The senior class of the Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars in the Haslam College of Business met with Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero in fall 2018. Rogero offered the students a viewpoint on leadership from outside of the business world.
“They hear from our faculty and from business executives, so this meeting was a chance for the senior class to get a different perspective,” Ryessia Jones Russell, Haslam’s assistant director of undergraduate programs, said. “They graduate in a couple of months, and we want to make sure we are producing great citizens, not just for the university, but for the community and for the world.”
Rogero told the seniors that every job she has held contributed to her being mayor of Knoxville, and, similarly, they should take each job they have as a learning opportunity. She also spoke of the significance of civic responsibility and community engagement and of her hope that the students would leave a lasting impression on the community.
Mark Moon, director of the Smith GLS program, said the meeting will encourage the class members to develop more than business acumen.
“It is important that our Smith Global Leadership Scholars have exposure to leadership not just in the private sector, but also in the public sector, so that when they graduate, they will go on to be business leaders and leaders in their communities, too,” Moon said.
Mayor Rogero was pleased to see prospective business leaders take an interest in civic issues.
“It is always rewarding to talk with students about civic engagement and responsibility,” she said. “These students are our future leaders and workforce, and I applaud the program for reaching out to learn more about local government and policy.”
Meetings with public officials could become a recurring feature of the Smith GLS program, Jones Russell said. “I think there is always an opportunity for our current students to learn from civic leaders, to learn about how to meet community needs and how they can give back to the community at large.”
Smith Global Leadership Scholars is the official honors program of the Haslam College of Business, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It promotes the development of international and intercultural awareness, leadership and personal and professional growth. Through honors classes, seminars in leadership training, international experiences and extracurricular activities, Smith GLS students work with faculty to develop the skills necessary to become future international business leaders.
Madeline Rogero is the first female mayor elected to any of Tennessee’s four largest cities. During her mayoral tenure, she has emphasized community engagement and outreach. Before her election in 2011, she served as community development director for the City of Knoxville and as a consultant on corporate social responsibility programs for the Levi Strauss Foundation and Capital One Financial Corporation.