Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity believes that leadership isn’t positional — it can come from anywhere in the organization. In that spirit, three younger members of the Theta Pi Chapter at the University of Texas at Tyler are now prepared to utilize that potential lead on campus.
Aristeo Hernandez, Bradley Hudson, and Gage Nippert are among the 100 of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity’s nearly 12,000 undergraduate members selected for Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders, an intensive, six-day leadership development experience that empowers participants to create the ideal chapter.
The UT Tyler student attended the third session on July 10-15 at the University of South Carolina. The program is designed to challenge and inspire participants to become better leaders and better men.
Student participants were assigned to small groups consisting of 10 Pi Kappa Phi members from around the country, led by two faculty. The facilitation team, made up of friends of the Fraternity and alumni, provided a wealth of knowledge to attendees, including decades of higher education and leadership development experience to challenge and support the men.
The week included small group discussion, large group education sessions, a challenge course, unique subordinate rituals, and an insider look at Pi Kappa Phi’s history on the nearby College of Charleston campus. The Fraternity was founded there in 1904, making the physical setting an important element of the program. Participants also spent time with clients of the ARC of South Carolina, experiencing how their values connect to the Ability Experience, the fraternity’s philanthropy, which serves people with disabilities.
As the week progressed, men were challenged daily to learn and reflect on their own morals and strengths as well as the core values of the fraternity.
For Hernandez, a sophomore from Marshall, Texas, inner-reflection and team-building activities helped better identify his greatest skills and opportunities as a leader. “I got to discover how I can put my strengths to good use. I learned that not all leaders are the same, which was important for me to learn about because I never thought about how the best leader can be an outstanding follower.”
Touring historic Charleston, South Carolina, was also a highlight of his experience. “Being able walk the same path as our founders, in the place where it all started, was a surreal experience that I will never forget. And I can’t forget about the standout guys that were there with me from all over the country. I’m glad I can call them all my brothers.”
Attending Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders is an honor in itself. Students are selected through a rigorous application process, involving interviews and essays. Graduates leave with an increased commitment to acting consistently with their core personal values and values of Pi Kappa Phi, enhanced abilities to develop and enrich relationships as well as a strengthened commitment to respecting the dignity of all people, and embraced belief in aspiring toward the “ideal chapter”, and developing the capability to move a plan into action.
Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders has proven to be one of the fraternity’s most impactful ― and most enduring ― leadership experiences. Since its redesign in 2010, nearly three-quarters of all Pi Kapp College graduates have gone on to hold leadership positions in their chapters or campus communities.
The Theta Pi Alumni Chapter supported the student leaders by underwriting a portion of their travel expenses.
To learn more about Pi Kapp College for Emerging Leaders or to apply, click this link: http://www.pikapp.org/content.aspx?id=773