Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fairmont State's Student Government will present the 14th annual Student Leadership Conference on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18 and 19. The theme of this year's conference is "Healthy Leaders Make Strong Leaders."

"The annual Leadership Conference is an opportunity to bring students together to expose them to new ideas, to help them network with other motivated students and to have a chance to hear their ideas on how to be better leaders," said Laurie Johnston, Director of Student Activities.

"I particularly want to address students' lifestyle choices and offer some ways to combat stress in their busy student lives. There are no busier people than the students on the campus of Fairmont State, trying to juggle classes, jobs, families, clubs, sports and volunteering in their communities. We also would like to encourage area high school seniors to participate."

The conference features a welcome from Troy Stende at 6 p.m. Feb. 18, followed by a presentation from hypnotist Thomas Bresadola at 8 p.m. in the Colebank Hall gym. The general public may attend Bresadola's performance at a cost of $5; the event is free to all FS students and conference participants.

A professional keynote speaker and high impact trainer, Stende is considered one of the best young speakers/trainers in the market. Each year he motivates thousands of students to discover their full potential and has addressed audiences in more than 30 states and around the world. For seven years, he has been a facilitator and trainer for one of the country's premiere accelerated learning programs and conducts life-changing leadership, communication and relationship workshops. He and his wife, Karin Malkowski Stende, are co-authors of the book "Life Unlimited: Everything Students Need to Know About Everything (Almost)." He holds two college degrees and was a Kappa Sigma Fraternity member and a NCAA Division 1 gymnast. He has appeared on National Public Radio and has been featured in USA Today for living his dream job. Stende was named Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) Best Campus Speaker in 2004; he also won the award in 2002 and is the only person to have been given the honor twice. In December 2004, he was nominated as Best Campus Speaker by Campus Activities Magazine.

Bresadola holds certification as a Master Hypnotist, is a certified hypnotherapist, certified as a Neuro Linguistic programmer and is recertified every year to keep current on the aspects of hypnosis. Since 1990, when he first started performing on college campuses, he has been nominated for both the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) Campus Entertainer of the Year award and Variety Entertainer of the Year award many times. He was the first recipient of NACA's Barry Drake Professional Development Award. In 1999, he showcased at the NACA National Convention. Bresadola has performed thousands of shows over the past 20 years making him one of the most experienced stage hypnotists on the college circuit.

"Tom Bresadola was here on campus last year and our students loved him," Johnston said.

Highlights of the second day include a Stende's keynote address titled "Life Unlimited" at 9:30 a.m. and three concurrent workshops that begin at 10:45 a.m. Stende will give a workshop titled "Break on Through," which addresses the obstacles that hold people back from reaching their full potential. During the interactive workshop, participants will write down on a plywood square the name of whatever is holding them back; then they will learn a karate move to allow them to literally "break through" the square. Stende's wife, Karin Malkowski Stende, will give a workshop titled "Leadership Dogs," which will help participants identify their leadership style. Bresadola will give a workshop titled "Stress Reduction."

Karin Malkowski Stende delivers programs that touch hearts, challenge minds and explore possibilities. In her diverse background, she has been a buffalo rancher and a nontraditional college student. She has coached numerous state speech champions and has taught at-risk students. She is a speaker/trainer on the college lecture circuit and is a mediator, meeting facilitator and conflict resolution consultant. A member of the Association for Conflict Resolution, she creates effective keynotes, trainings and dispute resolution programs for campuses, organizations and individuals.

"Student Government has been working extremely hard to make this Leadership Conference unique and one to remember," said Student Government President Emily Narog. "We hope that students will walk away learning information that they might not have been aware of, but most importantly, we hope they have a great time. Personally, I am excited to hear Troy Stende speak. I participated in a seminar of his at a National Leadership Conference in California last year and left with a better understanding of the type of leader I wish to become."

The conference registration is free for FS students and high school seniors. Students from other colleges may attend at a cost of $35. For more information on the conference, a registration form or a complete schedule of events, call Laurie Johnston at (304) 367-4705. Registration is due by Wednesday, Feb. 9.