Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) has inaugurated the college’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and 226 students were inducted as NSLS members on December 10 in Theatre 1 at 199 Chambers Street.
"BMCC students have once again distinguished themselves by their academic achievements and leadership qualities, this time earning membership in the largest leadership honor society in the nation," said Vice President for Student Affairs Marva Craig. "I acknowledge our students for taking all the steps necessary to become the trailblazers on whose broad shoulders their student peers will stand. The ceremony gave their friends and families an opportunity to see them on the path to a bright future."
Students prepared for the induction by completing a semester-long program.
“Through the Office of Student Affairs, we hosted seven NSLS orientation sessions, seven leadership training days, 39 networking team meetings, and three live-speaker broadcast events in less than two months,” said Denise DellaPorta, a student life specialist for peer mentoring and success, and co-advisor of the NSLS chapter with Kayla Maryles, assistant director of student activities and student involvement.
More than 200 students take an oath of leadership
Students who completed the rigorous NSLS sessions at BMCC in Fall 2018 were then elibigle to take part in an induction ceremony in Theatre 1 at 199 Chambers Street. Speakers at the event included Anna D’Alfonso, NSLS chapter support manager at the national office, and Vice President of Student Affairs Marva Craig, who delivered the keynote address.
“It was very moving to see so many students cross the stage to receive their Certificate of Leadership Training, honoring their achievement and lifetime membership in the NSLS,” says DellaPorta. “They also stood in the audience to read the oath together.”
In making the oath, NSLS members make a commitment to strive for academic excellence, participate in community service and grow personally and professionally.
Michael Seifert, NSLS president of the BMCC chapter and a business administration major who works part-time on campus, spoke at the inauguration ceremony.
“As a college assistant in the peer tutoring program at BMCC, I met a lot of students who are struggling but by using the resources available to them, are able to bring up their academic level,” he says. “They are hungry to step up as leaders and share their success with other students who are struggling. Joining the NSLS chapter at BMCC will give them a platform through which to do that.”
Student executive board presents the charter
In addition to the large inaugural event, an NSLS executive board of seven students—Michael Seifert, Student President; Tasmin Ullah, Vice President and Success Team Manager; Azeez Alimi, Vice President and Success Team Manager; Shirley Alvarez, Secretary; Osamah Atef, IT Coordinator; Loukmane Tiemtore, Event Chairperson, and Camila Ardila, Marketing and Outreach Chairperson—presented BMCC Interim President Karrin E. Wilks with a copy of the campus charter, recognizing BMCC as a member of NSLS.
According to the NSLS website, membership is for life and provides access to benefits including scholarships and awards, exclusive on-campus events, employer recruitment through an online job bank, and discounts on computers and textbooks.
Expanding opportunities for NSLS members
“Moving forward, we plan to partner with various offices and with other organizations, so we can offer additional programming opportunities for NSLS members at BMCC,” says Maryles.
What will guide the programming, she says, is student interest and goals: “They are most eager to learn about career development, networking and transferable skills as well as finding out more about scholarships and advancing their academic careers.”
DellaPorta explains that while 226 students were inducted into the NSLS, about 530 students altogether accepted the invitation to take part in the program and have the option of completing the activities at a future date.
“They can also choose to complete some of the sessions online, which enables part-time students and those who work and have family responsibilities, to participate, says DellaPorta. “Part-time students are eager to a participate in community service and leadership activities, but because of their schedules, many of the opportunities don’t work for them. So this really met a need.”