Global Diversity and Cultural Influence Claim the Spotlight in UA Leads Final Event of the Year

Students plan UA Leads Events from the Sigma Lambda Honorary to encourage leadership and involvement on campus.

By Sarah Minear, Correspondent

Dr. Lin recalls his experience of studying in and moving to the United States and the lessons students can learn from spending time in a different country. (Image via Ella Mitchell)

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, the UA Leads series came to a close with their Zips Explore the World event. This program highlighted the importance of global diversity and cultural influence through study abroad programs.  

Over the years, UA Leads events were planned and organized by two UA Leads Chairs from the Sigma Lambda Honorary. This honor society is designed to recognize the top 1% of freshman students within the residence halls that excel in both scholarship and leadership within student activities.  

Alexis Currie, a Political Science sophomore who is minoring in Homeland Security and Criminal Justice, is a member of Sigma Lambda Honorary and serves as one of the Chairs for UA Leads. 

“Through these events, students will gain valuable leadership tools,” Currie said. “By attending, students are exposed to a multitude of topics that may not typically consume their everyday conversations.”   

This annual series is free to all UA students and consists of five fun, engaging programs that enhance and develop a person’s leadership skills. Speakers are invited to The University of Akron to talk to students about the importance of leadership and involvement on campus.  

For this year, the final program of UA Leads coincided with the Zippin’ Around the World programs. This is a week-long series of diversity programs hosted by different residence halls on campus. Zippin’ Around the World intends to bring awareness to countries around the world.  

“The intention of having Zips Explore the World event concurrently is to provide students with a facilitated program put on by faculty to provide a different perspective to diversity and global studies,” Currie said. 

Dr. Lyons shares his experience of studying abroad in China and the importance of fully immersing oneself into another culture. (Image via Ella Mitchell)

Two University of Akron professors led the Zips Explore the World program: Dr. Bill Lyons, Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean for Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Yang Lin, Professor of Communication and Director of the Global Studies Program.  

Lyons and Lin discussed their study abroad opportunities and the lessons they learned through experiencing another culture firsthand. They emphasized the importance for students to broaden their horizons and cultivate their curiosity by asking more questions. Lyons and Lin also encouraged students  to appreciate and honor those different from themselves.  

“Have the adventure of your life to improve your resume,” Lyons said.    

No matter where students are in their leadership development, all can benefit from the UA Leads program. First-year students are strongly encouraged by UA Lead individuals to attend this series as it serves as a great resume builder and can improve their leadership on campus. 

“It is important that students make themselves known leaders at The University of Akron,” Currie said. “These events are a launching pad for students to achieve greater success in their future endeavors.” 

For information on future events and programs like this, follow Sigma Lambda Honorary on Instagram @sigmalambdaua. For questions and inquiries, contact Alexis Currie at [email protected]