Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference provides students the opportunity to explore multiple facets of leadership and network with faculty, staff, and peers. The conference sessions emphasize leadership development as it relates to students, their communities, and the workplace. 

Students attending this conference can: 

  • enhance essential skills and competencies in the pursuit of leadership excellence with emphasis on creating a culture of leadership in their communities and/or workplaces
  • explore the importance of embracing a diverse and inclusive community
  • examine how their experiences in current leadership roles can enhance their student experience at Penn State and boost future career and life aspirations

Preparations are underway for the 2024 conference. Check back at the beginning of the fall 2024 semester for more information about attending. If you have any questions about the conference, please email [email protected].

Learn more about the 2023 conference:

Sunday, October 15

1:00–4:00 p.m.: Check-in opens
2:00–3:15 p.m.: Campus Tour (optional)
4:00–5:15 p.m.: Welcome and Conference Kick-Off
5:15–7:30 p.m.: Dinner & Opening Keynote
7:45–8:30 p.m.: Networking and Evening Activity

Monday, October 16

8:00–8:30 a.m.: Check-in
8:00–8:30 a.m.: Breakfast
8:30–9:00 a.m.: Welcome and Morning Plenary Session
9:15–10:15 a.m.: Concurrent Breakout Sessions 1
10:30–11:30 a.m.: Concurrent Breakout Sessions 2
11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m.: Boxed Lunch and Alumni Panel
1:15–2:00 p.m.: Concurrent Breakout Sessions 3
2:15–3:00 p.m.: Concurrent Breakout Session 4
3:15–4:30 p.m.: Conference Closing Session

Breakout sessions from the 2023 conference:

  • Self-Awareness IS Leadership
  • Storytelling as a Powerful Communication Tool
  • How to Think Beyond the Résumé
  • The Path to Leadership Isn't Always Linear
  • The Transformation of Leadership — Enhance Your Leadership Abilities to Reflect the Evolution of Today's Workplace Environment
  • The Little Things Matter
  • Synergy Unleashed — Leadership and Group Dynamics Workshop
  • The Art of Giving Feedback

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Dr. Sherry Hamilton Latten

Founder and President, Latten & Associates

With more than 20 years of consulting expertise, Dr. Sherry Hamilton Latten is a passionate leader with a commitment to leveraging her gifts and abilities to serve others. Her business-thinking and ability to translate vision into action combine with skillful facilitation techniques that are deeply rooted in developing people. Dr. Latten integrates organizational leadership, change management, and instructional design skills to build confidence in others, enabling them to achieve their goals. She is recognized for her excellence in leading and project managing large-scale initiatives for global Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government organizations. 

Dr. Latten’s engaging style draws audiences into the conversation as she adeptly weaves through her areas of expertise to meet the audience where they are. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics and a master’s degree in organization development and change from Penn State, as well as an organizational leadership doctorate from Abilene Christian University.

When not leading or facilitating events, Dr. Latten is often known to say, “I have an idea.” Friends and family know to hold tight and prepare for an adventure. It could be a waterfall hike through a rainforest in Puerto Rico, a live music event in a town they’ve never visited, or an idea to change the world! Join the conversation with Dr. Latten as she encourages you to explore your ideas.

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Bobby Zaepfel

Organizational Change Consultant, Penn State Information Technology 

Bobby Zaepfel is an organizational change consultant who has built a successful career by constantly challenging the status quo with his creative, people-centric approach. Bobby's passion for the impact of change and his naturally curious demeanor have driven him to study the granular cause-and-effect relationships of leading and facilitating change. 

Bobby's expertise in organizational change is the result of his extensive experience supporting transformational initiatives at Penn State and his thesis research on organizational change in higher education. Bobby's unique take on change leadership is a cultivated collection of complimentary ingredients, leveraging a disruptive approach while challenging the transactional status quo.

Bobby's contagious high-energy presentations are distilled from 10+ years of experience in the radio industry, where he launched, evolved, and redesigned radio stations in major markets and small towns alike. His ability to connect with the audience and transform their energy into action has been honed through his experience as a coach, mentor, and performer.

Bobby has taken the stage facilitating workshops and conference breakout sessions nationally and regionally. He holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in corporate communications and marketing from Duquesne University, as well as an additional master's in adult education and human resource development from James Madison University.