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Carrie Damico, a senior from North Wales, Pa., and a graduate of North Penn High School, played a key role in organizing the fifth annual Lafayette Leadership Institute, a major conference involving students, faculty, alumni, and trustees.

This year’s full-day conference, entitled “The World is Next…Take the Lead,” was held Feb. 5. It gave students a unique opportunity to learn more about leadership in a dozen workshops dealing with a wide variety of topics, including “A Moral Compass: The Prerequisite for Leadership,” “The Art of Effective Communication and Public Speaking,” and “The Impact of Diversity, Quality, and Change.”

Damico worked closely with Pamela E. Brewer, assistant dean of students and director of student activities, to help plan the conference.

Brewer says, “Carrie is very hard working, dedicated to completing tasks, articulate, and detail-oriented. She has obvious leadership ability and she handled herself beautifully throughout the conference. I think she did a great job”

Damico began preparing for the conference nearly a year ago. She engaged Lafayette trustee Laneta J. Dorflinger, a member of the Class of 1975 and vice president of clinical research at Family Health International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., as keynote speaker. Dorflinger discussed characteristics of a good leader, challenging traditional notions.

Damico also recruited a panel of distinguished Lafayette alumni to share their thoughts with students about their experience as leaders in their careers. They included Bruce A. Vakiener ’62, president of Vakiener Associates, Canton, Conn.; Leroy D. Nunery ’77, vice president for business services at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Victoria Meyers ’74, architect and partner in the firm of Hanrahan and Meyers, New York City; Mary M. Devane ’88, history teacher at Hunter College High School; Gary A. Evans ’57, Lafayette vice president for development and college relations; and Malika M. Brown ’94, Lafayette assistant director of admissions.

She also planned the conference menus, made arrangements for accommodations for visiting presenters, and purchased supplies. The work especially enriched her Lafayette experience because it allowed her to interact with alumni, professors, administrators, and deans, in addition to other student leaders, she says.

“I’ve heard nothing but great remarks about the conference,” she says. “I was very satisfied. I saw all my hard work and planning pay off, with great reviews! I think this is an extremely successful program, and I hope the Institute remains in place for years to come, because many students benefit from it.”

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