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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Email: pr@cofo.edu

January 30, 2020

College of the Ozarks students attend U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference

Delegates from C of O stand in front of Mahan Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (L – R) Senior Gabe Greco; senior Michia Jenkins; Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions; junior Kandice Riley; sophomore Alec Land.Delegates from C of O stand in front of Mahan Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. (L – R) Senior Gabe Greco; senior Michia Jenkins; Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions; junior Kandice Riley; sophomore Alec Land.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Four students from College of the Ozarks, accompanied by Dr. Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, attended the United States Naval Academy Leadership Conference, Jan. 20-23, in Annapolis, Maryland.

“The College has attended the Naval Academy’s leadership conferences for several years now,” said Linson. “The conference always contains robust, relevant content, and the opportunity for our students to see and experience the rich history of the USNA is invaluable.”

This year’s conference theme was Invest in Your People: The Power of Mentorship. The Leadership Conference included more than 400 participants from over 45 military and civilian colleges.

“All of the speakers focused on listening as the key to good mentorship,” said Kandice Riley, junior public relations major. “One phrase that stuck with me was said multiple times by Maj. Gen. Pat Brady and Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Morris during a panel discussion. They said that it is about the values that the medal of honor represents, not the valor. This can be applied to leadership in any capacity. It is about leading with character; it is not about the glory that comes with a position or title. Their humility was inspiring.”

The C of O delegation also spent time touring the historic Maryland State House, where General George Washington resigned his

commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The historic building is the oldest state capital in legislative use today.

The delegates from C of O were as follows:

  • Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions
  • Officer Candidate Gabe Greco, senior engineering major from Kansas City, Missouri
  • Michia Jenkins, senior exercise science major from Gainesville, Missouri
  • Officer Candidate Alec Land, sophomore public relations major from Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Kandice Riley, junior public relations major from Rogersville, Missouri

More About the U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference

Keynote Speakers at the conference included Mr. Bob Chapman (CEO and Chairman, Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc.), retired Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey (U.S. Marine Corps), and Dean Peg Klein (Naval War College). They spoke about how a culture of mentorship rises above individual differences, creates team-oriented relationships, and paints the bigger picture of an organization to accomplish its common goals.

The United States Naval Academy, the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law, along with the Hart Foundation and the U.S. Naval Academy Class of ’38, sponsored the 2020 Leadership Conference at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Since 1984, the Naval Academy has hosted an annual leadership conference for senior cadets and midshipmen from each of the service academies. In 2002, the conference expanded to include students from civilian universities and broadened its scope to include leadership topics relevant to government, business, and academia, as well as the military. 

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