John Lof Leadership Academy

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Happy Graduate Student Appreciation Week! I hope some of the JLLA members and other graduate students were able to join some of the events happening this week! ...

JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

On March 26th, the Leadership Philosophy committee presented their workshop. They discussed the foundational components of a leadership philosophy and how JLLA members can create their own. Additionally, we played a game of Family Feud JLLA style! ...

This week's quote was chosen by Giovanna Fusco. ...

Meet Giovanna Fusco! She is a second-year civil engineering PhD candidate, and the Public Relations Director of John Lof.

Link to her feature is in our bio!
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The committee on "How to be a leader in your field" will be having a workshop on April 9th for JLLA members. ...

JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

We want to congratulate one of the founding members of JLLA and it's inaugural president on passing her PhD defense! Congrats Dr. Randi Mendes ( @enviroeng_by_randi )! We are excited to see what you do next! ...

This week's quote was chosen by Michael Reisert. ...

Meet Michael Reisert! He is a fourth-year PhD student conducting materials research with an emphasis in electrochemistry and energy systems.

Link to his feature is in our bio!
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From @uconnengineer :

Please join us for a 2021 UConn Engineering Graduate Student Appreciation Week event on Thursday, April 8th, 2021 on the Student Union Terrace from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.

We want to thank all of you for everything you have done and continue to do. Come out and pick up a gift from your Engineering Family. Enjoy some ice cream and hot chocolate to go!

To attend, please RSVP at link in our bio or via the QR code on the attached flyer!
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JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

On March 26th, JLLA members from the Leadership Philosophy committee will be hosting a workshop. What comes to mind for you when you think of leadership philosophy? ...

This week's quote was chosen by Ayana Ghosh. ...

Meet Ayana Ghosh! She is a postdoctoral research associate who obtained her PhD this past summer. She applies machine learning techniques to various materials science challenges through her research.

Link to her feature is in our bio!
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Remember that videos of your poster are due next Friday, Monday 26th for the SoE Virtual Poster Competition!

Link for submission is in our bio!
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JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

On March 5th, the IDing Opportunities committee presented to members about how to prepare themselves for opportunities. Members also looked at case studies to learn how to strategize when they are need of an opportunity.

An article about this workshop can be found in our bio!
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This week's quote was chosen by Douglas Hendrix. ...

Meet Douglas Hendrix! He is a PhD candidate in Materials Science and Engineering. He studies high performance concrete and will be graduating this May!

Link to his feature is in our bio!
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GSS is asking for nominations for the GSS Graduate Community Award ($500) to be awarded to a graduate student who has made a significant contribution to intellectual, cultural, and professional capital of the graduate student community at UConn!

Link to application in bio!
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JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

Please join me in welcoming Samantha Bertolino, our new student written communications specialist!

Samantha is a third year undergraduate at the University of Connecticut where she is working towards a degree in English as well as dual minors in Anthropology and Digital Marketing. As a student who loves both reading and writing, she hopes to someday work as a copyeditor.
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This week's quote was chosen by Tori Danis. ...

Meet Tori Danis! She is a 2nd year PhD student in Chemical Engineering as well as the current Activities Director for JLLA.

Link to her feature is in our bio!
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We want to feature a diverse group of STEM professionals at any career level on our social platforms! If you would like to be featured like Cel, please fill out this form, which can be found in our bio. ...

JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

From the Student Association of Graduate Engineers ( @sage_uconn ):

UConn's School of Engineering ( @uconnengineer ) along with SAGE are having their annual poster competition on April 1st, 2021.

Submit your abstract by March 12th to secure your spot. Video submission of abstract is due by March 26th. Links for submissions in bio.

SAGE is also looking for volunteers to help moderate the poster competition from 10am-12pm on April 1st. If you are interested, please send an email to SAGE at engr-sage@uconn.edu.
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Biomedical Engineering (BME or BioEng) is a multidisciplinary STEM field that combines biology and engineering, applying engineering principles and materials to medicine and healthcare.

Cel loves "BME's power to combine engineering and science in new innovative ways that actively help to change the world." They also said "I can't think of any other field where you can find experts with such diverse backgrounds! You will have people who are experts in all sorts of biology, chemistry, physics, electrical or mechanical engineering, computer science, many with 2 or more at once! The capability of BME to move beyond the tired "an X engineer is an X engineer and nothing more!" mentality blows my mind. I love to see people getting their hands dirty and trying new things that they weren't professionally trained in, and I think that through BME, people are able to learn by doing, and pick up all sorts of skills along the way."
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In Cel's job, they make miniaturized, multiplexed diagnostic devices for things like COVID-19, cancer diagnostics, and remote health monitoring. They think "[t]his is amazing because I get to create technologies that have the potential to save human lives and improve the accessibility of healthcare for vulnerable populations (in addition to doing lots of nerdy tech stuff!). Being partnered with industry [PerkinElmer] means that my designs and prototypes that I make can eventually become actual lifesaving products, which is incredible!" ...

This week's quote was chosen by our guest feature Cel Welch. ...

JLLA.engr.uconn.edu ...

Meet Cel Welch! They are a PhD Student at Brown University doing research in Biomedical Engineering.

To them, leadership is about inspiring others to achieve things they never felt they could. Teaching others to internalize their capabilities is hugely important to them as it is something they've always personally struggled with. They believe "that leadership is fundamentally about motivating people to achieve their maximum potential. It's also about learning to accept criticism and improve yourself." Cel recently got very into accepting how little they know and have used this to be a better leader. They are constantly growing and learning how to be respectful while also pushing forward. In summary, they stated that "leadership is a process, and effective leadership extends far beyond simply bossing people around."

They said that "[r]epresentation in leadership positions is critically important because leaders are the people who inspire others. People look to leaders for guidance. If no leaders look like them or have similar background to them, people will feel that they cannot achieve success, that they don't know how to or simply don't know if it's possible."

They also said, "[s]tudents of color, LGBTQIA+ students, first generation students, immigrants and other groups have very challenging times in the [biomedical engineering] field still. We are moving towards progress and understanding the unique assets that a diverse group of biomedical engineers bring to the table. However, it's inaccurate to say that discrimination isn't lurking in the bushes in academic and industrial workplaces. I have personally faced much retaliation for being visibly LGBTQ+, and have observed racism, sexism, and more. I believe in the philosophy of continuous improvement and I think that as a community we are constantly moving towards a more equitable future. I am personally committed to overseeing this change during my lifetime."

You can follow them at /@citizenSTEM and /@QueerEngineers on Twitter. Additionally keep a look out on Wednesday to learn more about Cel!
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If you are a graduate student of color at UConn, consider getting involved with the Graduate Students of Color Association ( @uconngsca )!

Please email them at gscauconn@gmail.com to be added to their email listserv to stay updated on upcoming events and initiatives.
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About Us

The UConn School of Engineering is proud to announce the establishment of the John Lof Leadership Academy for Graduate Engineering Students. Backed by the generous endowment from John Lof, a former UConn Electrical and Computer Science professor of 35 years, this exclusive Academy will aim to continue the legacy of Dr. Lof, who wished to reward and cultivate a select group of future leaders and engineering trailblazers.  The proceeds of the endowment will be used toward the direct support of the student members (in the form of grants and fellowships) as well as the corresponding Academy programs. Applicants are accepted annually for two-year tenures in the academy.

 

Mission Statement

Without culturally competent visionaries that are able to communicate, collaborate, and create, there would be no progress in society. The John Lof Leadership Academy strives to inform and inspire these next-generation leaders in academia, industry, and beyond.

Through a “for us, by us” philosophy, John Lof Scholars aim to develop themselves through focused training, specialized workshops, and active learning through outreach and enterprise on and off the UConn campus.

How JLLA Works

The John Lof Leadership Academy will be led by an elected student council, and aims to:

  1. Develop leadership and professional skills
  2. Organize and facilitate social, academic, and professional activities that help Academy members develop these skills
  3. Promote and support the academic and future professional success of graduate students in SoE; and
  4. Engage communities inside and outside the School to promote, and provide mentoring and support where appropriate

Members, who are called John Lof Scholars, serve in the Academy for a period of two years. Through membership in the Academy, members will receive a myriad of benefits, including:

  1. Developing the individual leader
  2. Building communication and leadership skills
  3. A professional certificate of leadership upon successful completion of 2 years in the academy
  4. Access to funding for conference travel
  5. The opportunity to make new friends, have fun, and be a force for change!

Time Commitment:

Lof Scholars should commit to approximately 4 hours per month. These hours will take the form of biweekly meetings (two meetings per month) that are two hours each.

Members

Curriculum and Events

Application Process

New members are inducted each Fall Semester and must complete an application. Application are reviewed by a committee and John Lof Leadership Academy advisors. Please click HERE for more information regarding the application process.