Augusta University is promoting leadership on Thursday, Nov. 14, during the second annual Values Week.
Lindsay Ramos, a senior anthropology student, revealed that her definition of leadership changed drastically from when she first came to campus.
Leadership is reflected in courage, honor, professionalism, transparency and vision.
Ramos, an Augusta native, is a first-generation college student. After some troubles with navigating the college application process, she felt Augusta University would be the best option for her, considering she wasn’t sure about her major.
“I came into the university undecided,” she said. “Then one day, I randomly took an anthropology class and I liked it. Then it became my major.”
She got involved on campus quickly by serving as an Orientation Leader her freshman year. She also mentored new Orientation Leaders as a Lead OL the following summers. Since then, she has served in several positions inside Student Life and Engagement as well as joined the honors program.
“Looking back, I was coming into college as the shy kid,” she said. “I thought of leadership as someone who was bold, opinionated and commanding all the attention. That wasn’t me, so I thought getting involved wasn’t an option for me.”
She credits her freshman orientation experience as a pivotal moment that made her want to get involved on campus.
“Attending orientation changed my mind on what I thought college would be,” she said.
She enjoyed her involvement with orientation so much, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue a career in higher education student affairs. She is expected to graduate with her bachelor’s this spring.
‘Setting the best example you can’
Earlier this year, Ramos received the Student Leader of the Year award at the university’s student organization awards banquet. She admits it was difficult to believe she won the award.
“It’s so wild to me. I never saw myself as this person,” she said. “I never thought of this as a possibility.
“I’m not doing these things because I think of how great I think I am. Everything I’m a part of is because I’m passionate about it and I want to make a difference in those areas,” she added.
Since receiving that award, Ramos added another notch in her leadership belt by becoming a founding member of the university’s newest sorority, Alpha Chi Omega.
She mentioned that although she never thought of herself joining a sorority, she was thankful she did.
“It’s so beneficial to have a support system of students. They may not have the same major or background, but they get what you’re going through because they’re in college with you,” she said. “This founding group gets to set traditions and what’s left behind for the future girls.
“Our motto is ‘real strong women.’ I believe in that completely,” she said. “My sisters raised over $1,200 for Jaguar Miracle in our first two weeks being established on campus. We are determined to help this community. That alone speaks to our impact.”
She describes leadership as setting the best example you can and building trust with others. She wants fellow student leaders to know it’s OK to reevaluate your priorities and consider your mental health when feeling overwhelmed.
“Give yourself grace. Take a break. Breathe. Calm down,” she said. “When I was being too hard on myself, someone told me, ‘You need to give yourself grace because you’re human.’ I needed to hear that. I remind myself of that every week.”
Ramos also reflected on her collegiate career and said she has no regrets.
“It’s a good feeling,” she said. “Looking back at the past four years, I’m proud of everything I accomplished. I’m glad I’m not the same person I was when I came into college. Student leadership has been my college career.”
She admits that even with her various leadership opportunities, she hasn’t changed too much.
“I’m still not the first person to raise their hand in class,” Ramos said. “Augusta University taught me that I don’t have to be a person I’m not in order to lead.”
Lead with authenticity during Values Week
To promote the various leadership opportunities at AU, there will be a leadership luncheon at noon Thursday, Nov. 14, in the ballroom of the Jaguar Student Activities Center. Lunch will be provided at the event.
Tina Baggott, associate vice president of volunteer services, will be speaking.
Ramos, along with the Division of Enrollment and Student Affairs, encourages students to get involved on campus.
“Leadership opportunities are always there for those who seek them,” Ramos said. “You’re not going to start at the top trying to develop your leadership skills, but it’s OK because the university knows that. They want to help you.”
For more information about Values Week, contact Joe Pierce, director of student life and engagement.
Learn more about the Department of Student Life and Engagement.