Leadership Forum Culminates in Lifelong Learning Experience at Vandenberg Regional Campus

August 9, 2013 by University of La Verne

The University of La Verne’s College of Business & Public Management hosted its semi-annual Leadership Forum on August 8, 2013, a capstone event for students in the Master of Science in Leadership Management (MSLM) program.

During the public forum, which took place at the Vandenberg Regional Campus, students showcased and demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of key leadership principles they have acquired during the course of their time spent in the graduate program.

Open to family, friends and faculty, the Leadership Forum is the final step in the process of students acquiring their MSLM degree.

“The personal gratification derived from the accomplishments in these areas gives our students hope for the future and a means to reach their career aspirations,” said Bonnie Woodson, adjunct instructor of management. “As they engage in the coursework,

however, the results are much greater than acquiring new knowledge. Students forge new friendships and build support networks while developing new skills and abilities that can be applied immediately.”

During the Leadership Forum, students review and discuss personally selected leadership topics they have researched and provide an analysis of the methodologies that could be used to test the support of or arguments against research findings.

Students also prepare several case analyses that allow them to look at contemporary leaders and leadership situations to critically evaluate the styles, approaches, organizational impacts and environmental factors that leaders today face on a daily basis.

This “real life” exercise allows students to apply their learning to situations that truly exist in the corporate and governmental world. At the conclusion of the program, students reflect on their studies, personal achievements and professional growth.

“I thought I was a leader because I was an officer in the Air Force—but I’ve found out that leadership is much more than a title or position,” said Jeremi Viloria,’13 who graduated from the MSLM program this past June.

Viloria currently works for the Air Force as an acquisitions officer where he manages various financial and administrative responsibilities for different space programs.

He chose to attend La Verne after being stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base. It was important for him to receive his graduate education in an environment that offered the college experience.

“As a student who has taken classes both inside and outside the classroom setting, I know that there are aspects missing from classes not in a traditional setting and I wanted that experience,” Viloria said.

Whether students enter the graduate program for continual learning, personal accomplishment or career progression, the Vandenberg Regional Campus serves as a practical option for working professionals.

“The MSLM program has really boosted my confidence and has allowed me to increase my written and verbal communication skills,” Viloria said.

“Leaders today must involve themselves in continual learning. They must develop a “toolkit” of leadership principles that can be applied in various types of situations,” Woodson said. “ Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes—yet competent and effective leadership only results from the achievements of those who harness the knowledge and develop the fortitude to lead u s into the future.”


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