Gavin Miller Selected as September's Student Leader of the Month
Junior Gavin Miller has been selected as the Student Leader of the Month for August 2023. Originally from Bryant, Gavin came to the U of A to study public health and biology.
He is currently a student ambassador for the Honors College, a member of the Schola Cantorum, a CAP's ambassador, a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, an undergraduate representative for the All-University Academic Integrity Board and a research assistant in the DREAM Lab.
He says that his most significant roles on campus are within the Associated Student Government and the Volunteer Action Center. In ASG, he is the director of academic affairs on the Executive Cabinet, where he represents students on various academic committees, creates academic policies and manages ASG's free scantron program. Within the VAC, he serves as the chair of Passionate About Literacy, a program where U of A students are paired with elementary students to help foster a love of reading across NWA.
In this role, he facilitates recruitment efforts for the program, organizes the application interview process for new volunteers and consistently communicates with their partners, and supports the members of the Passionate About Literacy Board. The Passionate About Literacy program makes up most of his community involvement, as the program serves 47 children this semester at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center, the Fayetteville Public Library, Jones Elementary and Knapp Elementary. In addition to his role in leading the program, he also mentors a child once a week at the library as a volunteer with the program.
Outside of the PAL Program, he volunteers at the Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, where he assists nurses and other hospital staff in surgery prep, post-op and other departments across the hospital.
When he first arrived on campus as a freshman, he knew that he wanted to involve himself as much as possible. He said that joining ASG's Freshman Leadership Forum introduced him to most of the on-campus programs that he still involves himself in.
"I maintain these roles in these organizations because I love helping people succeed. Whether it's students that I'm representing on an academic committee, the kiddos that we serve through the PAL Program or the nurses that I assist at the hospital, my goal is always to foster success in the lives of the students and my community. Seeing how the work that I do betters the lives of those around me is such a rewarding experience."
He believes that one of the fundamental qualities that sets exceptional leaders apart is their ability to delegate tasks effectively while demonstrating a willingness to engage in hands-on, sometimes menial, tasks that are typically not associated with leadership roles.
"Within almost any team or organization, delegation is critical because it ensures that each team member has responsibilities that correlate with their specific strengths," he says. He believes that by delegating, a leader also lightens their workload, which allows them to spend more time supporting the needs of the rest of the team.
On the other hand, he says, "a leader's readiness to sometimes engage in hands-on tasks helps leaders stay connected to the daily operations and challenges of their team. This approach can also inspire and motivate team members by setting an example of dedication and a willingness to get their hands dirty.
"Overall, the combination of effective delegation and a willingness to perform tasks outside the traditional scope of leadership develops a well-rounded leader."
He wants to remind other leaders to remain flexible and adaptable in their leadership approach.
"It is sometimes easy to become frustrated when a process doesn't work out as expected, but maintaining an open mind and embracing change when issues occur makes leading a program much easier."
He wants to thank Katie Brocklesby, his adviser for the PAL program. "Katie Brocklesby has been a mentor to me throughout the past year. Through the weekly meetings we have discussed the program, I have been able to open up to her about my professional and personal life, and she has been such a great listening ear whenever I need advice. Katie is also very knowledgeable about all things student-affairs, and has been a great resource as I've chased different involvement avenues on campus.
His favorite leadership quote is "Leadership is not about being the best. It is about making everyone else better."
The Student Leader of the Month award, sponsored by New Student & Family Programs, recognizes U of A undergraduate students for their excellence in leadership through campus involvement, leadership activities or through volunteer and community service. Find out more information about the award.
- Outreach & Volunteering
- Student Success
- College of Education and Health Professions
- Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences
- Division of Student Affairs
- Honors College
- Department of Biological Sciences
- Department of Music
- Department of Psychological Science
- Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation
- Associated Student Government
- New Student & Family Programs
- Volunteer Action Center
Kendall Lajewski, graduate assistant
New Student and Family Programs
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