Northwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

NWACUHO Featured Presentation: Shifting the Paradigm – Alternative Views to Leadership

By Kathryn Magura & Bob Lambert

Leadership is something we talk about in Housing and Residence Life frequently, yet we rarely take the time to explore definitions and qualities of a strong leader. What makes someone a good leader? What’s the difference between a leader and a manager? Why is it important to distinguish between the two?

Bobby and I got to know each other through our work on the NWACUHO Board of Directors. Over the last two years, we have had many discussions about leadership, and how our personal philosophies on strong leadership align with our professional goals and ambitions. When we were offered the opportunity to present at NWACUHO this February, we were excited to bring this discussion on leadership to the membership.

Come to our session to engage with us in a conversation about leadership. John Dewey explains that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform. (Dewey, J. (2004). We believe that through dialogue and the sharing of leadership wisdom, we can help improve our work to better serve our students.  We will share our personal leadership stories, and how our professional experiences have shaped our definition of what makes a strong leader. We will also have time during this session for attendees to talk in small groups about what they believe makes a strong leader and how we all develop a unique leadership style. We want to bring people together who may hold different leadership philosophies and critically examine perceptions out there about leading. There is no cookie cutter formula for great leadership, so we are hoping through conversation and open dialogue, we can begin the process of shifting the paradigm.

We would love to see at our presentation! The session will be social media friendly, and will utilize technology during the session to gauge attendee’s thoughts and understanding of leadership. Please bring your smart devices, and utilize the hashtag #NWLeads to engage in the conversation.

If you aren’t able to make it in February, we would like to open the conversation up to the entire membership. Do you have a leader that inspires your work? What skills do they possess that you admire?


Left: Bob Lambert, serves as a Residence Life Coordinator at Mount Royal University and as the Alberta Provincial Representative for NWACUHO. Right: Kathryn Magura serves as the Assistant Director for Operations at Oregon State University and the Past-President for NWACUHO.

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