ATU Freshmen Gain Leadership Skills

Freshman Leadership Experience 2023
Participants and facilitators in the 2022-23 Arkansas Tech University Freshman Leadership Experience pose for a photo at Petit Jean State Park.

Six Arkansas Tech University students jump-started their spring 2023 semester by participating in the ATU Freshman Leadership Experience.

Alazae Allen of Hot Springs, Zion Brassfield of Dumas, Anastasia Golden of Columbia, S.C., Nia Jones of Little Rock, Hannah Melton of Clarksville and Ellie Stokes of Dardanelle engaged in team-building activities and learned more about themselves through a series of personality tests and self-awareness exercises.

“I learned that it is okay to make mistakes as a leader and that it is okay to ask for help from your peers,” said Melton. “I also learned that it is important to use people for their strengths and to constantly motivate them. With this information I learned, I plan to use this to help me be a better leader while on campus.”

Allen said she benefited from “understanding different ways of how and what a leader is and the long-lasting affects you can leave on people,” while Jones reflected on the fact that ATU Freshman Leadership Experience allowed her to “discover skills that will allow me to make better connections and better myself so that in return I can help those around me in a more substantial way.”

Golden appreciated the opportunities for creativity that were provided by Megan Bell, Gilbert Arizaga and McKenzie Blanchard, who served as program facilitators.

“My favorite part about this trip was making up an activity,” said Golden. “I felt that all of us girls felt connected which helped us to create the game and execute it.”

According to the ATU Department of Campus Life, learning outcomes for ATU Freshman Leadership Experience include:

  • Students will be able to identify their personal strengths and how they function in a team;
  • Students will learn about the different types of communication styles;
  • Students will learn skills to engage in conflict effectively and work toward conflict resolution;
  • Students will learn that leadership is more than holding a position;
  • Students will practice team leadership through active group participation.

“I really enjoyed how organized, yet casual, this experience was,” said Stokes. “It was a perfect mix of learning and fun. I felt so comfortable and wish I could come every year.”

Learn more about programs offered by the ATU Department of Campus Life at

Arkansas Tech University Freshman Leadership Experience facilitators and participants took a photo with Jerry the Bulldog, ATU campus ambassador, before departing on their adventure.