How do THEY lead?

 

UChicago Leader Profiles

2017 Student Leader Award

Recipients Edition

 

Mary Blair_thumb.jpg

Name: Mary Blair

Hometown:  St. Louis, MO

Major / Program of Study: Political Sciences, Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies

Involvement on Campus / Chicago Community: President of Organization of Black Students, Institute of Politics (Leaders of Color, Chicago Peace Corps, Civic Engagement Intern), University Community Service Center (Summer Links, Chicago Bound), Women's Rugby Team

 

What leadership skills have been most helpful to you in any formal leadership roles you’ve held?  

I think one of the most important skills that any good leader should have is being able to listen.  It can be easy for people in positions of leadership to feel as though their word should be final, but good leadership requires collaboration.  

 

In what ways have you seen your leadership skills develop?

I think that the one of the most useful aspects of leadership that I have come to learn in my time as a UChicago student is how to welcome constructive criticism.  It can be really hard to hear your peers criticize you and your work, but I have come welcome criticism, as it has been the constructive criticisms of my peers and mentors that have helped me become the best version of myself.

 

Favorite Quote Related to Leadership:

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive. ” – Audre Lorde

 

19477455_1410270959041748_2925290952574812335_o_thumb.jpg

Name: Nikhil Mandalaparthy

Major / Program of Study: Public Policy, South Asian Languages & Civilizations

Involvement on Campus / Chicago Community: South Asian Students Association Board Member, Hindu Student Sangam Board Member, Chicago Bound, and off-campus, the Sadhana Coalition of Progressive Hindus. I was also formally involved with Model UN, the South Asian Music Ensemble, and the Spiritual Life Council.

 

What does leadership mean to you?

To me, leadership means having the initiative and drive to turn your own ideas into reality, but also being a team player and assisting others in doing the same.

 

What leadership skills have been most helpful to you in any formal leadership roles you’ve held?  

To me, the most valuable leadership skill is having the courage to ask others for help. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and if you want a project to succeed, you have to be willing to reach out to others who have different strengths than you.

 

What can a UChicago student do to grow as a leader during their time on campus?

Join clubs and RSOs that you're passionate about! Try to have at least one commitment in your schedule that isn't at all connected to your academic and career interests -- not only is it good for your mental health, you'll feel really proud of the time and effort you spend developing your other passions.    

 

Isabella Pan Pic_thumb.png

Name: Isabella Pan

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Major / Program of Study: Comparative Human Development

Involvement on Campus / Chicago Community: GlobeMed at the U of C, Peer Health Exchange, Pre-Medical Students Association, The Triple Helix

 

What leadership skills have been most helpful to you in any formal leadership roles you’ve held?  

The most important thing is to be a good listener. When I listen to my peers carefully, I gain an understanding of what drives them - their goals, values and vulnerabilities. Only with this understanding can a leader hope to build a cohesive unit and produce an end product well-aligned with every team member’s vision.

 

Favorite Quote Related to Leadership:

 “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” - Mother Theresa

 

What can a UChicago student do to grow as a leader during their time on campus? 

Find a cause - and a group of people - that you’re truly passionate about. Don’t limit yourself to participating in what you believe will impress others. If you’re not wholly devoted, you’ll find it difficult to stick around in the face of setbacks.

 

ZainaZayyad_Headshot_thumb.PNG

Name: Zaina Zayyad

Hometown: Hickory Hills, IL

Program of Study: MD/PhD in Computational Neuroscience

Involvement on Campus / Chicago Community: Pritzker School of Medicine Dean’s Council, Pritzker Curriculum Review Committee, Pritzker Identity and Inclusion Committee, Washington Park Pediatric Free Clinic, JOURNEES Service Trip

 

Favorite Quote Related to Leadership:

So many! But the first that comes to mind is currently, “When it gets tough, will you give up or will you be relentless?” (Attributed to Jeff Bezos)

 

When did you first identify yourself as a leader?

When trying to chart a difficult and uncertain path for an organization, I sought guidance and worked to inform myself. The path was still not clear, but I ultimately realized that I needed to make the final call. After doing due diligence, it was my elected position to make the decision, lead the organization, and instill confidence in others as we forged ahead. That was a special moment!

 

What can a UChicago student do to grow as a leader during their time on campus?

Try to understand what you’re passionate about. Learn about yourself and the people you’re trying to lead. Think about why you want to lead them, and how you’re responsible/accountable for the roles you’ve assumed. Be courageous. Of course, take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it. Rinse and repeat!