March 21, 2012

Minority Student Leadership Conference planned

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The 2012 Minority Student Leadership Conference at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is an opportunity for students to learn, share, grow and celebrate their heritage.

The conference is March 29 in the Student Center Ballrooms.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and events runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  There’s no cost to attend.  All students are welcome but organizers particularly encourage all minorities, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian Americans, women and the disabled, to attend.

The theme of the conference is “Empowering Minds for 2030” and the event features well-known guest speakers and a variety of workshops.

“The 2012 Minority Student Leadership Conference will assist individuals from under-represented populations, empowering them with the skills, knowledge, information, tools and experiences they need to become successful leaders,” Michael Haywood, director of the College of Business minority affairs office, said.  “The conference will motivate and encourage students to press through difficult challenges that could hinder them so they can graduate from college, persevere and accomplish great things in life.  It will also empower them for key leadership roles in business and the community.”

You’ve seen Joshua Fredenburg, author, speaker and leadership expert, on BET, the Wayne Brady Show and numerous other radio and television venues across the country, and now he will speak at SIU Carbondale.  He is the author of three books, creator of an annual national leadership conference and popular speaker at colleges, conferences and corporate events throughout much of the United States.  He works to prepare college student leaders for executive-level leadership positions in the corporate world and connects them with executives from major companies while also mentoring and coaching the student leaders.

Mike “Stinger” Glenn, former Saluki and NBA basketball star, will also speak. He recorded perfect attendance and honor roll status while earning a top state basketball player ranking in high school.  Glenn earned his bachelor’s in math with a computer science minor at the University, and from 1977 to 1987, he played for the Buffalo Braves, New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks.  He continued his education with graduate coursework and for many years served as a sports analyst for the Atlanta Hawks, ESPN and other networks and programs.

Glenn, author of “Lessons in Success from the NBA’s Top Players” and “Lessons from My Library Volume 1,” is a renowned speaker and winner of multiple athletic and citizenship/philanthropic awards. He founded All=Start Basketball Camp for the Hearing-Impaired, the nation’s first for that population, more than 25 years ago, giving hearing-impaired athletes a free camp each year.  He has been involved in a variety of youth programs aimed at ending drug abuse and violence and he shares stories of inspiration and accomplishment featuring African American heroes.

Conference participants can participate in a number of workshops.  Featured topics include leadership, public speaking, decision-making, personal goal setting, obstacles, media representation, gender specificity, dress codes, spiritual empowerment, money management, resiliency, stereotyping, time management, successful leadership, effective communication, entrepreneurship and much more.

“The objective of this event is to provide enriching information to all students, especially to minority groups, on a wide range of topics and issues that students will encounter while here at SIU Carbondale and when they move on to the professional work force,” Genesha Pender, co-director of the conference and president of Black Interested in Business (a registered student organization), said. 

The conference also features a luncheon including the presentation of scholarships and awards.  It is a time to celebrate the University’s long history of diversity and inclusion.

“This year we are changing a few things in the program so it better recognizes the increased productivity of the students on campus.  For instance, instead of honoring alumni, we will present awards to several RSOs recognizing them for improvement, leadership and community involvement and we’ll also recognize an individual student for showing exemplary leadership skills and behavior.  We feel it is important to acknowledge the accomplishments and impact that our peers are having on our campus,” Pender added.

Conference coordinators are the Southern Illinois University Collegiate Chapter of the NAACP and Blacks Interested in Business, a registered student organization.

Participants need to pre-register for the workshop but can do so up until the conference date, an extension of the original registration deadline.   To sign up or for more information, visit the website at or contact Haywood at or by calling 618/453-7498.