3 Tips to Become a Great Leader

Having the characteristics of an awesome leader is extremely beneficial and important! These qualities will allow you to succeed in school, work and relationships. Whether you are born with the characteristics or not, they can easily be developed and implemented. Here are simple ways you can become a rock star leader:

1. Communicate in a way that demonstrates empathy and respect

When you’re talking to someone else, use active listening strategies. For example, pay attention to what they’re saying, give verbal and non-verbal cues to demonstrate that your listening (nods, mhm-ms, yes, etc.), put away the technology, and maintain eye contact. However, some cultures will avoid eye contact. This is a demonstration of respect.

2. Work to incorporate cultural and diverse talent into your community


When you’re trying to be an inclusive leader, observe what/how people do the things they do. Equip people with skills and resources in order to take their leadership to a new level. Also, empower people to make their own choices, decisions and develop as a leader.

3. Be mindful of the Other


The “Other” (or “Constitutive Other”) is a concept of the identity of difference from one person to yourself. For this, demonstrate leadership skills that display an unconditional positive regard for a person. This means you will accept and respect others as they are without judgment or evaluation. Finally, utilize third-culture building strategies. This means that you’re either adopting (the process of taking on the cultural mores of another) and/or adapting (modifying one’s cultural mores to better fit those of another). This can be achieved through conversation and interaction.

Volunteering: Get Your Animal Fix!

Volunteer experience is always a positive addition to any resume. My volunteer experience started at the Winona Area Humane Society with cat care. Being raised with cats, I really adore them as pets and I’m destined to become a crazy cat lady. My first pet I ever took care of is my beautiful calico kitty named Jasmine. So when I found out my sophomore year of college that Winona has a Humane Society, I was dead set on becoming a volunteer. I have been volunteering for two years and it’s honestly one of the best decisions I made while attending school.

Crazy Cat Lady

Me and my first cat, Jasmine, back in the day!

The steps to becoming a volunteer are pretty simple and the application process is quick. Once the application has been filled, you go through an orientation with other volunteers to get the full tour of the humane society and the responsibilities of volunteering. There are mostly cats at the humane society, which is fine by me, but you can also sign up to be a dog walker if you really despise cats. Another way to volunteer is to work at the office, which includes filling out paperwork and working with the faculty staff members.

Volunteering has been rewarding and stress free. I volunteer with cats on Fridays usually because, after a long week, I just need to snuggle some kitties. My favorite part about volunteering is after cleaning, being able to sit down on a chair with a cat on my lap and just relax. Petting cats is really therapeutic and I can focus on the cats and not my homework or stress from school.

When meeting cats, it’s impossible not to pick favorites. Flirt is an adorable calico cat that loves to bite your phone when you’re not paying attention to her. Thanks to my Otterbox, my phone is not harmed when volunteering. Flirt is definitely a chubbier cat, which I find super adorable, and she’s currently waiting adoption right now.


Flirt, the calico cat at the Humane Society.

Volunteering is something that gets lost among college students, especially when classes and homework get in the way. Volunteering with something you’re passionate about brings happiness and relaxation to everyday life. Being involved in the humane society is really rewarding and I only wish I found out about it sooner.

-Mariah Kaercher

Help End World Hunger FOR FREE


World hunger has been a serious problem for years. 13.5% of the world is undernourished, according to the World Food Programme. That’s far too many people not getting the food they need daily. No one should have to worry about how they’re going to be able to get their next meal.

If people were asked, “If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?” some common answers may be “world peace” or “eliminate world hunger.” It might seem like a daunting task, but I feel we all can do our part in helping with world hunger. But, what can I do as a college student to help? Well I have an answer for you and it involves college students’ favorite word: FREE.

It’s a site called Free Rice. All you have to do is answer educational questions and there are different levels of difficulty for the questions to make it more challenging. You can answer questions in English, math, humanities, science and more. For each correct answer Free Rice donate 10 grains of rice through the World Food Programme at no cost to you (you are also able to donate money on a monthly or yearly basis through this organization). So far over 98 billion grains of rice have been donated!


Not only are you making a difference by just sitting down at your computer, you might learn a thing or two! You can even make a game out of it and compete against your friends. Try making a bet with your friends and see who can donate the most grains of rice by a certain time. Sign up for an account on the site to look at your totals and join a group dedicated to answering as many questions as possible.

I challenge you to check out Free Rice this week and answer as many questions as you can! I hope you get hooked on this awesome website.

Have a great homecoming week, Warriors!

-Kassidy Jackson

9 Ways to Give Back to Your Winona Community

Looking for a way to make a difference here in Winona? Take a look at these 9 fun and easy things you can do!

  1. Volunteer at the local Humane Society


Get your animal fix and help out with things like dog walking, cat care and special events! Volunteer on a regular basis or whenever it works with your schedule.

  1. Become a big brother/big sister mentor


Make a difference in the life of a child while having fun. Become a big and spend time with your little!

  1. Join Habitat for Humanity


Join in on Saturday construction projects to help build homes for the less fortunate, or spend some time volunteering at the Restore! Whether you’re looking to get your hands dirty or want to help costumers, you’ll be making a difference at Habitat for Humanity.

  1. Volunteer at after school programs


This is great for anyone who loves to work with kids or is looking to pursue a career in the education field. Volunteer at Winona Area Public Schools and help students grow while having fun.

  1. Get involved with YMCA programs


Your local YMCA is always looking for volunteers to help with coaching, childcare, summer camp and office hours. No matter what your interest may be, you can find a volunteer option that’s right for you.

  1. Donate old or unused items to the Salvation Army



Winona’s Salvation Army is always accepting of donations. Clean out your closet and storage units this fall and donate gently used items to a great cause!

  1. Check out Winona Volunteer Services



Winona Volunteer Services provides many opportunities for students in the community. Whether you’re looking to participate in a day project or volunteer throughout the year, Winona Volunteer Services offers positions involving food, clothing and packaging to help you make a difference.

  1. Work with elders at St. Anne’s


St. Anne of Winona welcomes volunteer bingo callers, mail sorters, water passers and newspaper readers.

  1. Donate Blood to the American Red Cross


There are always those in need of blood transfusions and the Southeast Minnesota American Red Cross visits Winona twice a year to give you an opportunity to save a life. Just don’t look at the needle and think about all the free cookies you’ll get once you’re done!

-Lauren Reuteler

London: Land of Anti-Social Smokers and Fast Transportation

Whenever you travel to a new place, there are differences in the way people live there, especially when you’re in a different country. The road systems are different, the convenience store chains carry different products, and people behave differently. Different, different, different. But just because it’s not the same as what you’ve grown up with doesn’t mean this new place is bad. There are going to be aspects of this new place that you like and don’t like.

London took a bit of time to get used to, but after about a week, I got the hang of using the tube and stopped smiling at people I made eye contact with. There are a couple things I absolutely hated about London, like the distant demeanor people had in general.

I understand why nobody says hi to random people they pass on the street—there are just way too many people in London. It would get exhausting. But I come from a small town of 1200 people. I graduated high school with 53 other students. I’m not fond of terribly small towns, but I do like the small-town attitude. While walking five blocks to the state fairgrounds, you say good morning to the people sitting in lawn chairs, waving canes, trying to encourage cars to park in their yard for $10. In London, you probably wouldn’t even spare this person a glance. When I first arrived, I tried to make small talk and funny comments to people I met, whether they were working and I was buying something or if I was sitting next to someone on the tube. If they weren’t tourists themselves, the people normally didn’t take too kindly to me talking to them. I wouldn’t get glares per say, just disgruntled looks.

I also didn’t like how loud the city was. The noise would never stop. During the day, cars zipped by and honked their horns at inattentive pedestrians. When I woke up at four a.m., people would still be walking by our hostel window, talking about the bar they just came from and motorcycles would rumble on by every 15 minutes. You couldn’t even escape the noise underground. The tube is insanely loud, clattering down the tracks. The halls echo with the screeches of metal on metal as the train you just jumped off of pulls out of the station. When I got back home, I heard cicadas for the first time in three weeks and almost cried from happiness. There’s just something so peaceful about falling asleep to the sound of bullfrogs and crickets.

Along with constant unpleasant noise, London was also home to inconsiderate smokers. Brits are much more tolerant of smoking then we Americans are. We may have high rates of childhood obesity, but they are a society of lung-cancer patients. You’d be walking around, enjoying a brisk London evening, and then somebody in front of you would light a cigarette. Or you’d walk by a restaurant and there’d be a pack of smokers leaning against the building. Walking through clouds of cigarette smoke every day gets really disgusting, really fast.

London wasn’t all bad, though. There are some really amazing things about the city. Like the tube. Yes, it’s almost unbearably loud and also hot and humid all the time, but it is so fast and easy to use. London was never designed to be as big of a city as it is, so the roads are just absolutely bonkers and confusing to navigate. The tube doesn’t have to worry about any of that since it’s underground. I wish Minneapolis had a subway system like London does.

Another thing I loved about London was the endless entertainment. There was always something to do in London, no matter the time of day. You want to go spend a day walking around Hyde Park? Go for it—you could walk for eight hours and not see it all, it’s so big. You want to look at art? The hardest decision you’ll make all day is which free museum to go to. What if you want to go out and party? There are bars all over the city—there’s even a bar made entirely of ice. You make a reservation for an hour, and the staff gives you a fur coat while you’re there.

I’ll also miss being surrounded by tons of different cultures. I loved walking around and hearing people speaking French, Italian, English, and Indian in just one block. You could eat a traditional English breakfast with baked beans and eggs, then go next door and have Chinese for lunch. If you wanted Indian for dinner, look no further, because that’s right next to the Chinese place. A couple friends and I went to the Wallace Collection, a huge building that houses an equally huge stockpile of art. While we were there, we talked to one of the staff members there, Gualtiero. He told us he was Italian by birth, grew up in South America, and moved to London. Gualtiero is a perfect example of how multi-cultural London is.

There are plenty of things about London that I was happy to leave behind at liftoff. But I can’t lie to myself and say I won’t miss the convenient transportation, the beautiful parks, and the different cultures everywhere you go.

-Elizabyth Ladwig

Half Way There and Up in the Air

As our trip has quickly come to a close, I am a jumble of emotions. I cannot wait to get home and see my family and friends, but at the same time I already miss London. Just so you all know, we’re only about halfway through our flight on the way back to the United States, so there’s that. Talk about separation issues.

Anyways, this is the hardest blog for me to write. I have been staring at my screen for the past hour or so trying to decide what I want to talk about, there’s just much I’ve learned over the past few weeks. I’m pretty sure the question I’ll be asked the most is going to be, what was your favorite part? I honestly have no idea. So, I decided to write about what I will miss most about London:

  1. The ability to ride the tube or walk wherever I want. The tube is kind of like an underground train, and that is how most people get around London. It was really easy and convenient when we needed to go anywhere. The tube was a lifesaver after one of our walking tours. Our first Saturday we had a tour of Westminster Abbey, a tour of the Black Cultural Archives and then we ended the day with a walking tour of Brixton. I made the mistake of wearing newish Sperry’s. To be fair I thought we had break between the Westminster tour and the other tours. We did not, but at least my shoes are broken in now.
    ks tube1
  1. The diversity of everyone living in the city. I’m pretty sure that everyone who lives in England can speak at least two languages. I speak one, unless you count sarcasm as a language. We had the same tour guide for both of our day trips. She gave one of the tours in English AND Portuguese. There were so many different people from all over the world living in London, and it was amazing to get to talk to them.
  1. Finally, I am going to miss all the different sights. From the skyline to the countryside on the outskirts of the city, there was always a fabulous view. I went on the London eye, which is the giant ferris wheel along the Thames River. I could see the whole city, and it was gorgeous! I also loved the idea that there was countryside on the outskirt of the city. It reminded me of home.
    ks skyline2 ks skyline1

I could go on and on about all the things I love about London, but I have a word limit. Also, it would probably be never ending and no one has that kind of time. So, I just picked my top three. Well London, It’s been real, it’s been fun and it’s definitely been real fun.

Until next time,

Kayla Severson

No Fear Shakespeare?

Comedies, histories, tragedies you name it- Shakespeare has written a play about it. Although, you might not even be able to tell which type of genre you are reading because of the ever so confusing Kings English he wrote in. Of course they have “No Fear Shakespeare” websites and learning tools to help you break down the message Shakespeare was trying to get across but sometimes you’re still left dazed and confused. Mainly you just get bored, put down the book and look up the summary on so you don’t fail your high school English class. What you really should have done in high school was go see the plays at the Shakespeare’s Globe in London (if you could afford an international plane ticket every time you had a paper or presentation due). When you see the plays happening literally feet away from your face, you become encompassed in the obnoxious renaissance music, overly dramatic acting, and beautifully written timeless dialogue. Take it from me; I’ve been to two of these plays at Shakespeare’s Globe… basically an expert by now.

On July 28th we saw the comedy Measure For Measure at the Globe Theater, which was surprisingly hilarious. I went into the theater thinking it would be just like those dreaded novels we were forced to read in high school and I would not understand a word they were saying but I actually followed the entire play (besides the few times I had to ask my professor which character was which in disguise). The excitement of watching it live and feeling as if you are a part of the play helps you to understand Shakespeare’s writing better than the books ever could. Also, the on-stage fights and slight nudity made the three-hour play fly by, even though you were standing on your feet the entire time.


Shakespeare was interested in royal power throughout his history plays, especially in Richard II. This was the second play we saw on August 9th and the performance was a bit different and harder to follow along because there was more talking than action. Although this play was not as entertaining, the performance was very beneficial to my project on religion and the arts because of the theme of monarchy vs. religion. According to Richard II and his followers, kings inherit the crowd directly from their fathers and they have the right to rule because they are “God’s representatives on earth”. This caused a religious controversy on whether the king’s right to rule should be directly passed down to him or rather than a privilege he should earn. Power and monarchy are two continuous themes throughout the play.

Overall, the history play was not as entertaining for me as the comedy, which I expected, but I would highly recommend seeing both. Even just to see the change in scenery on stage or the different authentic, girly costumes the men actors have to wear is worth your trip to Shakespeare’s Globe.


Shakespeare’s Globe….I wasn’t allowed to take this picture but here it is!


-Rebecca Rhyner

The Problem with Uneven Sidewalks

As Americans, we’re all pretty used to seeing people in electric wheelchairs buzzing around the supermarket getting groceries or zipping down the sidewalk. We often wonder what happened and stare a bit, but most of us try to help them out if they’re struggling with something or make room for them as they go about their daily business. There are laws dictating that buildings need to have handicapped parking spaces near the entrances, ramps to doors, and elevators to every floor. American society generally makes an effort to accommodate the disabled, and we’re encouraged to integrate any disabled person into society as much as possible.

Since arriving in London, I’ve seen one disabled person. An older man in an electric wheelchair was crossing the street near our hostel. There are a lot of crosswalks that have platforms in the middle you can dash to since people here make jaywalking a second job. They’re not normally very wide—just small, two-feet-wide strips of concrete. This man had to go around the middle platform because his wheelchair wouldn’t have been able to drive up the ramp, turn, and drive down the other ramp (they weren’t directly across from each other).


All the sidewalks here are made of small slabs of concrete, about a square foot. Trees are planted along the edges of many of the sidewalks, and their roots grow out, causing the slabs to buckle and break. Able-bodied people have trouble with the sidewalks, let alone someone with a walker or wheelchair. The sidewalks are also very narrow at times and always crowded. Brits are also quite impatient and always get annoyed when others block their way on the sidewalk.


There are signs next to escalators in the Underground that say to “Stand on the right.” Anyone in a rush will walk or run up and down the left side. There isn’t even this semblance of order on the sidewalks—everyone darts about, weaving in and out of the crowds, stopping short when a slow person blocks the way. Everyone breathes down this person’s neck until they move aside or a space opens up. Then they quickly dart around and give a disgruntled snort. I’m not sure someone using a wheelchair or walker would be given much more courtesy than this while traveling down the sidewalk. There are just so many people.

The Underground is just as crowded as the sidewalks. While most stations have elevators that take people down to the platform, a disable person would have trouble getting on the train without help from someone else. There’s a three inch gap between the platform and the train and most of the time, it’s a step up.

If disabled people don’t normally use the Underground or walk on the sidewalks, how do they get around? There can’t be no disabled people in London. It makes me wonder if they stay in small communities that are more convenient for them, with aids to help them complete daily tasks if needed. Maybe they only take trips out of their neighborhood if absolutely necessary.

This just seems so foreign to me (as well it should be—this is London). We have a different mindset in America. Our cities are also newer than almost anything in London, too. We were able to plan the layout of roads, and the lack of historic buildings in most places makes for easy demolition of outdated structures. In places that weren’t previously handicap accessible, we can make accommodations, like smooth sidewalks and buildings with ramps and elevators. London was never planned like any American city—it’s just grown haphazardly around and over the square mile of the original Roman city. There could be protected historic buildings on every city block, from many different time periods. As a newer nation, we Americans have the ability to meet more transportation needs of the physically handicapped.

-Elizabyth Ladwig

What did that say?!

Graffiti? No, that’s for gangs. Street art? You mean the billboards on the highway, right? This is just an example of what you would hear Americans say if you told them you went on a walking tour to view street art and graffiti.

However, London’s east side is covered in street art. Not that these buildings need to be covered up because they aren’t “pretty” but it shows how wonderful and creative its citizens are!

Banksy, the poster man for street art is extremely popular and made himself a name by painting controversial art, or even art that made you think right there in the moment. Many people just want an outlet, and I find that in this world we tend to shut down creative minds and make them conform to the rest of society.

street art

While street art is illegal, you can see that it doesn’t stop many. The tragic beauty of this is that you can paint something one day, and come back the next, and a new painting from someone else will be over yours. Art is constantly changing itself, and a person walking down the streets are constantly exposed to a different view, or one of your paintings. I find that to be fascinating.

street art2

So for all of you non believers out there, Google Bansky and take a minute to write down your first reaction. Then, of course if you can, walk down the streets of East London and expand your mind!

 -Hannah Moczynski

London Pink Eye

It was a morning just like any other in our tightly packed hostel room. The sun was shining through our thick pane windows, various ringing of alarm clocks traveled swiftly intertwined with the chilly breeze of the London morning air. I opened my eyes to see what today’s weather had in store for me, and that was when I was meet with an unfortunate start of the day. One of my eyes wouldn’t open. I put my hand up to my eye to pry it open, and knew that this day was meant for disaster.

I ran to the sink and stared in fear as I saw one of my eyes swollen shut. As I flushed it with water over and over, I knew that it was time to resort to the famous free health care Britain has in place. I went up to my professor, and told him the news. We found a clinic near by, and I travelled there with only seeing out of one eye!

Knowing that the health care was available to anyone because it is publically funded, walking into a British clinic was much like walking into a clinic at home. Beige white walls, hand sanitizer on the walls, and posters that are advertising screenings and what not, I then went to the receptionist and he could tell I had no idea what I was doing. Do I just walk up to him and demand my free health care? Do I tell him what my symptoms are? Do I tell him I’m from America and I usually only get care if I fan myself with money and an insurance card? No, my American accent and one-eyed stare probably got that whole “foreigner/ American” vibe across. While he was getting the paperwork for me to fill out, I noticed that there was a sign that said what they cover, and what they don’t. Thankfully, my eye fit under the “we can do that” column.

hospital visit

These were the reasons people could receive free healthcare. I was so happy I fit the bill.


I turned in the paper work that asked my name and my symptoms, and sat in the lobby waiting with the rest of the patients.

I was called back, and went straight to the doctor, no nurse or anything! It felt a bit premature. All he knew about me was what the paper work and I told him it was possible pink eye. He did about a 5-minute exam, and determined it was indeed pink eye, only he said the medical name for it. He gave me a prescription for antibiotics told me to go to Boots, which is like a British version of Walgreens, and fill my prescription.

On the back of the prescription you could see all the qualifications someone needed to receive free prescriptions, I laughed as I thought of what would happen if America did the same thing. It would be extremely controversial! But over here, everyone pretty much agrees that free health care should be a right, what should be covered by the taxpayer’s money is a little different!

 -Hannah Moczynski