After spending almost a year in Leadership Dayton, Jennie Buckwalter, an assistant dean in the College of Liberal Arts, made many new connections that will help enhance her ability to engage with the community.
As COLA’s assistant dean for community and student engagement, Buckwalter will use these connections to explore internship opportunities for students participating in the college’s internship program, which she oversees. It will also help her recruit more people to attend ArtsGala, which she organizes, and learn about other Wright State programming.
Sponsored by the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Dayton is an 11-month leadership development program for community leaders. Participants meet once a month to learn about the community’s history, future and needs. Buckwalter is the latest Wright State employee to participate in the program, through which the university has built important connections around Dayton.
Buckwalter said the program had a significant impact and taught her a lot about Dayton, including more about its history, arts community, health care sector and education resources. After going through the program, she said she has become a stronger advocate for the region.
“We learned to be more aware of the challenges we face in Dayton but to also be better advocates for our community and all the great resources that already exist for our citizens,” she said.
Through Leadership Dayton, she participated in a board match that connected her with the board of the Artemis Center, which provides support for victims of domestic violence and their children.
Buckwalter also was selected by her classmates to be the class representative for Leadership Dayton 2014 and will serve on the Leadership Dayton board of governors.
Each year, the Leadership Dayton class selects a class project. Buckwalter’s class project included a collaboration with Montgomery County Future on workforce development research for the information technology sector. The project included the creation of a mentor program for schools and businesses in the Miami Valley.
“My classmates and I represent a wide variety of industries, and we all signed up to donate our time and expertise to help colleges, technical schools, high schools, nonprofits and entry-level employers better equip the young workforce through sessions on a variety of topics such as networking, resume and cover-letter writing, and interview skills,” Buckwalter said. “We collected our contact information in a Career Resource Guide that we hope serves our community for many years to come.”
More information about the class project, including the mentor program, is available on the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce website.