Nuala Pell fellows embark on inaugural Washington trip
Photo: Students in the Nuala Pell Leadership Program with Claudia Fritsche (center), ambassador to Liechtenstein, and program director Chelsea Buffington (right)
Late last month, 11 students who are fellows in the Nuala Pell Leadership Program traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in group meetings with a wide variety of leaders, attend a reception honoring the program and engage in team-building exercises.
This is the first time that students in the program have visited the nation’s capital. Participants included sophomores Jenna Abrams, Alessio Ayuninjam, Kathryn Clancy, Luc Copeland, Brittany Fox, Alexis Jankowski, Mamadou Omar Kane, Jacob Lang, Amanda Reis, Kay Scanlan and Devin Smith.
While in D.C., the students:
- Toured the Capitol building and visited one of the rooms where the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets
- Met with senators and representatives from Rhode Island, including Rep. David Cicilline, Rep. James Langevin, Sen. Jack Reed and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse
- Attended meetings and a reception at the Embassy of Liechtenstein with Ambassador Claudia Fritsche
- Met with television host and producer Dennis Wholey, a Rhode Island native
- Visited the World Bank and met with representatives from Lebanon, Algeria, Romania and Nigeria
- Met with Iain Guest, founder and executive director of the Advocacy Project
“This trip far exceeded my expectations,” said Chelsea Buffington, director of the Nuala Pell Leadership Program. “The fellows were able to spend significant time with a wide variety of leaders who not only conveyed their own thoughts on leadership but truly challenged the fellows to forge their own paths, to follow their individual passions and to have a vision for their own truth. This was truly a transformative trip.”
Salve Regina’s Nuala Pell Leadership Program provides diverse, high‐achieving sophomores with leadership training and opportunities. The program includes monthly meetings where students engage in topics ranging from leadership theory and leadership ethics to managing change and vision mapping. Students also shadow a local leader, participate in team service projects and attend quarterly luncheons with fellows who have already completed the program.
Several students in the program reflected on their recent trip.
Kathryn Clancy: “My favorite part of the trip was meeting the ambassador of Liechtenstein, Claudia Fritsche. She is an inspiring lady and I admire her confidence and grace. I also believe that the best advice we were given came from her: to always be true to yourself. It is important to be inspired by leaders, not to emulate them. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many different types of leaders. They each had something unique to say, and we were able to see how effective leadership skills can be applied in many different areas.”
Brittany Fox: “The trip was a remarkable experience, which greatly expanded my insight into what a leader encompasses. Meeting the ambassador to Liechtenstein and people from diverse positions provided me with an opportunity to learn about different forms of leadership. I am extremely grateful that so many people took the time to make the trip so rewarding.”
Alexis Jankowski: “One reoccurring theme that really resonated with me throughout this trip is that leadership should not be defined by the amount of power you hold, but by the amount you can help others achieve a common goal. It doesn’t matter if you’re a country’s ambassador or a student working on a group project, leadership skills are valuable to everyone in almost any situation you can think of.”
Omar Kane: “Reflecting on the trip to D.C., I realize that it was much more than I expected to be. It wasn’t just us attending lectures of important people. Each meeting was more of a dialogue with a variety of different people, each a leader in their own respect. This trip was a rewarding and rich experience where we had the opportunity to engage in dialogue on what it means to be a leader and different styles of leadership. It truly was an unforgettable experience.”
Jacob Lang: “Going in to the trip, I really didn’t know what to expect. What I do know is that I was not expecting to be given one-on-one time with some of the most inspiring and intelligent people I have ever met. Being a political science major, I was in complete awe standing in the committee on foreign affairs, a place where Barack Obama himself once stood. But by far the most influential part of the trip for me was speaking to Ambassador Fritsche, who truly impacted my life just by speaking about her own life. All in all I consider myself to be incredibly blessed to have been a part of this trip.”
Amanda Reis: “My favorite part of the trip was the exposure to such a wide range of leaders, from senators, representatives and ambassadors to leaders such as Iain Guest of the Advocacy Project. He inspired me most because of his sincere commitment to helping people on the most personal level possible.”
Kay Scanlan: “We were exposed to some of the most inspirational leaders, who presented very diverse definitions of leadership and the struggles that that they as leaders face. Cooperation, being true to yourself, confidence, a clear goal, a willingness to sacrifice for the good of others, commitment and listening are all qualities of a good leader. A good leader does not need to be popular or celebrated, a good leader can just as easily be a quiet supporter who sets a standard for others to follow.”
Devin Smith: “The trip to Washington, D.C., was the opportunity of a lifetime. It was truly inspiring to hear leadership advice and success stories from such influential people. I have a much deeper understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader in every day life and a professional setting. I learned that listening, hard work, inquiry and staying true to yourself are necessities when leading others.”