Leadership candidate brought to WU

Lauren Eckert

Students and faculty did not hesitate to launch questions at the open forum held for Jeffrey Mott, a candidate for the position of director for the Institute for the Study and Practice of Leadership.

The forum was held Wednesday, August 27, in the Shawnee Room of Washburn Memorial Union. The purpose of the gathering was to help both students and faculty get a feel for what Mott could bring to the Leadership Institute and how he would handle the various responsibilities that go along with the title of director.

The Leadership Institute is a program that encourages the advancement of leadership education and development across the university. Students choosing to participate in the program have the option of pursuing a certificate in leadership through fulfilling curriculum requirements, such as taking all four leadership classes and earning a designated number of Leadership Experience Units (LEU’s).

The program seeks to provide students with a better understanding of their personal methods of leadership, create relationships and connections with peers and faculty, and gain experience and knowledge through leadership positions.

As a candidate for the director position, Jeff Mott feels he has a lot to offer to those involved with the Institute. Mott’s leadership experience varied, as he has experienced corporate America as well as the education scene, where he feels his true passion lies. After working for Sprint for almost 10 years, Mott decided to go back and get his doctorate in sports management at the University of Massachusetts. After discovering his passion for working with students and sharing his personal leadership experiences,

“[The position] looked like a really good fit for me,” said Mott.

Mott faced a series of questions from students and faculty during the forum, as well as the day before when he was a guest speaker in a leadership class. When asked how he planned to better integrate the Leadership Institute into the Topeka community, he said his goal is to establish strong relationships with the students and staff, as well as talk to any organizations the program has been involved with in the past. He also plans to use any connections he can get from the university itself to help connect the Institute to the community.

Mott also discussed his basic philosophy for teaching leadership, which involves blended teaching through interaction and exposure to experiential learning, both on and off-campus. His overall concept of good leadership is affected by “who you know, what you know, and how you do things.”

“Leaders do have an obligation to develop future leaders,” said Mott.

Overall, Mott feels he is qualified for the director position and has a deep interest concerning Washburn’s Institute for the Study and Practice of Leadership. Mott is excited at the prospect of having the opportunity to use personal experience to help shape and guide current and future members of the program.