Rockville Centre, N.Y. – On March 20 and 21, the East Coast Conference held its seventh annual Experience in Community and Character Leadership Workshop at Molloy College. For the first time in the event's history, the ECC joined forces with another conference, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) in hosting the event. Nearly 50 student-athletes from the two conferences, including from all 11 ECC member institutions, participated in the program.
"We are very proud of our Experience in Community and Character leadership program, now in its seventh year," said ECC Commissioner, Dr. Robert Dranoff. "Working this year along side fellow East Region conference, the CACC, we were able to put together a very positive program of speakers and activities aimed at helping these DII student-athletes develop and grow. Thanks goes to the athletic leadership at Molloy College, especially AD, Susan Cassidy-Lyke, and Office Coordinator, Brianna Falese, for all their help in hosting the event."
The weekend kicked-off with a presentation titled “What Kind of Leader are You,” by Bob Wolf of HOPE® (Helping Other People Excel). Wolf, an experienced sales trainer, motivational speaker, and sales & marketing executive, spoke about four skills every student needs. Those included interpersonal, communication, presentation, and selling skills. Wolf also stressed that, “becoming an effective leader is a life-long process which involves meeting, communicating with, earning support from and working effectively with people.”
Next up was a session presented by The Partner Project titled, "Bystanders and Breaking the Silence." The presentation focused on the importance of stepping up and helping others in need, especially in instances where domestic violence is present.
A thought provoking diversity program from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) presented by Dr. Nancy Kaplan was next on the agenda.
As the student-athletes were eating dinner, the final speaker of the first day was Rohan Murphy. Murphy, a Long Island native, lost his legs at young age after being born with a defect. This didn’t stop Murphy from being able to participate in athletics as a high school wrestler and eventually becoming a member of the team at Penn State University. Rohan delivered his message that you can overcome adversity and achieve anything if you dedicate yourself.
Saturday morning began with presentations from both Team Impact and Make-A-Wish on the impact student-athletes can make in the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses.
Two breakout sessions followed with the first featuring, Maura Attardi, who spoke about financial literacy which included budgeting and building and maintaining good credit.
The student-athletes learned about effective communication and leadership skills in the other breakout session run by former NCAA student-athlete, John Dano.
"Thanks go out to all our presenters, who had such a strong impact on those who participated," stated Dranoff. He continued, "We were especially happy to have our friend, Rohan Murphy, return after starting the program with us a few years ago. He is truly an amazing example of what the importance of accepting others as well as determination and commitment in the face of adversity is all about."
Dranoff wrapped up his statements on the event by saying, " We have realized that this is not a program only aimed at helping develop leaders. It is focused on helping these young people be successful individuals in their lives. For that reason we do focus on gaining skills and personal qualities that will help them take positive steps in their future. It ends up being a lot of information in a short amount of time, but we hope these student-athletes will take this experience back to their campus and encourage others to take advantage of opportunities to grow as well."