Global Student Leadership Summit Underway in Vienna

Jun. 6, 2017

GSLS Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna Global Student Leadership Summit students and staff toured Vienna's Schonbrunn Palace as part of the welcome activities.

On June 5-6, 25 student leaders from throughout the worldwide network of Webster University campuses began arriving in Vienna, Austria, for a truly extraordinary leadership development experience.

The Global Student Leadership Summit (GSLS) is being held June 7-10 at the Webster Vienna campus. For the selected participants, each of their home campuses has arranged for and covered the costs of airfare, plus lodging, meals, and program fees.

The student leaders, representing 16 nationalities and the campuses of Webster Groves, Geneva, Vienna, Leiden, Thailand, and Ghana, moved into the Vienna campus residence halls, Residence Am Augarten on June 6.

Six staff members are also in Vienna, serving as mentors for small groups during the Summit:

  • Jesse Alexander, Student Life (Vienna)
  • John Buck, associate dean of students/director of Housing and Residential Life
  • Christine Benninger, Student Lfe (Leiden)
  • Billy Ratz, director of Parent and Student Programs
  • Jennifer Stewart, director of Student Engagement
  • Kristina Shimkus, Student Life (Geneva)

June 6-7 Activities

On Tuesday, June 6, the students took a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace, heard welcoming remarks from Vienna campus director Johannes Pollak, toured the Vienna campus and enjoyed an opening dinner.

On Wednesday, June 7, the program included:

  • Teambuilders and Introduction to the Case Study, facilitated by John Buck
  • Session #1 on StrengthsQuest facilitated by Jen Stewart and Katie Knetzer
  • Intercultural Communication Session 1: Expanding Knowledge of Self and Others, facilitated by Jenn Christ
  • Session on Creating an Action Plan for each campus, facilitated by Katie Knetzer

Alumna Jenn Christ ’04 is facilitating the sessions on intercultural communication. Christ, a former Walker Leadership Award recipient at Webster, is an interculturalist who has worked in international student affairs and programs for 12 years at Colorado State University and Hofstra University. She now lives in Recklinghausen, Germany.

GSLS on Social Media

Student Julia Schaubach from Vienna is hosting the MyWebsterU Instagram account this week. Be sure to follow that account for photos of her experience at the Summit.

View more photos of the Summit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as participants share their experience using the #WUGSLS17 hashtag.

Vienna director Johannes Pollak, start of GSLS.
Webster Vienna director Johannes Pollak welcomed student participants at start of GSLS.

Student Participants

Students (with major, year) in the 2017 cohort represent six campuses and home countries that include Austria, Botswana, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mozambique, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, and Yemen.

Click here to view the list of GSLS student participants.

Background Information

Instagram
Follow the @MyWebsterU account on
Instagram this week for an inside look.

The Global Student Leadership Summit provides a unique opportunity for Webster University student leaders to gain knowledge and skills, and create positive change in a global environment. By developing relationships with peers from throughout Webster’s global network, participants will gain a better understanding of the impact student involvement has on students and Webster University worldwide.

The Summit includes interactive sessions focused on leadership development, communication, intercultural competency, and social responsibility, plus an excursion in Vienna, and outstanding networking with fellow students from throughout the Webster global network.

Students work in small groups with an assigned mentor to help achieve the learning outcomes. To prepare for the Summit, all participants completed an online non-credit course from March-May 2017.

A total of 65 applications worldwide were received by the Jan. 20 application deadline. Each participating campus conducted interviews to select the students to represent their campus. Each campus sending students to the Summit will cover the cost of the airfare, lodging and program.

As a result of attending the 2017 Summit, student leaders will return to their home campus prepared to work collaboratively with their fellow students to increase the level of leadership involvement and enhance connections between students throughout the Webster global network. The Summit is a transformational experience that will further develop each student’s sense of mission and purpose.

Click here for more information about GSLS.

The first Global Student Leadership Summit was held in St. Louis in March 2015, as a signature program of the University’s Centennial. In Fall 2016, we started looking for a phenomenal group of student leaders from throughout the worldwide network to participate in this world-class leadership development experience. Our goal was to have a diverse cohort of students with strong leadership potential and the ability to work collaboratively across difference.

The Summit provides a unique opportunity for Webster University student leaders to gain knowledge and skills, and create positive change in a global environment. By developing relationships with peers from throughout Webster’s global network, participants gain a better understanding of the impact student involvement has on students and Webster University worldwide.

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