Before finishing up her spring semester in UF’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Casey Martin was on the grounds of the United States Military Academy at West Point, working with a small group of student leaders from around the country. Martin attended the Fourth Annual McDonald Cadet Leadership Conference (MCLC), an invitation-only opportunity that unites emerging student leaders with a diverse group of senior fellows. Past participants have included the former president of Mexico, the CEO of American Express and an Academy Award winning screenwriter.
“In less than 72 hours, I was pushed to learn more, lead more, and be more,” said Martin.
One of 84 student fellows invited to the event, Martin was immersed in panels and in small group settings with global CEOs, directors and chairmen. This year’s focus was From Failure to Inspiration and Change and attendees engaged in thought-provoking exercises designed to encourage critical thinking and strategic collaboration.
“The focus of the conference was foundational, it addressed adversity, vision, learning and governing. All panels were led by senior fellows who presented constant and unparalleled wisdom, incomparable to any conference I’ve previously attended,” said Martin.
Martin was nominated to attend the conference because of her involvement in the UF Engineering Leadership Institute, or ELI. Housed in the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, the ELI is focused on being the central source of education and training programs where engineering students can expand their values and ethics, engage in creative thinking, and be prepared to take on leadership roles in the workplace. Martin served on the ELI’s student leadership advisory board from 2015-2016.
Martin and Gator Engineering student leaders are able to attend this and other enriching opportunities thanks to private donors who continue to invest in the college. Notable alums Linda Parker Hudson and Thomas O. Hunter are longtime supporters of engineering leadership education and have established funds to assist student leaders with scholarships, training and networking opportunities. Previous conferences attended by ELI students include the National Institute of Leadership Achievement (SHPE NILA), Simmons Leadership Conference, and the National Conference on Ethics in America (NCEA).
Read more about the UF Engineering Leadership Institute: https://www.eng.ufl.edu/leadership/