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Jordan Hawkins ’17 hones his leadership skills through campus involvement at Otterbein.

Jordan Hawkins ’17 hones his leadership skills through campus involvement at Otterbein.

Otterbein University wants its students to have an impact on the world and STAND for something larger than themselves. Through campus organizations, sports teams and opportunities through the Five Cardinal Experiences, students graduate and leave campus with many leadership qualities needed in today’s job market and world.

Jordan Hawkins ’17 believes leadership qualities come from both the individual and the environment in which they live.

“For me, it goes beyond just what you know. It’s what’s in your heart,” Hawkins said. “I always want to be in the mix on campus and learning how to better understand others.”

The Cleveland, OH, native definitely gives himself plenty of opportunities to hone his leadership skills. He currently serves as the president of Men of Vision and vice president of the African American Student Union; is an active member of the Campus Activities Board; sings in the Otterbein Gospel Choir; plays varsity lacrosse and is a resident assistant in Davis Hall.

“Leadership is all about being versatile,” said Hawkins. “You need a varied skill set to adapt and innovate in order to make the best choices moving forward. You have to know how to move past failures and use those lessons to your advantage.”

Hawkins wants to take all of his personal leadership experiences and apply them to a law-related career. He credits his time as a resident assistant for contributing the most to helping him prepare for his desired post-graduation life. Dealing with many different people from many different backgrounds daily while listening to their concerns without bias is molding him into a better leader, Hawkins said.

“Being an RA is almost like a blueprint or framework for me. Learning how to determine truth from fact is helping me in all of my organizations to be a better and more effective communicator,” he said.

Hawkins knows that attending a larger school would have limited his ability to be as engaged and have as much of a voice as he does at Otterbein. The values of the institution—including leadership and service to others—provided the platform for Hawkins to come to the forefront of many issues.

“I’ve always asked myself, ‘How can I be a great leader?’ It’s by being out front and understanding different perspectives. Otterbein’s culture on campus is a big motivator. Any student here will tell you the same.”