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What Does Leadership Look Like?

With the recent federal government shutdown I’ve been thinking, and reading, a lot about leadership lately. What makes a leader and how does she/he stand out as an influencer – a person others trust and are willing to follow? A person who makes a club, a community, or a country better for all?

I was tempted to think about famous people or leaders from long ago. Then I started reflecting on the leaders who have visited campus and shared their vision and their struggles as they have worked to build inclusive, healthy, resilient, and just communities. And that made me think of the students I’ve worked with at the Bennion Center who are trying to do the very same thing. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

Nick Knight worked with campus partners to put a food pantry for students, faculty and staff on campus in a way that was accessible and shame-free.

Kaitlin McLean wasn’t content watching people experiencing homelessness freeze for lack of shelter during Salt Lake’s brutal winters. She created a way to make sleeping mats out of plastic groceries bags, benefiting the individuals and the environment.

Katie Barber wondered why Utah has such a high opioid overdose rate and what she could do about it. She ended up partnering with Utah Naloxone to create rescue kits that have been distributed throughout the west to reverse opioid overdoses, saving hundreds of lives.

There are dozens more stories I could share. I don’t think any of these students got up one morning and said, “I’m going to change the world.” Yet all of them, in their own way, did. You can too. Whether you’re looking for ways to strengthen our community or just want to make a friend, you belong at the Bennion Center. We’re looking for leaders just like you. Contact us at

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Last Updated: 6/11/19