Month: February 2020

The John Lof Leadership Academy’s Feedback Event

John Lof Leadership Academy members participate in a feedback workshop

Photo by Allison O’Donnell

By: Allison O’Donnell, Written Communications Specialist, UConn School of Engineering

University of Connecticut graduate engineering students accepted into the John Lof Leadership Academy have the opportunity to promote the development of leadership and professional skills. 


In order to foster these skills, JLLA has created a focused curriculum entitled “Applying Your Leadership Philosophy” for the Spring 2020 semester. In this curriculum, students will focus on developing three transferable skills: leading, resource management and ethics. 


On February 4, JLLA members participated in the first workshop, which

 involved discussion of properly conveying information through exercises in giving feedback. 


A group of graduate engineering students working together to present a data set

Photo by Allison O’Donnell


In order to put these skills into practice, members were given an hour and a half to create posters relating to respective data sets: metal-music bands by country, states with the most UFO sightings, shark attack victims, pizza consumption by state and health ratings of cereal brands. 


JLLA members were required to think critically about: “what would make this information more engaging?” In addition to speculating: “what do consumers of this data want to know?”


As pictured below, groups decided on different visuals to best explain their findings when presenting to their peers. Feedback on the presentations pertained to the visual engagement and clarity of each infographic. 


The activity served as an exercise for JLLA members to receive feedback objectively and be open to criticism of maximizing their effectiveness. In addition, practicing being the giver of constructive criticism to their peers. 


JLLA members display their respective infographics after the feedback workshop on February 4. Photo by Allison O’Donnell


Julia Czarnecki, an Environmental Engineer, commended her peers’ creativity in using non-traditional methods of presenting information. Straying from the typical bar graph makes information more personable and engaging, said Czarnecki. 

Students interested in becoming a JLLA member can get more information about the application process through their page.