Thursday, November 18, 2010

Leadership experience helps students grow

By Jenna Capelle
Feature Editor

With 15 years of experience at Saint Mary’s University, Dr. Thomas Marpe has advice for students looking for leadership success.

Marpe is the chair of the business department and dean of the School of Business at SMU. During his nine years as the business department chair, Marpe has accumulated a number of responsibilities. His main responsibility is taking care of the administrative work like course registration, finishing paperwork and answering human resource questions, said Marpe.

Marpe “takes care of business” so that the professors of the business department can focus on teaching.

“I try to be a good leader myself to set an example,” said Marpe. “I tell the faculty to be responsive to students’ needs and continue to prepare them for successful careers after SMU.”

As dean of the School of Business, Marpe is on an academic council that deals with issues on a university-wide level. This council advises the entire graduate college, not solely business students, said Marpe.

According to Marpe, students should be proactive when looking for leadership opportunities because sometimes the little skills and habits can grow into something unexpected. He encourages students to take a leadership role with clubs and organizations on campus.

“Start with small leadership opportunity and continue to grow your abilities,” said Marpe. “Don’t shy away from a leadership challenge.”

As said by Marpe, there is no substitute for leadership skills, especially when it comes to ethics. Also, students should practice thinking critically through ethical decisions.

“Some people can lead businesses into incorrect decisions because they didn’t think ethically,” said Marpe.

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