Davie campus hosts first leadership conference

Students who attended the inaugural Roadmap to Success event learned about everything from managing money to looking professional during a dinner.


The Davie campus will host Roadmap to Success again next year, and hope to add more sessions to the event. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Arturo Arias, Contributing Writer

Achieving success isn’t just about planners and motivation. It’s also about how to sit straight and cut your steak during dinner with a potential employer, according to FAU.

This past Saturday, Mar. 23, 41 FAU and Broward College students took part in the inaugural Roadmap to Success event on the Davie campus. The goal for the conference was to motivate students to prepare for their future and included lessons like how to establish and follow through with goals, how to become financially savvy, and even how to eat during a job interview at a restaurant.

“The purpose of [Roadmap to Success] was for students to identify their why and to get out of their comfort zone,” Francine Coker, assistant director for Davie’s Weppner Center for LEAD and Service-Learning, said. “Our students wanted to have a conference here on the Davie campus. I wanted to give students an opportunity to go to a leadership symposium.”

Coker also wants Roadmap to Success to be a signature event on the Davie campus the way similar student leadership conferences iLead and WeLead are on the Boca campus.

After a lecture about how students should see college as more than a four-year slog to get a job from Rudy Jean-Bart, an assistant professor at Broward College South Campus, students then attended various workshops throughout the day that covered different aspects of success. These workshops included:


  • Stretch Your Mind: a breakout session about understanding stress and how to combat it through movement and mindfulness.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives: a series of exercises designed to develop companionship between cultures and recognize the importance of cultural awareness.
  • Life Management: a lesson on how to identify future goals and work toward them. Financial Literacy: a series of tips on finance, including the value of saving money early, managing debt, paying taxes, and preparing for major events.
  • Finding Your Purpose: a walk through ‘roadmaps’ detailing how to build perseverance, tenacity, and determination.
  • The Impact of Teamwork on Employee and Organizational Performance: a participatory event where students defined teamwork and the benefits it can give through the workplace.
  • Your Edge as a Leader: a tutorial on how to build a personal brand by identifying personal strengths, creating a niche, and pitching to employers.
  • Social Activism 101: an exploration of how student involvement can improve the college experience.


The conference ended with a speech from Dr. Andrea Guzman Oliver, associate vice president for Student Outreach and Diversity, discussing her life story and endeavors. She went over her childhood in Detroit where she grew up in a poor household with little confidence in herself, but she eventually pushed herself to success through self-motivation and meditation — and she urges other students to improve themselves, too.

For next year’s Roadmap to Success, Coker wants to add more workshops and repeat those that were popular, such as Social Activism, Financial Literacy, Life Management, and Finding Your Purpose.

Arturo Arias is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected].