Student leaders gain leadership skills at UTPA retreat
Posted: 08/20/2003
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More than 70 officers of student organizations at The University of Texas-Pan American attended the annual Summer Student Leaders Retreat Aug. 18 - 19 on the UTPA campus. The retreat was organized and sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students, the Student Government Association and the Student Development Office.

Michael Poll, a professional speaker on leadership skills, counsels a group of UTPA students participating in a team building exercise conducted in the Student Union Theater during the Summer Student Leaders Retreat on Aug. 19.
According to David Mariscal, assistant dean of students, the goal of the retreat is to provide student leaders with an awareness of organizational and other leadership skills that are needed to successfully guide their organizations in the upcoming semester.

"Seventy-two students from 25 different students organizations on campus were represented at the retreat," Mariscal said.

The retreat opened with keynote speaker, Michael Poll, a nationally known professional speaker on topics related to leadership, personal growth and organizational development, who spoke on "Developing the Leader Within."

Poll, who has a bachelor's in communications and master's in education/counseling, has authored many articles on leadership and has created copyrighted methods for assessing student leadership.

More than 70 students attended an annual retreat Aug. 18-19 for student leaders sponsored by the Office of Dean of Students, the Student Government Association and the Student Development Office.
The retreat's second day started with a team training exercise headed by Poll titled "Building Blocks of Our Team."

Sandra Alcocer, a junior majoring in public relations and past president of the United Student Organization Council, said she learned a lot from the retreat speakers and other leaders attending.

"There is a quote that Poll used in 'Developing the Leader Within' - 'If it's to be, it's up to me' - which is very true. It's up me to do what I need to accomplish things," Alcocer said.

Among the breakout sessions for students were topic choices such as Prioritizing Responsibilities, Communicating with Your Membership, Alcohol and Your Organization and Values Based Decision Making. Leading these sessions were Mariscal and UTPA staff members including Sam Smith, director of the Student Union; Edna Zambrano, administrative coordinator of the New Students and Visitors Center; Kim Finn, counselor; Christine Carruthers, student judicial affairs officer; and others.

The retreat closed with remarks by Dr. Jerry Price, UTPA dean of students.

For more information on student organizations, contact Mariscal at 956/381-2260 or via e-mail at