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SOAR Student Leadership Conference

Erin is the Assessment Projects Assistant at the Student Experience Office

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SOAR Student Leadership Conference

Erin is the Assessment Projects Assistant at the Student Experience Office

On Saturday, January 17 nearly 400 Carleton students gathered for the first-ever Soar! Student Leadership Conference. This year’s theme focused on developing delegates’ potential and evolution as leaders on campus. Neil Pasricha, author of the blog 1000 Awesome Things and The Book of Awesome, was the keynote speaker for the conference. His message to students focused on the power of positivity.


Delegates were encouraged to share their experiences at the conference through social media to contribute to an online conversation on different definitions of leadership. The top three students received a signed copy of The Book of Awesome at the end of the day. Below is an overview of the day’s events as told through social media.

#CUSoar Leadership Conference today with ASB and Res Life! #awesome #leadership #culove

A photo posted by Deanna Walker (@deewalker4) on

The day began with a blitz competition featuring five prominent student leaders:
• Owen Clifton, Summer Orientation Leader;
• Selin Kum, Fall Orientation Coordinator;
• Teddy Kozela, former Residence Community Advisor/Campus Activity Board Director;
• Folarin Odunayo, CUSA President; and
• Graham Pedrigosa, RRRA Vice President
who shared their ideas on what good leadership means to them as reflected through their involvement on campus.

Delegates shared each of the speakers’ perspectives on leadership.


The students filled out a ballot to vote for their favourite speaker. Our volunteers counted the votes and announced the winner at the end of the day. Next, the students welcomed the keynote speaker. Neil’s contagious message on the power of focusing on the small, awesome things resonated with students.


Neil had the delegates write down some “awesome” things about Carleton and trade them with each other. Some honourable mentions were:

Bus to otrain FB

No coffee lineup FB

Two Assignments FB

Neil said that people are too focused on achieving success, and that if you focus on happiness first and produce great work, success should follow. This was a great piece of advice for the many student leaders in the audience.

After the keynote speaker, delegates had the opportunity to attend four different workshops based on various topics, lead by Carleton students, staff, alumni, and members of the community.

Selfie with Soar presenters @baileykew and @victoriamackay #CUSoar #marketyourmomentum

A photo posted by Cindy Mulders (@cindymulders) on

Delegates participated in a variety of workshops on topics ranging from sports to politics. Alternative Spring Break teams had the chance to go to the workshops together.


Students shared what they learned in these various workshops:


After the education sessions were over, everyone returned to River Building where we announced the winners of the social media contest, who (as expected) shared their excitement with us:


To all delegates of the Soar conference, we thank you for waking up early on a Saturday to come to school and for actively participating in the conference. We hope you took away some new ideas about leadership and were inspired to get more involved! The Student Leadership Conference Planning Team would also like to extend a thank you to our sponsors, the Carleton University Students Association, Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life Services, Carleton University Alumni Association, and the Campus Activity Board. Also a huge thank you to all of the volunteers, staff, and presenters who all contributed to the tremendous success of the conference. You are awesome!


Think something at Carleton is awesome? If you would like to share some of the things you find Awesome at Carleton, you should share your story by writing a Learning Log!

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