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Timmerman ’19 to Hone Leadership Skills at Summit

Fresh off of her graduation from Ursinus College in May, Joanna Timmerman ’19 will attend the prestigious Hesselbein Student Leadership Summit this summer.

The Hesselbein Student Leadership Summit, held at the University of Pittsburgh, takes place from July 20-23. Timmerman was selected from hundreds of candidates from around the world to participate as one of 50 young leaders aiming to learn how to become more effective, ethical and innovative.

Timmerman hopes that her psychology and educational studies degrees will lead her in the right direction during this program. “I can’t wait to apply that knowledge to what I learn about leadership and service,” she shares, “I was the programming associate for student activities, a resident advisor, a peer advocate and a member of the student government at Ursinus. All of these different leadership roles helped me to develop different skills like organization, communication and advocacy. I think that will be useful at the summit.”

Timmerman originally heard of this opportunity through her mentor Todd McKinney, associate dean of student life and director of student activities, who encouraged her to apply. She immediately set to work on the application, submitting her resume, an essay, descriptions of her extracurricular activities and engagement and a letter of recommendation from McKinney himself.

“In all of my different hats, I was given the opportunity by my mentors to take my own path and make change, and I think that these experiences in independence are what made me stand out as a candidate for the Summit, as well as what I hope to develop further in my time there. The summit is all about engagement and leadership, and my time at Ursinus, in all aspects, certainly will play a major role in my participation at the summit.”

The three-day summit will include professional mentorship and presentations, educational sessions, open dialogues, service and civic engagement projects and even some fun local social events in Pittsburgh. The participants will work with mentors and peers to fulfill the goal of the program: to strengthen leadership among students.

The summit is named for Frances Hesselbein, an accomplished author and former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the U.S., as well as 22 honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the globe. Her many books and articles focus on effective leadership, making her the perfect namesake and inspiration for the young leaders accepted to the summit.

Timmerman has already started preparing for the summit in several ways. She has started connecting with the other leaders from around the world through social media and has begun reading more about education on a global scale. 

After her time at the summit, Timmerman will be starting graduate school at Villanova University pursuing a master’s degree in education with a concentration in higher education while working as a full-time graduate assistant for the Department of Education and Counseling where she will be assisting in research and teaching.

“I am so excited to use this opportunity to further refine my goals, which are currently to continue research in the field and eventually move into education policy work.” –By Mary Lobo ’15