Congratulations to everyone who submitted a successful program proposal!

The program abstracts are below (and are subject to change):



Quynn Oates & Owen Harris

Sexual violence – it’s relevant, it happens, and as student leaders we can help make change on our campuses. #ItCanHappenHere is a student created campaign at Brock University which focuses on sexual violence awareness and prevention. The campaign uses photos and videos to showcase sexual violence on campus statistics. Additionally, #ItCanHappenHere acts as a voice for survivors, it provides resources to students/staff, and it reflects the fact that sexual violence is an increasing issue specifically on post-secondary campuses. In this presentation, you will gain tools and knowledge on how to help spread awareness and prevention in regards to sexual violence on your campus. #ItCanHappenHere and we’re ready for change.


Achieving Goals. How and Why?

Anastasia Naleykina & James Barbosa

Why do people become leaders? Perhaps something draws them to leadership or it is imposed onto them because of their inherent skills. Why do goals drive us and make life easier? Maybe it paints a clearer picture for us to follow. These are questions we should ask ourselves if we want to succeed. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy


Building a High-Performance Organization From the Inside Out

Jayden Wlasichuk & Éric Boucher

Join us for an interactive session where you will learn the importance of building strong internal frameworks to create long-lasting, high-performing organizations. Through personal examples, the presenters will discuss various tips and tricks and lessons learned regarding policy development. This session will pay attention to the effects that policies and procedures have on member growth, team building, and organizational success. Some of the key topics examined in this presentation include: disciplinary proceedings, long term planning, and building a high-performance team. The goal of this program is to provide attendees with a holistic view of the symbiotic relationship between members, policies, and long-term organizational success.


Brand New You: Take Charge of Your Personal Brand

Alyssa Berardocco

George Bernard Shaw once said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” You have a personal brand, but have you consciously cultivated it? It’s time to hop on the brand wagon to develop your leadership identity and create your personal brand. In this interactive and engaging session, you will learn the tips and tricks to develop your brand and discover how to get noticed. Your brand is in your hands. Build a brand new you.


Difference as Power

Aisha Ryan

In Difference as Power, Aisha Ryan will invite leaders to consider what makes them different and the ways that these differences have influenced their capacities to be effective leaders. Aisha will share her experiences as a hijab-wearing Muslim and how she was able to transform negative experiences into something positive. Participants will be encouraged to capitalize on what makes them different, to encourage this same sense of confidence in those around them, and to discuss how campuses can transform into safer environments for student engagement.


Enhance Your Communication Skills

Sarah Salt

Communication is one of the most challenging leadership skills because it is often easy to say but difficult to use. Through this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to enhance their communication skills including active listening and understanding different work styles. Participants will take part in an active workshop to develop their communication skills.


Finding Your Passion Through Leadership

Bianca Caldas

Do you enjoy helping others? Do you find yourself trying to learn new things every day? Do you enjoy connecting with people in your field and networking with them? Then you have come to the right place! In this presentation, we are going to be talking about things that you are passionate about and what makes you excited to start your day. Through time and different experiences, I have discovered that there are SO many things you can do to figure out what your passion is without doing a series of vocational tests and trying ten different jobs at once. It all starts with asking yourself the right questions to find out what you really enjoy, so let’s start now!


Good Governance – Best Practices on How to Lead Your Team

Samantha Hoover, Andrew Pidsadny, Jonah Schaufler-Biback, & Ireland Stevens

What is governance? How do student leaders typically govern? Why do student associations need direction? Learn the answers to these questions and more at the session, “Good Governance – Best Practices on How to Lead Your Team”, led by the Mohawk Students’ Association. Our main intent with this presentation is to educate about governance and to give attendees a better understanding of how to put governance into practice, through various methods.


Grit Grind

Marissa Martin

Like Vancouver’s notorious Stairmaster, the Grouse Grind, grit is not something to compare to a walk in the park. Research has shown that grit is a key indicator of future success in all disciplines. However, developing grit takes time, energy, devotion and passion. As leaders of today, grit is not only encouraged, but required for success in many areas of our lives. It is well enough to say that leaders need to be gritty, but it is another discussion entirely when referring to encouraging grit in those we lead. This interactive workshop will provide you with a toolkit to encourage grittiness in your own life, as well as in the lives of those you lead. By the end of the session, you will have developed your own ways to actively infuse and increase grit in daily life, and will have better insight into the power and potential of grit.


How to Achieve Psychological Safety

Eliana Masse & Owen Faulkner-Nolan

Psychological safety is the belief that everyone is safe to take risks when working in a team. It is the premise of the 13 factors to a healthy and safe workplace that will be legislated in 2018. Taking these risks lead to greater opportunities, and even greater outcomes. How to Achieve Psychological Safety outlines concepts needed to build an atmosphere to support and create a safe work environment that fosters high performance, and how leaders can implement it into their own teams.


How to Work Effectively with Your Student Development Staff

Aran Armutlu

Why does it matter how you interact with student development staff on campus? As co-curricular and student engagement programing continues to grow in Canadian post-secondary institutions, it is important for student leaders to understand how to best work with student development staff. As student leaders, we will find ourselves engaging with staff quite often. This means spending a lot of time with them, developing working relationships, and attempting to both learn from them and contribute meaningfully to their work. This workshop will be a discussion and a summary of survey findings of what leads to effective working relationships between staff and student leaders. Attendees will share positive anecdotes and go over ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of working with staff. Attendees will walk away with a new found understanding of the expectations from staff, as well as reflect on what they bring to the table.


Leadership and Disruption: Creating Innovation on Our Campuses

Igor Samardzic

Fostering an environment that is centered on improving the student experience and participating in productive disruption of the current systems and processes that exist on our campuses. This workshop will explore student centric design thinking as an innovative process to improving the student experience. We will look at U of T’s brand-new Re-Imagining Leadership Retreat as a case study for this work! In this session, we will learn to apply design thinking concepts to problems faced by everyday students on campuses around Canada. Participants will be given the opportunity to consider problems, ideate, create solutions, and receive feedback and hopefully be inspired to make a difference on their campuses.


Leadership, Compassion, and Resilience – Why Leaders Don’t Give Up In The Face of Adversity

Breanna Piccolotto

Why did any of us become leaders in the first place? If you’re anything like myself, the path to becoming a student leader had a lot to do with the challenges I faced in my own life, and the compassion and resilience I developed because of the adversity I faced. Leaders continually face adversity, yet many of us has been in leadership roles for the majority of our lives…and we enjoy it? Why is this? By examining leadership literature and tying in personal experiences with the testimonies of other student leaders, this program will explore the relationship between leadership, resilience, and compassion to explain why student leaders rise up to challenges and persist through adversity.

***TRIGGER WARNING: discussion of suicide ideation and attempts of suicide****


Leading Through the UN’s 17 SDG’s

Amelia Savoie

In 2015, the United Nations set 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to achieve by 2030. This session will highlight how students can get involved in helping achieving these goals by applying them to on campus & off campus initiatives. It will also highlight the history behind the goals, and examples from other colleges & universities around the world. This session will also highlight resources available for students to use and how to create awareness about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on campus.


Mental Health: The Power of Music and the Mind

Gizelle de Guzman

Using music and personal stories, this session strives to discuss the important issues surrounding mental health. As a previous Mental Health Youth Ambassador with the Alberta Children’s Hospital, I have worked with children and mental health advocacy, which informs this session. Focusing on how music can heal you, I will be singing some of my original songs. I will be talking about how to overcome fear and anxiety, most especially “social labels” by using healthy coping skills and I will be sharing my own story – the resiliency that I worked so hard for. The session will give participants the opportunity to explore mental health tools and practices using discussion and activities. At the end of the session, participants will be doing a Mindfulness Activity.


Share Your Story: Being a Mental Health Ally in Post-Secondary Institutions

Emilie Dudman

This session will provide students with an understanding of what mental health looks like in post-secondary institutions. This session includes a look into a mental health focused event “Share Your Story” and how this 2015 established event has changed the outlook of mental health for various students on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus. We will not only address mental health but we will further discuss the impact of students’ roles within a college or university, the impact of stigma, as well as how we can be advocates for change and inclusion of those struggling with a mental illness. At this end of this session you will understand why it is important to be a mental health leader in your school community.


Tackling Wellness with UFV Campus Rec

Hannah Young

REACH @UFVRec is a wellness & engagement challenge that was largely developed and run by a student. Launching in Fall 2017, this was a way to promote student health and wellness, increase awareness of campus resources, and reward students for prioritizing their health. We want to give you a full break down on what we are doing and why, from the proposal process to the budget, acquisition of prizes and more. Ultimately, the goal is to share our journey and encourage thought on campus promotion of health and wellness. Why should you consider running a wellness challenge? Come find out!


The Golden Circle

Mindy Vegter & Jenny Vu

Have you ever felt stuck in life, unsure of where you want to go or what you want to do? Are you at a point where you feel as though changes need to be made so that you can get on the road to fulfilling your goals? These feelings may impact how many of us view ourselves and how we perform as both leaders to ourselves and others. As Simon Sinek once said, “What good is an idea if it remains an idea? Try. Experiment. Iterate. Fail. Try again. Change the world.” Though these feelings of uncertainty may impact our views, they do not need to control us. With some time to think introspectively and some help in identifying your goals and ambitions, something as simple as a circle may be the answer to unlocking your future as a leader for yourself and others.


The Happiness of Pursuit

Chelsea Mizzi

You are students, you are leaders and you are people. As student leaders, you get a sense of accomplishment, a small adrenaline rush when you complete an assignment or task, slowly completing your quest to graduation. But as people, sometimes those accomplishments aren’t enough anymore and for a lot of you after graduation those tasks won’t be a part of your life going forward. That is where the happiness of pursuit comes in, one clear goal that you pick, that can be completed in a specific amount of time. There are only three guidelines to get started, the rest is up to you, it can be as impactful or as care free as you want. Imagine creating an immense sense of joy and achievement for not only yourself but possibly others, because you fulfilled an objective completely of your own choosing and control, that is what a happiness pursuit is all about.


The Importance of Purpose

Joel Codoy

How can we be role models in our communities? How do we become a leader and help others with the goal of benefiting our communities? A great leader does not represent themselves. Rather, they represent a collective and a cause. Great leaders are the unified voices of the people who bring value to the community by strengthening its connection. Through mentorship, service, and advocacy, a great leader supports communal growth. In order to facilitate this growth, we need to work with our community and build. However, in order to build together, we must first understand each other. Empathy is at the base of a community and the core of a great leader. A purpose behind a leader’s empathy is what drives them out into their communities to shape the world.


The Power of Friendship & Connecting With Others

Aidan Paskinov & Andrew Kuttain

We can’t choose the people we work with, but we can choose how we work with them. Learn through experiences and examples exactly how impactful forming meaningful relationships can be. The people we work with shape our experiences, our projects and what we can accomplish, so it’s important that you learn to not just work with each other, but to enjoy working with each other. In that way we can all reach our goals and do so in a much more meaningful way. We want to share our stories, experiences, and our knowledge of how connecting with others amplifies the impact that we can have in our roles as student leaders.


The Six Capacities to Lead Initiatives

Adam Goodwin

Why? Check. How? Check. What? Come learn a few secrets about capacity, or the ability of a group/initiative/organization to fulfill its goals (e.g., leading an initiative off campus). This hands-on 45-minute workshop will help participants develop knowledge and skills to use The Six Capacities to increase the chance of implementing and sustaining a leadership initiative in the campus community, or local community. Come explore specific things that leaders can do to use The Six Capacities to instill their leadership initiative on campus or beyond! Bring an idea for an initiative, or a current initiative, to discuss in your to-be-assigned group.


The Ultimate Balancing Act: Being Involved and Avoiding Student Leader Fatigue

Lindsey Fletcher & Emily Vance

Have you ever experienced ‘Student Leader Burnout’? By determining the roots of student leader burnout, we can recognize the energy balance needed for student leadership, and better understand what it takes to be successful in any role(s) you take on. Come find out more about where your well-being comes into play with your role(s) as a leader, and strive towards mutually beneficial student leadership experiences. As an added bonus, you’ll get to leave this session with your own free “Life Mason Jar”!


UFV Lead

Arjun Gill, Inder Ghatora, & Maegan McKay

UFV lead is a developmental program designed for new students to enhance their involvement on campus and within the community, as well as develop their leadership skills. This is accomplished through a three-step process. In Step 1, new students are paired with a mentor. During their first year, these new students (mentees) will be in contact with their mentors about how to effectively adjust to the challenges of university, gain exposure to events on campus, and receive advice on how to improve their leadership skills. After Step 1, mentees can transition to a mentor role (Step 2). From Step 2, mentors can enter Step 3, in which they work closely with a UFV alumni working in the same field. As students transition through the program, they will receive all the tools necessary to become strong leaders who can make a significant impact within their community.


We’re In This Together

Lauren Dallow

In response to Bill 23 passed by the BC Provincial government in 2016, UFV developed the policy on the Prevention, Education, and Response to Sexualized Violence. #InThisTogether is an initiative on campus that offers 3 workshops to students to educate them on sexualized violence prevention. By providing student leaders with education surrounding how to prevent and respond to sexualized violence, UFV is honoring a commitment to create a safer community for students and staff. This presentation will discuss some potential workshops to offer to students, discuss the challenges associated with implementing a similar program, and give participants an idea of how to implement a similar program, or improve a program already in place on their campuses.


Why You Need to Take More Time Off

Telka Pesklevits

Everybody looks at what being healthy means in a different way. A lot of what we learn about being healthy is from the people around us. As a leader, how you treat your health affects those around you, whether you realize it or not. Coming in to work or volunteer when you aren’t feeling great sends a message to those around you. Learn about why taking time off not only helps your health but also the culture around you, as well as how it’s more than just an issue of possibly passing along a cold.


With Authenticity We Lead

Samantha Baker, Tarika Shastry, & Stephanie Tate

Leading authentically is something that anyone can strive to do. Leadership opportunities are everywhere and by understanding the qualities an individual believes a good leader possesses, participants will be able to observe these opportunities presented in their daily lives. By reflecting inwards, participants will be shown that they have and can develop the qualities of a great leader. This program provides participants the opportunity to recognize gestures in daily interactions that can be defined as a natural way of leading; highlighting the practices of leadership in raw and authentic ways. Through the theoretical framework of self-leadership, this workshop will emphasize the processes of influencing oneself and honing in on our own individual leadership qualities (Neck and Manz, 1992).