by Trinity Jones, LD ST Promotion and Outreach Intern
Katie Greenfield (she/her/hers) is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Business and Leadership Studies. Last year, Greenfield took Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society (LDST 322) and Cultural Competency and Global Leadership (LDST 360) with Dr. Tara Widner. These courses helped Katie undergo an expansion of perspectives, which she was able to apply to real-world situations.
The classes consisted of open discussions in an environment described by Greenfield as “safe” and “open,” where she felt she could voice questions, opinions, and concerns without judgment.
“Because our class was so diverse, these conversations really helped me to apply my learning to real-life situations and get to know my classmates on a new level,” says Greenfield.
These Leadership Studies classes have transformed Greenfield’s way of thinking and reacting to situations. Through the courses, Katie became aware of the privilege she holds in her whiteness. She also realized that neutrality is a sign of taking the side of the oppressor.
When the murder of George Floyd happened, it sparked a conversation between Greenfield and her family and friends. With her newfound knowledge, she took the initiative to educate herself by reading books, doing research, signing petitions, and sharing her knowledge with others
“While this may not seem like much to some, it is way more than I would have ever done in the past,” says Greenfield. “I think it’s so important that people realize that internal change doesn’t happen in a day[…] It’s okay if you aren’t going out and spearheading a civil rights march, as long as you continue to actively put in the work towards a better tomorrow.”
While Greenfield wouldn’t say that she is a completely changed person from the Leadership Studies Program, she is confident that it worked as a catalyst for her working towards a better self and a better society.
“The Leadership Studies Program taught me that leadership is not necessarily about meeting a goal or a quota, but rather making a difference and working to better the lives of those around you,” says Greenfield. “I would highly recommend every ISU student participates in a Leadership Studies course before graduation.”
For more information about the classes offered in the Leadership Studies Program classes, you can click here for a description of each course.