Student body presidents gather for annual Panetta Institute seminar

Ian Olden of CSU Monterey Bay was one of 28 students who attended the Panetta Institute for Public Policy’s annual Student Leadership Seminar in June.

AS President Ian OldenOlden, a fourth-year psychology major from Inglewood, clearly has a passion for leadership. He was elected Associated Students president for the upcoming school year on a campaign platform of "Building a Better University." Last year, he served as AS vice president and has led the Residential Housing Association on campus.

He joined student leaders from throughout the California State University system as well as Saint Mary’s College of California and Santa Clara University at the eight-day program.

The objectives of the seminar are to teach young men and women about leadership principles, strategies and practices; to send them back to their campuses and communities as more effective leaders; and to encourage them to pursue lives of public service.

At the seminar, “You have the opportunity to speak to the former Secretary of Defense and CIA director,” Olden told local TV station KION, referring to Leon Panetta. “There is just no way that is not really cool.”

The week of seminars and exercises concluded June 21, when Olden and the other participants shared their goals for their home campuses and reflected on their own definitions of leadership.

For Olden, it was time well spent.

“You get to learn so much about compromise and legislation and it gives you insight into that you’re doing more than just talking about making a difference,” Olden told KION. “You’re learning how to make a difference.”

Learn about Associated Students at CSUMB

Read more about the Student Leadership Institute at the Panetta Institute