The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Political science professor talks leadership on TR

By Michael Magnus/ reporter

About 300 students and staff gathered Feb. 17 on TR Campus for the 14thLeadership eXperience Summit featuring a University of Texas at Arlington political science associate professor.“I’m not sure what leadership is,” Allan Saxe said. “It can be defined in a lot of ways. If somebody fails at what they do, are they still a leader? If you stand up against the majority of the people and say no while everyone is saying yes, is that leadership? Leadership has a thousand different faces.”

Saxe has taught political science at UTA for 46 years and also teaches government classes on SE Campus.

His presentation drew laughter with a combination of personal experiences, analogies and current event references. Saxe praised community colleges and spoke on many of the misconceptions about leadership.

“I didn’t feel good about myself, but out of that, I felt a need to succeed,” he said. “Leadership is a very individual thing. If some people need [reinforcement] for leadership, that’s fine. If some people can obtain leadership and success in another way, that’s fine too. I don’t think there is any particular formula for leadership.”

TR student Nikki Thornton said she was relieved that his speech was engaging and not too statistical. She said Saxe was entertaining and accessible to his audience.

Following his presentation, a panel of TR faculty joined Saxe on stage for a question-and-answer session. Other panelists were math and science divisional dean Dreand Johnson, philosophy department chair Chad Wooley, government instructor Jinnell Killingsworth and ethics associate professor Mark Anderson.

TR student development services vice president Adrian Rodriguez led the discussion in which the panel answered leadership questions from faculty and students such as “How has the historical approach to leadership changed over the last 10 years?” and “How do you feel that service to the community fits within a definition of leadership?”

In response to the community question, Johnson referred to his days playing professional baseball.

“One day, [a mentor] sat me down and said, ‘If you want to make it in this league, of course, talent is everything. However, if you want to be a legend, you have to give back to the community.’ For leadership greatness, service is extremely important.”

Bailey said he wants students to realize that leadership is more about what they do than what they say. He said his goal was to get students to take what they learn and apply it in the community.

“Even if they volunteer just one time, I believe they will appreciate the experience,” Bailey said.

Volunteer opportunities made available during the summit included service organizations such as Meals On Wheels, Samaritan House, Student Government Association, Neighbor Helping Neighbor and Recovery Resource Council.

TR Campus has taken a proactive approach with its leadership program, The All-Stars, TR president Tahita Fulkerson said.

“We had a long conversation on what mattered to us in starting a new campus,” she said. “We came up with some hallmarks, the first of which is an unshakable focus on student success and student learning. [Rodriguez] brought forth the idea of a leadership group.”

Fulkerson said the All-Stars have regular activities to learn not only to lead but also to see themselves as leaders. Past opportunities have included weekend leadership retreats and workshops presenting leadership from different perspectives.

“I found out about the All-Stars during freshman orientation,” said All-Star member Alfonso Cadava. “I was interested because of the leadership and different leadership environments. At first I was shy, but I’ve gained confidence in the call of duty and stepped up when I’ve needed to be a leader.”

However, Saxe believes students are already leaders.

“You have leadership already,” he said. “You’re privileged as well. Look at all the institutions at TCC. They are amazing. They reach out to you. The key thing is, make the most of it.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian