Youth, Equity, and Leadership

Sam Battan, Colorado ’07, joins the Business Edge podcast to chat about the importance of youth leadership and how teens are changing the Denver landscape through his organization, Colorado Youth Congress. To get involved, visit: coyouthcongress.org.

As the founder and CEO of the Colorado Youth Congress, Sam Battan brings together diverse communities of young people to lead the fight to solve our most complex problems. Prior to starting CYC, Sam worked in New Orleans for five years teaching in an alternative high school designed for students who were overage and under-credited. Sam was recognized as the district’s Teacher of the Year and has worked passionately to expand leadership opportunities for youth. In addition to being an educator, Sam is a proud community organizer, recently co-founding Equity Network United for Metro Denver, an advocacy organization, and previously serving as the education chair for the Welcome Table New Orleans, the nation’s first city-sanctioned initiative on racial reconciliation. His advocacy work has been featured on NBC, NOLA.com, the Denver Post, and The Advocate.

External Links:

Connect with Sam Battan

Colorado Youth Congress

Best Podcasts for Positivity

Taking time throughout the day or week for a few moments of levity, enjoyment, and positivity can be so helpful to one’s well-being. In fact, a study in Norway indicated those with a strong sense of humor and laughter outlive those without it.

Podcasts continue to be a source of inspiration, and their widespread availability means that they’re open for anyone with a device, a pair of headphones, and an hour or so of free time. With so many podcasts to choose from, we narrowed it down to five recommendations for podcasts that inspire positivity.

 

Invisibilia 

Even before podcasts were of note, NPR has been at the forefront of narrative broadcast storytelling. “Invisibilia” is a great continuation of the blend of storytelling, information, and heart that millions of listeners have already come to know and love. The podcast uses narrative and science to help explain the basics and not-so-basics that make up and inspire human behavior.

 

Two Dope Queens

Hosted by comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, this live-recorded podcast has quickly gained notoriety and a passionate following, primarily due to the duo’s hilarious, charming, and engaging conversations on a variety of topics.

 

How I Built This 

For many of us, we have a passion for business that some could find to be a bit dull or boring. But on this podcast, host Guy Raz provides great evidence for why the business world doesn’t have to be all projections and charts. Each episode, Raz dives deep into the story of a specific business or entrepreneur to find out exactly how their company came to be. Along the way, though, we get tons of insight and exciting stories that make the whole experience memorable.

 

Office Ladies

Is there any more comforting sound on television than the opening strains of The Office’s theme song? Now, your favorite sitcom about the antics of Dunder Mifflin in Scranton, Pennsylvania, gets a fresh do-over as stars Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey release podcast episodes paired with each episode of the show. The result is a sweet, relaxing, and often very funny look at what it took to make one of the most popular and revered shows in television.

 

How Did This Get Made?

Have you ever been watching a movie and found yourself wondering, “How did this even get made?” On this podcast, hosts Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas take the films of lesser quality to task. Movies like “The Room,” “Burlesque,” “Showgirls,” “Junior,” and “Howard the Duck” all get their day in the sun, and listening as these three try to break down the most confounding and hilariously confusing elements of these movies is never a bad way to spend your time.

Podcasts are great to listen to while cleaning or driving, or to break up an afternoon.

If you haven’t already started listening to podcasts, you can use apps like Podcatcher that creates a stream of available episodes, or Spotify or iTunes. The hilarious podcasts on our list are a great place to start without taking it too seriously. And once you get started, don’t forget to search and subscribe to “Operations Avenue” and “Business Edge,” AKPsi’s podcasts dedicated to your chapter growth and professional development.

Anything is Better than Silence

As protests continue all over the world, AKPsi alumna Basha Coleman chats with Desiree and Chrissy about the Black experience and workplace discrimination. Basha gives listeners advice on how to enact change in the office and at home, especially for the younger generation who will become our next leaders.

Basha is a creative problem solver in the technology industry. With a keen eye for visual design and storytelling, she bridges her creative expertise with innovative tech solutions. Basha joined Alpha Kappa Psi in 2014 and was initiated into the Zeta Lambda Chapter at the University of Tennessee. She also serves as an advisor for the AKPsi colony at Brown University. In her career, Basha works behind the scenes at Givelify, the maker of the highest-rated mobile and online donation app, as a Search Engine Optimization Strategist. Her role ensures that generous people everywhere can find the simplest and easiest way to do good in the world every time they search for causes they care about. Outside of work, she joins a cohort of distinguished communication practitioners at Purdue University where she earns her master’s degree in communication. When she’s not working or studying, Basha owns and operates The Almenni Company, a design and content agency to help local Indianapolis businesses, especially black-owned businesses, build profitable brands and bring value to the communities they serve.

External Links:

Connect with Basha Coleman

“The New Jim Crow”

AKPsi DEI task force

Givelify

Giving an Effective Presentation

Once you’ve learned exciting new information at a conference or in a class, the next step might be to share with colleagues or members of your chapter. However, no one wants to be the person at the water cooler who won’t stop talking about their exciting experience; instead, you can arrange an opportunity to present this information to everyone at once through a special training or education session. But how can you be sure your excitement and the reasoning behind it are successfully conveyed? Here are some tips for giving an effective and memorable presentation.

Think Like an Entertainer

The first step to giving an effective presentation is deciding your overall point, or thesis. Maybe you want to share the information to solve a problem, or help others be more efficient, or because it’s highly relevant to the future of your industry. Whatever the reason you want to catch the attention of the crowd, try to think like an entertainer as you decide on the structure, order, and content of your presentation.

Lead with a Hook: The best presentations are stories that give us an “aha” moment, according to Forbes. If you frame the presentation as a mystery that you and the audience are on the journey to solve, they’ll be waiting for the answers to fall into place.

            Self-Edit the Narrative: It’s essential not to overwhelm your audience with information or try to summarize a huge lesson in one presentation. You might be able to share the content of one session at your conference, or one learning unit from your class, but hitting the audience with a full “brain dump” is likely to cause them to tune out. Research has shown that one week after a presentation, audiences only remember 10 percent of the information on average. Consider this as you decide what to include and emphasize.

Create Supportive Visuals

One study from the University of North Carolina found that presentations given in an audio-only format with no visuals might lead to higher recall in the audience. With that said, many presenters and audience members alike expect and rely on tools like PowerPoint and Prezi to keep the flow moving. If you plan to use visuals during your presentation, here are some more tips to consider.

Don’t Overuse Charts, Graphs, and Data: According to presentation guru Nancy Duarte, who has assisted executives in delivering amazing business presentations since 1988, it’s important to share just the right amount of data in a chart or graph. “You need to highlight the most important items to ensure that your audience can follow your train of thought and focus on the right elements,” she writes on the Duarte company blog. “Using a lot of crazy colors, extra labels, and fancy effects won’t captivate an audience. That kind of visual clutter dilutes the information and can even misrepresent it.” Instead, be sure the visuals enforce your key concepts, and then provide the finer details in a handout the audience can take away with them.

            Mix Up the Provided Templates: From the colors and layout of the slides to the content itself, it’s important to break the mold of a typical presentation if you want better-than-typical results in your audience. For instance, one study published in Technical Communication magazine demonstrated that using a full sentence as the slide headline versus just a few key words led to significantly higher audience recall. Refer back to our blog from last year about preparing for a presentation for more insights about presentation formats and styles, as well as some public speaking tips.

Reinforce Information Through Audience Interaction

Lastly, a great way to ensure your presentation is memorable is to involve the audience. On a basic level, this means you need to memorize the presentation as much as possible, according to Harvard Business Review, and maintain eye contact with the audience. If you aren’t engaged with and focused on the audience, they won’t have any reason to focus on you in return. Additionally, there are some insights to share about rethinking audience interaction that will take your presentation to the next level.

Go Beyond the Show of Hands: Asking people to raise their hands or shout out a yes-or-no answer is not full engagement, according to Forbes contributor Nick Morgan. “You need to make the audience do some of the work. That way, the audience will feel like it owns, at least in part, the result,” he advised in a blog for the publication. Some of the specific activities he mentions as alternatives are getting the audience to tell a story to their neighbor or asking them to handwrite or hand-draw something relevant to the core concept.

            Ask for Feedback After the Show: A final way to help the audience retain what they learned and help you at the same time is to ask for feedback. Whether they complete an online survey or answer a few questions on paper, even a few responses will give you enough insight to review and improve before the next presentation.

Sharing information with others in a way that helps them learn, retain, and apply the concepts isn’t an exact formula. Overall, your audience wants to hear from you about the solution or insights you are bringing to the table. Remember the classic quote from Maya Angelou: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” If your audience feels better equipped to solve or cope with a problem after your presentation, they will remember.

 

 

Board of Directors 2020 Election Results

The Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity would like to announce the election of Mike Dickerson and Miriam Tomaselli, and the re-election of Alexander Sultan to its Board of Directors.

Dickerson, Tomaselli, and Sultan will serve 3-year terms. Dickerson and Tomaselli will be eligible for election to a second term upon the completion of the first term, while Sultan will be serving his second, and final, term under the current bylaws. They will be installed as directors on August 8, 2020, at the next scheduled board meeting.

The Alpha Kappa Psi Board of Directors are elected by representatives of all currently recognized chapters in the fraternity. The responsibilities of the board include making all policy and strategy decision for the organization in between sessions of the chapter congress (every two years) and providing oversight to all organizational operations.

Dickerson and Tomaselli will be replacing Nancy Huebner Ghizzone and Richard Battle, who have both served two 3-year terms on the board.

 

Mike Dickerson-Virginia Tech ‘04
Mission Manager for Intelligence, Joint Chiefs of Staff
AKPsi Fraternity President, 2017-2019

Mike Dickerson is a highly experienced, passionate, and innovative volunteer leader, having established a reputation for advancing collaboration, executing paradigm-shifting programs, and developing countless alumni for leadership positions within AKPsi during nearly two decades as a volunteer leader at every level of the organization. He is a recognized expert in the history and execution of the The Ritual of Alpha Kappa Psi.

As the 41st Fraternity President, he was responsible for overseeing the activities of 600+ volunteers around the world, serving 250+ student and alumni chapters, including
representing all chapters and volunteers to the Fraternity Board of Directors, and establishing new initiatives like the Strategic Advisory Councils and Fraternity Managers. From 2015-2017 he was the Fraternity Executive Vice President, overseeing the Alumni Chapter Region, managing Management Team (MT) finances, and leading the Fraternity Ritual Team, which he founded in 2014. Prior to his term as EVP, he served as the first Vice President for Area III, overseeing 60 chapters in four regions. From 2009-2014 Mr. Dickerson was the Mideast Regional Director, expanding the largest region in the history of Alpha Kappa Psi by nearly 20% in chapters (both student and alumni) and 25% in membership. As a regional director, he became known for expertise in developing volunteers for higher positions in the organization, establishing efficient and effective management structures and processes, and mentoring countless student members in professional
development. Prior to being elected a regional director in 2009, I was a section director and served as the founding chapter advisor for three chapters.

 

Alexander Sultan-San Diego State ‘93
Senior Manager, Deloitte & Touch LLP
AKPsi Board of Directors – Secretary, 2017-present

Over 18 years of expertise in the areas of management consulting, information security and risk management, information technology (IT) strategy, cyber mergers and acquisitions (M&A), compliance, and management consulting for high-profile global clients in Public Sector, Telecommunications, Media Entertainment, Financial Services, and Technology. Earned an MBA from London Business School. Worked on international engagements in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Belgium, China, and South Africa.

 

Miriam Tomaselli-Marist College ‘97
Vice President and Program Director, Klick Health
Commonwealth Leadership Alliance (AKPsi-affliated) –
Director, 2015-present

Skilled in building integrated project management departments, from the ground up, to manage projects from planning to completion. Adept in scaling agency operations (delivery management procedures) during rapid growth cycles, in handling operational challenges, and in developing organizational structure. Successful in grooming top notch talent to fulfill job roles, training first time managers, motivating teams for high performance, and development/governance of standard operating procedures.

 

Click here to see all three of their full resumes.