Haley Clement, Agricultural Education PhD student, joined Leadership Academy for the sixth year of the program and plans to stick around for year seven.
Mrs. Clement comes to us from Paso Roble, California. Though she didn’t live on a farm, she grew up in agriculture and raised sheep and cattle for 4-H and FFA. Upon graduation for high school Mrs. Clement began her pursuit in higher education at Chico State where she earned her Bachelors of Science in Agricultural Sciences in 2010. Immediately after she pursued a credential program to became a certified teacher. Mrs. Clement taught at Liberty Ranch for four years, teaching all the fun ag classes such as agriculture chemistry, agricultural government and agricultural economics.
In the Fall of 2014, she was recruited for AgriCorps. Within the next six months Haley and her boyfriend got engaged, married, quit both of their jobs and moved to Ghana. In Ghana, they developed 4-H programs and conducted teacher training programs. This work is where Mrs. Clement discovered her love for teacher education. She decided to come to Oregon State because obviously we’re the best (my personal opinion, not Mrs. Clement’s), but more specifically she toured campus and everyone she met was “incredible.” And more specifically she, “really admired Dr. Velez and really admires the Leadership Minor.”
When Mrs. Clement received the offer of being a student AND teacher with full teaching responsibilities rather than just a Teaching Assistant she couldn’t pass it up. Since accepting the offer, she has been officially deemed the coordinator of the Leadership Academy. This means she is in charge of all the logistics: writing lesson plans, preparing class material(s) and seminars, contacting advisory board members, members and other stakeholders, the recruitment and application process of new fellows and other administrative tasks. Mrs. Clement is a busy woman; her current school schedule precludes her teacher role to be physically present in the classroom. This being said, without her two other partners in success, Dr. Jonathan Velez and Lauren LaGrande, the Leadership Academy wouldn’t be nearly as organized and productive as it is today.
To Mrs. Clement, Leadership Academy is, “an opportunity for students to grow as professionals.” She believes though the Leadership minor is fantastic, not all students have the time or funds to go through the coursework. “It provides these same opportunities to the students. Opportunities are provided rather than forced and fellows are responsible for taking the opportunities and growing from them.”
There are currently 27 students and three instructors in the cohort. The students span across eight different departments within the college fostering a unique and diverse learning and working environment which Mrs. Clement says is valuable to the experience.
The current cohort is in its last term together and are currently working together in small teams to conduct service learning projects. This term’s main focus is for fellows to understand and learn who their authentic selves are as well as what it means to serve and give back. These “lessons” are only small aspects of the Leadership Academy though.
Fellows have been working together throughout the school year learning about their personal leadership abilities and qualities in the fall and how to conduct personal and organizational change in the winter. Along with this fellows are purposely matched with mentors for the year who serve as life coaches. Mentors are committed to their student through their own free will; they serve to challenge and inspire their mentees to become better leaders.
The Leadership Academy cohort is expected to grow by eight next year for a total of 35 incredible, insightful individuals. Though the administrative team may be changing a bit with Lauren graduating, Mrs. Clement is excited to play a heavier role with teaching next year due to the Academy’s meeting time being switched to Wednesday nights.
Mrs. Clement acknowledges that this is not a “one-woman show,” like she expressed earlier, “Dr. Velez and Lauren are very essential to making the operation run.” Along with that, the Leadership Academy is backed with a lot of support from the college, department and industry which enables them to, “really be the best that we can be.”
To learn more feel free to visit their website: http://agsci.oregonstate.edu/leadership_academy