Suffolk University student leaders visited national monuments, learned about American leaders, and interacted with peers from across the country during a Washington, DC, Leadership Exchange.

“Students experience leadership in action through this program,” said Dave DeAngelis, director of the Office of Student Leadership & Involvement. “They deepen their understanding of leadership by diving into our nation’s history.”

Student leaders from Suffolk joined colleagues from Augustana College in Illinois and Maryville University of St. Louis in exploring the nation’s capital and analyzing major events in U.S. history.

“I learned a lot about myself as a leader—what I do well and what I need to improve on,” said sophomore Kim Ginsberg, a Student Government Association senator and chair of its Student Affairs Committee. “I also learned about our country’s great leaders, and in visiting all the monuments to them gained more understanding of how much a leader can actually do,” said Ginsberg, who particularly enjoyed visiting the World War II Memorial.

The four-day Leadership Exchange trip also included visits to the Washington Monument, Rev. Martin Luther King Monument, Lincoln Monument, Vietnam War Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

Making connections

Senior Sarah Anderson valued lessons learned from visits with three woman who work on Capitol Hill, including Suffolk alumna Natasha Silva, MPA/MSPS ’15, who serves as a legislative correspondent for U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.).

“It was great to hear how they started out as interns while in college and to compare their experiences with my own,” said Anderson, whose leadership roles at Suffolk have included serving as an alternative spring break leader, service-learning facilitator, and Jumpstart team leader. “I also enjoyed hearing how some of them used their networks and experiences to get to where they are now.

The Augustana College and Maryville University students talked about their schools’ leadership experiences and cultures.

“It made me appreciate the diversity that we have here at Suffolk, and made me realize that not everyone has the same opportunities to fully understand what it’s like to live in a melting pot of a city,” said Anderson.

“Learning about different leadership styles from other students was very helpful. I learned about what worked and didn’t work at other schools and how I can adapt some of those things to my own leadership style,” said Ginsburg.