BGSU Firelands education students benefit from experiences at Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit

HURON, Ohio – As part of experiential learning, two Bowling Green State University Firelands education students emerged this fall as standout participants at the Propel Ohio Collegiate Leadership Summit, a statewide student conference promoting civic engagement and leadership organized by Sen. Sherrod Brown.

Engaging with 300 college students from across Ohio, Gabrielle Witt and Savannah Stacy solidified their commitment to leadership and civic engagement, aligning with the comprehensive approach to education at BGSU Firelands.

"Students from our education program may someday have leadership and administrative roles in school districts, and experiences like the Propel Leadership Summit allow students to think of continuing education and career paths in leadership roles," said Dr. Trisha Prunty, the education program coordinator at BGSU Firelands. "All educators are leaders in the communities where they teach, and teachers often advocate for children and families in various ways in their school districts and communities."

Among other activities, the summit asked students to form groups of six — composed of people who just met — to share personal experiences and challenges. The sessions had a profound impact on both Witt and Stacy.

"It made me realize that I need to push to become the best version of myself and be an active member in my community because, one day, I will be in a position to advocate for the needs of others," Witt said, who is a native of Clyde, Ohio.

Stacy, a resident of Tiffin, Ohio, reflected on her academic journey, the summit and her motivation for joining the BGSU Firelands education program.

"I attended the summit because I was inspired to be part of a statewide event that promotes civic engagement and student leadership," Stacy said. "Hearing from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown about civic engagement, learning from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Connie Schultz about journalism's power and being inspired by renowned educator Kurt Russell were impactful moments," she said.

Stacy, who aspires to contribute to the growth of young minds as a teacher, highlighted the positive learning environment fostered at BGSU Firelands and credited professors like June Haynes for their support.

BGSU is one of the largest producers of education graduates in Ohio and has a recognized legacy of placing quality teachers in classrooms nationwide.

"My college journey has been exploratory, including changing majors a couple of times," Stacy said. "The passion for working with children, especially those with special needs, motivated me to join the BGSU Firelands program."

Witt echoed those sentiments, praising professors like Prunty and Heather Closen for their instrumental roles in her academic journey.

The experiences of BGSU Firelands students at the summit showcased the University's commitment to nurturing well-rounded leaders while inspiring active participation in community service and leadership opportunities.

Updated: 12/19/2023 12:09PM