to you starting your own volunteer program.


-Faith Karst

Starting a New Semester Strong

Posted on February 5th, 2014 in Uncategorized by Jan Bilgen

Hi, everyone! My name is Johanna, and I am the other Leadership intern here at the Student Invovlement Office.


We’re heading into our third week of school here at UW-Whitewater, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start getting yourself prepared for the rest of the semester right here and now. We’re all getting to the point where quizzes, exams, and homework are all starting to become a reality now that syllabi have been fully reviewed and Ice Breaker games have been had for all. While I’m not an accredited expert on academic and personal success, I have a few tips I think may come in handy for everyone out there.


Get Organized

Seems simple, right? Probably the easiest reason why being organized isn’t everyone’s first priority is that it is, in fact, not easy. It requires work, constant reevaluation, and not to mention time. While some people might find that organizational skills come very naturally to them, there are multiple ways to improve your organizational skills in various areas of your life.


When it comes to classwork and homework and group projects, they all seem to have a magical ability to seem like nothing when you only have or two things due, but when it comes to certain weeks, it’s almost impossible to breathe with how much work you have to complete. Ways to avoid the stress of academica aren’t difficult, but super valuable:

  • Use a planner. If you like color coding things, go for it. If you just want to make a daily to-do list in order to cross off tasks as you complete them, that’s equally as great. Know that no one is the same, and that finding your own method of keeping track of things is crucial
  • Plan AHEAD. Put that planner to good use and plan backwards. Do you know there’s going to be a test coming up in two weeks? Start putting 20-40 (depending on your major) minute study breaks 2-3 times a week and when it’s test time, you’ll be much less stressed and prepared to take your test without having to pull an overnighter ahead of time.
  • Communicate. This goes for your team members in group projects as well as your professors. The sooner you understand the people who can definitely affect your grades, the better off you will be.


  • While your first priority make be your academics, it’s important to keep in mind any work obligations. Similarly to the importance of communication in your classes, you should always aim to communicate with your boss or manager as to when your academic responsibilities take precedence to your work duties

Extra circulars

  • If you aren’t involved around campus yet, I have two words for you: Get involved! Not only do you meet like-minded individuals, but you can also gain valuable leadership experience that will make you a shoe-in for any future jobs you may want to apply for. When it comes to be involved; however, it’s important to remember you are a student first and a leader second. Make sure to never overwhelm yourself so that you are unable to study for important classes and tests.

Eat/Sleep Better

While Toppers Pizza and Custard sounds like the prefect date to most people (me included) it’s important to eat as best as you can while you’re away from home. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips, grab an apple or orange. Sleeping a full 6-8 hours is also a great way to make sure this semester is the best one yet. While late night shenanigans are fun, so is being energetic and ready to tackle each day. Sleeping and eating well will give you the energy you need to tackle any complicated math problem and the attention to pay attention through even the most difficult lectures. While it might not make you the happiest short term, in the long run you’ll thank yourself for making a few simple changes to your daily routine. For more tips and advising, also feel free to visiting the University Health and Counseling Center! They have counseling for anything you might need to keep you in the best shape—mind and body—during your stay at UW-Whitewater.

Set Goals

Setting goals is basically in the same basket as you getting involved, but as important as it is to think abot short term commitments, long term goals will keep your semester going for the full sixteen weeks.

As mentioned, everyone is different so you should never hold yourself to anyone’s improvements other than your own. Maybe aim to improve your average semester GPA by .5-1 points! It may seem like a little, but depending where you are, it could really help show you the pay off of hard work. This goal can be as small or large as you want it to be, but make it be something that’s going to make you happy.

Personal goals are also very important. Whether it’s getting into shape, or stopping a harmful habit, know that there are a ton of resources—even on campus—here to help! There’s nothing like group fitness to keep you motivated to coming back to reach your own personal goals. Sometimes, personal goals need to be a little silly. So, if you want to learn how to tie balloon animals to fulfill your semester goal, find someone with that skill so you can start learning it ASAP!

There’s no better time than now to start building your own personal brand! What do I mean by that? You’re eventually going to be a professional, and the best way to help start to shape that brand is by setting your own professional goals. Join an org related directly to your major, create a Linkedin and start connecting to peers and advisors, and most importantly, start paying attention to the things you genuinely like doing. The best way to love your future job is to love what you do. Set a goal to figure out 5-10 things you really enjoy in school, your job, or life in general.


I hope all of this helps everyone start their semester strong and keep it that way! If you ever need any advice about involvement, feel free to e-mail involvement@uww.edu and we’ll be happy to help you with any and all questions! Don’t forget to have some fun!


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