Student Leader of the Month
Each month, the Center for Orientation, Transitions & Leadership honors one deserving student leader, selected from a nominated pool of undergraduates who are involved both in and outside of the classroom. Members of the Providence College community can submit a student leader nomination on the MyPC Portal.
Major: Theatre Arts and Management
Hometown: Verona, New Jersey
Campus Involvement: Friars Club, President of Six Gents, Spin Instructor, Orientation Leader, Theatre Department productions
Describe a highlight of your leadership/involvement at PC: “It’s not like ‘one’ exact moment. It’s being able to connect with people. It’s all the times I got to harness my leadership and build connections. I learned to adapt to work with different people, so that I could better connect with them as a leader. It helped me make an impact on people’s lives. Hopefully it made a difference and inspired them to pursue their passions and get involved.”
What’s one lesson you’ve learned as a student leader at PC? “One that’s had a profound impact is listening to understand – rather than to respond. As a leader, people look to you to step up, and speak up, but you have to understand and relate to people, too. For the longest time, I just wanted my voice to be heard, but found it sometimes steamrolled others. If you listen to understand, you have the chance to learn about people. It gives everyone an equal opportunity to share. Understanding this taught me to be more thoughtful and reflective. I initially thought it was important for a leader to make quick decisions that were always right, but by pausing, thinking things through, and collaborating with others, you have the opportunity to create a better environment for everyone around you.”
What leader has influenced you the most at PC, and how? “Ariel Tavares ’20. She’s my best friend, and I look to her as a beacon of strength. I’m always amazed about how calm, cool, and collected she is when making decisions. She’s very secure in her own identity. I’ve never met anyone like Ariel. I always thought that I was confident and secure, but she surpasses me, and inspires me to take it a step further. She’s extremely involved, and committed to both her student organizations and peers. Ariel’s so eloquent, and knows how to connect with people. She makes people feel welcome, accepted, and empowered. She’s a rock star!”
What do you hope to achieve as a student leader prior to graduation? “Growing up, I always wanted to see others like me, with my sexuality. I didn’t see that from the people around me, or on social media. I hope now that I can be that representation for other students like me. It’s what drove my leadership at PC. I wanted our campus to see that a gay man can be part of so many things on campus, and excel. There’s a quote that says, ‘Be the person you needed when you were younger.’ I wish I had someone like me when I was younger, just to look up to. I don’t know if I’ve done it, but I hope I represent owning your queer identity, being secure, and having pride in knowing who you are.”
Favorite fictional leader: “Olivia Pope from Scandal – one of my favorite shows. I loved how strong and powerful she was. There was no problem or ‘scandal’ she couldn’t handle or crack. Olivia always had resources at her disposal, or people that were loyal to her. She knew what she was going to do and how to do it… I hope I can be a force like her; not letting anything hold me back. She fought for herself, the people she loved, and her career. Olivia knew how to present herself in a powerful and commanding way that I aspire to.”
Favorite “real life” leader: “Malala Yousafzai. I read her book, I Am Malala, sophomore year as an Orientation Leader, and it absolutely blew me away. Reading how fearless she was as she continued her fight for women’s education and freedom, despite the threat of losing her own life, showed me what true leadership really is. Malala is not afraid to fight for her beliefs. That inspiration’s made me more comfortable standing up as a leader on campus.”
What are your post-graduation plans? “I’ll be starting the PC MBA program, with a concentration in Marketing soon. I’ll also be a graduate assistant in the Center for Career Education and Professional Development, with a focus on marketing and social media. After that, I’d like to continue to pursue my passion for comedy and performing.”
Congratulations, Will, and best of luck to you!
To nominate a PC student you know for “Student Leader of the Month,” please click here.