Feature Story

‘Becoming an Exemplary Leader’

April 19, 2018 – by Katie Kuckelheim ’19

In 2017, Ohio Wesleyan’s senior class president, Lee LeBoeuf (fourth from right), helped launch The Final Lap to bring seniors together to walk campus one last time before graduation. (Photo by Lisa DiGiacomo)

Two OWU Alumni Featured in New How-To Book

“Leadership is what turns challenging opportunities into remarkable successes,” says James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of the book, “The Student Leadership Challenge: Five Practices for becoming an Exemplary Leader.”

The newly released third-edition of their book features stories of many successful student leaders, including Ohio Wesleyan University alumni Tyler Iffland ’17 and Lee LeBoeuf ’17.

Tyler Iffland ’17

The publication seeks to blend “solid research with personal stories from real-world student leaders to help students develop the critical skills they need to lead both now and after graduation.”

Iffland, president of the Ohio Beta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta in 2016, is featured in the book for the leadership he exhibited within his fraternity.

Seeking to better align his chapter’s values with the values of the national fraternity, “[Iffland] understood that he had to exemplify the values that his fraternity held dear,” Kouzes and Posner wrote.

The book outlines the plan Iffland set in motion, which included an academic point system. As a result of his plan, the fraternity’s GPA improved within the year and achieved other strategic goals.

Iffland, who majored in neuroscience and pre-dentistry and minored in zoology, psychology, and chemistry, says, “It was an honor to be included in the book because it shows readers that ‘The Student Leadership Challenge’ really works and can help improve your organization and leadership in no time.”

Lee LeBoeuf ’17

LeBoeuf was featured as an “exemplary leader” for her dedication to establishing tradition in her role as class president.

She developed The Final Lap in 2017 as a signature event that leads up to graduation. The Final Lap is now an annual event with seniors walking the campus together one last time before commencement.

LeBoeuf’s challenge was motivating busy classmates to help put the event together. She tackled the challenge by breaking it down into smaller, achievable tasks and reminding her fellow seniors that the end result would be a long-standing tradition.

“It was the achievement of many more hardworking people than just me,” said LeBoeuf, a psychology major and biology minor now working with Teach for America. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the rest of Senior Class Council, Brad Ingles ’14, and so many different administrators and departments.”

LeBoeuf says she is pleased to be included in the book, and credits Nancy Bihl Rutkowski, OWU’s director of Student Leadership and First-Year Foundations, with helping her to develop leadership skills.

“I started working with Nancy as a LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Fellow during my junior year, and it wasn’t until then that I learned about the book,” says LeBoeuf, who plans to go to graduate school to study developmental psychology. “I learned so much from the book and especially from working with Nancy that I was thrilled to then be included in the newest edition.”

Rutkowski says she also was thrilled to see two OWU students featured in the book. As a Student Leadership Challenge certified facilitator and educator, Rutkowski teaches a noncredit class every year using the text.

“I would say that Tyler and Lee are two excellent examples of the kind of moral leaders Ohio Wesleyan prepares for a global society,” Rutkowski says.

Learn more about OWU’s leadership development programs and opportunities.