Students responsible for the planning of University Leadership Conference 2008

Members of the 2008 University Leadership Conference Planning Committee (from left, back row) are Kristina Beverly, Leticia Cardosa, Claire Avila, Gina Delacruz, Tamika Cosen and Heather Haddad, student director. In the front row, from left, are May Oo and Darren Chia.

‘Light The Fire Within’ March 8

Conference to Spark College Students’ Potential as Leaders

March 3, 2008

By Debra Cano Ramos

A bizarre accident made Cal State Fullerton alumna Renee Bondi a quadriplegic and drastically changed her life. A music teacher, she had lost her singing voice.

Miraculously, Bondi today is a gifted singer and inspirational speaker. She will share her story and the lessons she learned in the face of adversity at Cal State Fullerton’s 11th annual University Leadership Conference March 8.

Bondi, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music in 1982 and later a teaching credential, will present “What’s Stopping You From Dreaming High?” at 4 p.m. as the conference’s closing speaker.

Author Nancy Hunter Denney is the opening keynote speaker for the daylong conference, discussing leadership and civic engagement — based on her book “How to Zing! Your Life and Leadership: 21 Insights on Maximizing Your Influence” — at 9:20 a.m.

The annual leadership conference, themed “Light the Fire Within!” focuses on leadership education and training. The 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. conference in the Titan Student Union is open to all students from Cal State Fullerton and other college campuses.

Over the last decade the conference has grown from 40 participants the first year to more than 350 students expected this year, said Juanita Razo, assistant dean of students who oversees the conference’s eight-student planning committee.

The conference is an opportunity for college students to learn more about leadership skills, meet fellow students through networking activities and earn a certificate of leadership training to include on a resume, said senior communications major Heather Haddad, student director of the conference planning committee.

“Our goal is to teach college students that no matter what, there are leadership skills within everyone — and that they need to explore their potential to find what they’re good at so they can become strong leaders,” said Haddad. “We want conference participants to have fun and to gain one new thing like making a new friend, learning about leading others or finding what inspires them.”

Haddad’s own service as a student leader has changed her college experience for the better: “I’ve learned a lot about myself, my work style and how to work with other people.”

A variety of workshops, designed to be interactive, informative and fun, will be presented by local business professionals and community leaders. Fullerton mayor and Cal State Fullerton alumna Sharon Quirk is one of several alumni to present workshops at the conference. Quirk discusses “Got Leadership?” workshop at 10:45 a.m. Awards will be given to two Cal State Fullerton students who have demonstrated exemplary leadership.

Conference fee is $20 for Cal State Fullerton students and $25 for non-CSU Fullerton students, and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch. Faculty members and staff working with student leaders also are invited to attend at a cost of $30. registration may be made by March 5 online at Registration also is available on the day of the event.

The conference is a project of Student Affairs’ Leadership and Multicultural Development Programs and is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Title V Retention Initiative. Parking is free in the State College Parking Structure; entrance on State College Boulevard.

For more information, visit or call 657-278-3211.


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