Pat Bosco, dean of students and vice president of student life, took the stage for the College of Education’s C2 — Coffee and Chocolate — event on Tuesday to talk about how leadership in the classroom is important and life’s teachable moments.
Bosco said character is something that he looks for in every individual. He said character makes you a better teacher, a better citizen and anything you attempt to do.
“Character is what you do and how you act when no one is watching,” Bosco said. “It defines you as a leader, as a follower and anything you do.”
Bosco said one of his most teachable moments is the story of a trip to Las Vegas. He was at a casino when he accidentally tipped the clerk two 100 dollar bills. The clerk, who was around 18 or 19 years old, called him back to give him the money and told him that she could not live knowing that he made a mistake.
Bosco said that the character of the clerk struck him because of how she acted when knowing one else was around.
“I think that one of the big takeaways that I had from Bosco’s lecture was the reminder that leadership is based in character and that your character is reflected in every single small action you do,” Katie Buhler, junior in elementary education, said. “Whether you are in the classroom, policy, business or anywhere, you’re going to need to have that strength of character in order to provide motivation and to support everyone that you’re working with.”
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Bosco said another leadership trait is defining success. He said to not let other people define your success, but to put yourself in a position where you are in control of your character and ability to make a difference.
To Buhler, leadership is learning, she said.
“Leadership is constantly learning and constantly adapting and improving what you’re doing to best serve the needs of your followers, the needs of your fellow and future leaders and especially as educators [we’re developing] future leaders,” Buhler said.
Another trait Bosco discussed was the fact that everyone counts, whether that be the person in the front of the room or the back of the room. He explained that the words we use hurt and that they have a tremendously negative effect on our ability to learn and to be successful and welcomed.
“I never want to be in a position where I’m not defending the K-State family,” Bosco said. “I believe that this place is special, we could all be anywhere else in the world and we are all here for a reason.”
When asked what is the most important crisis facing higher education, Bosco said it was culture and its ability to self-define — how we are going to treat everyone and how we make sure everyone feels welcome.
“I think culture is something we forget a lot,” Lillie McQueen, sophomore in elementary education, said. “We really revolve around the K-State purple and our pride and it really is so much more than that.”
To wrap up the event, Bosco said he believes Kansas State is much more than purple, citing the K-State family as a unifying factor.