La Salle University is hosting the second Lasallian Student Leadership Conference in which representatives from 13 Christian Brother colleges — 37 students and 10 faculty members — from seven countries. The conference, which began July 14, will run through July 26.
“The goal of the conference is to build bridges among the culturally diverse participants and provide opportu¬nities to explore their similarities and differences,” said Dr. Robert Vogel, a professor of education at La Salle and co-founder of the University’s Leadership and Global Understanding (LGU) program. “It will emphasize working cooperatively and developing leadership skills. The students will gain an expanded global understanding as they emerge as future international leaders.”
Vogel and Carlos Coelho from Lasalle University in Brazil created the conference last year, which was held in France. “We were asked by the International Association of Lasallian Universities to create the second year program in Philadelphia,” Vogel said.
“This year’s conference will build upon last year’s work to further develop a cooperative international network of students identified as future Lasallain leaders by their home universities,” Vogel said. “Participants will work together to solve complex international issues and further develop leadership skills.”
Five recipients of La Salle University’s “Lasallian Distinguished Educator Award” will present an overview of their research and the ways they fulfill the Lasallian mission: William Price, professor of chemistry; Michael Smith, associate professor of communication; Marjorie Allen, director of La Salle’s Integrative Studies program; Anna Allen, assistant dean of students, and Vogel, who will make several presentations, including one titled, “Focusing on Developing Lasallian Future Leaders.”
Other La Salle University presenters are Tom Wingert of the LGU program, Carolyn Plump, of the Management and Leadership Department, and Joseph Ugras, Dean of La Salle’s College of Professional and Continuing Studies.
Faculty members from Lasallian Universities in Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico will also make presentations.
In addition to La Salle University in Philadelphia, other Lasallian colleges participating are: La Salle Beauvais, Institute Polytechnique in France; St. Mary’s College in Minnesota; La Salle University in Bogota, Columbia; La Salle University in Mexico City, Mexico; La Salle University in Chihuahua, Mexico; La Salle University in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; La Salle University in Manila, Philippines; La Salle University in Canoas, Brazil; La Salle University in Monterrey, Mexico; Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tenn., La Salle University in Canoas, Brazil; and Manhattan College in New York City.
The students representing La Salle University in Philadelphia are Steven Johnston, a history and political science major in the University’s Honors Program with an LGU minor, and John Schatz, a junior majoring in political science and economics with an LGU minor.
Johnston said, “No single country is to blame for any specific problem, but we are all responsible for helping solve them. By participating in the conference I hope to foster positive cultural connections between La Salle students from all over the world and, in doing so, build a more tolerant, just, and ethical world.”
Schatz, said, “I am participating in this conference for several reasons. I thought working with students of different cultures while simultaneously operating under the Lasallian banner would be a valuable experience.”
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values.