Originally published January 31, 2012

Students in the MS-3411 “Leading Project Teams” course have been learning the techniques of studying, analyzing, improving, managing and leading the growth, productivity and development of individual and group competencies to enhance project performance. A key component of the course is developing the students’ leadership skills through the tenets of servant-leadership:

  • increased service to others
  • an approach to work that emphasizes the healthy organic and functional relations between humanity and vocational/occupational objectives
  • sharing of power in decision making

Kristin Shebesta, adjunct associate professor, has focused on developing the students’ individual leadership skills and encouraging them to transform the people they are serving with their projects. The students have planned events that will involve humanity and help those who are involved grow and learn.

One of the teams is creating a “Macaroni Mountain” in the Student Life and Campus Center by collecting boxes of pasta from MSOE students, faculty and staff. They have involved the Tau Sigma Nu fraternity. “They are making a large donation and coming by every night to add donations to the mountain,” said student Jack Berry. “We know that in an unstable economy people tend to donate less and unemployment is above 8 percent. Food is a basic need and as a school of engineering we like fundamentals. Also as an engineering school we like to build stuff so we are hoping for community involvement. The mountain started Monday and several students came by just to discuss how to construct the boxes!” The pasta will be donated to the Hunger Task Force on Feb. 3.

The second team also has focused its efforts on feeding the less fortunate. They have organized a group of students who will visit the House of Peace and serve soup to its guests on Feb. 6. “We are reaching out to the MSOE community for volunteer help and donations for making the soup,” said Shannon Jones, MSOE student. “We are currently accepting monetary donations as well as ingredients to make soup.”

The third team of students has planned an Academic All Star event on Feb. 11. John Osmanski, MSOE alumnus and owner of Osmanium Candy Company, will address MSOE students. “Attendees will learn about the unorthodox path that John has taken to lead him to the point where he is currently making brand new types of ice creams, candy and a wide range of caffeinated foods” said Steve Allen, MSOE student. “Our objective is to find individuals who are interested in hearing about entrepreneurship from someone currently in the field.”

Not only do MSOE students have the opportunity to learn about being an entrepreneur and leader at this event, by simply attending the event, they will be helping entrepreneurs around the world. The event organizers have partnered with MSOE’s Student Life Office, which will donate $3 for every person who attends the event. The donation will be given to Kiva, a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with 2,500 students. MSOE offers 18 bachelor’s degrees and nine master’s degrees in the engineering, engineering technology, building and infrastructure engineering, health-related engineering, computer, business and nursing fields. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; extremely high placement rates; and the highest starting salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.