The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world
In this Issue: 

Letter from the President  | Monthly Motivation | Awards/Scholarship Winners | What's Happening | Society Spotlight


Letter From the President: 

Dear Society Members,

I hope your new year is off to a great start. We at the National Office are excited for 2015, which holds in store many new projects and developments designed to further support your growth in both leadership and success.

This is all made possible by your outstanding dedication and distinction as Society Members. 2014 has been our biggest year yet— members and chapters from all across the nation have shared with us amazing stories of personal and collective success, bold leadership, and noble volunteerism. It is these accomplishments that inspire us to find new ways to support you in achieving even more.

In the past year we have also welcomed the greatest number of new members into our community of like-minded, success-oriented individuals. We are now, more than ever, able to help one another succeed and serve as a powerful force of good.

For all your hard work and achievements so far, even greater success lies ahead. So let’s make 2015 the year we excel, and then exceed. 


Best wishes to everyone,

Charles Knippen
The National Society of Leadership and Success

Success Corner: 

Society Exclusive: Seeking your Path? Ideas from A Path Appears


Sheryl WuDunn is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. Together with her husband, fellow New York Times journalist and Pulitzer recipient Nicholas Kristof, she’s the co-author of the best-selling books Half the Sky and A Path Appears. Kristof and WuDunn spoke to Society Members as part of the Speaker Broadcast series. Her essay below was written exclusively for Society Members:


We all want to make a difference with our lives, whether it is at school, at work, with family and friends or the other communities we care about.  Some of us want to become leaders, and in order to become an effective leader, you need to know how you can make a difference in people’s lives.

How do you make a difference?  In A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, we show how it ultimately comes down to understanding people enough to know how to encourage them, help them soar and open up greater opportunities for them. 

In A Path Appears, we introduce you to many individuals who are leading the way with their fascinating work that often moves and motivates people and improves their lives.  Some take it to a grand scale, lifting communities or discovering long-sought solutions to intractable social problems. Some are simply building close relationships with underprivileged students, transforming one person’s life at a time. Others are inventing services or products that really change lives. 

For instance, Elizabeth Scharpf invented an organic sanitary pad while she was at Harvard Business School and won the school’s social entrepreneurship prize.  She is now commercializing her pad so she can deliver them to teenage girls and women in Rwanda.  Along the way, American pharmaceutical companies have learned of the invention and are now talking to her about working together for the U.S. market.  Ultimately, she wants to deliver a product that is common in America but unheard of in Rwanda where girls must stay home from school during certain times each month.


David Olds, after years of top-notch research, has developed ways to help on a larger scale, by spreading opportunities to American children who are born into challenging environments. A leader in his field, he showed that a visit by a nurse to a pregnant woman, soon to be a single mom, can positively alter the life path of that infant.

Scott Harrison spent the first part of his life indulging in the night club life.  On a vacation in South America, he took a look at himself and realized he was wasting his time.  He wanted to make a difference. He paid several hundred dollars to be a photographer on Mercy Ships to capture photographs of the successful surgeries that doctors were performing as the ship sailed from poor country to poor country.  While he did a good job documenting the good work of Mercy Ships, he ended up finding a new life work: Charity: Water, which raises funds to dig wells in parts of Africa where there is no access to clean water. Charity: Water is wildly successful, and Harrison is a leader in his field – and much happier.

Indeed, it turns out that one of the secrets to happiness is helping others, that is, altruism.  InA Path Appears, we take readers through the interesting ways that research shows how you can help others — and along the way, also improve your health and be happier.

Special offer: for a limited period, Society Chapters are offered a significant discount on orders of 12 copies or more.  For more information please contact Michael Green or call 520-906-8661.


We welcome the Fall 2014 Inducted Society Members!

Cheyney University Chapter Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony

Newly inducted members! 

The Cheyney University Chapter E-Board

Keynote Speaker Mr. Frederick L. Whiten and Anjalea Noble

Keynote Speaker Mr. Frederick L. Whiten 

Anjalea Noble, Dr. Shelly Weeks Channel, and Samaria Phillips

Alcorn State University Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony

On December 5th the Alcorn State University Chapter held their Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony. Keynote Speaker John Whitfield spoke about being a Servant Leader; listening carefully to what is being said, empathizing with others, making others feel better, and being aware of one’s own limitations. We couldn’t agree more!

Red Rocks Community College Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony

Our Chapter at RRCC held their Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony.

Sara Oviatt, Student Life Program Coordinator and Chapter Advisor, said; “For me, my favorite part is getting to watch the members grow through their membership and involvement in NSLS.”

Ken Sierra, Membership Outreach Chair added; “The most exciting part of induction for me was giving the awards and recognizing the instructors and staff for their Service to Students and Honorary Memberships. Some of the award winners didn’t realize anyone had noticed all their hard work.”

Chapter Secretary John Castellanos echoed the sentiment; “It was great to have the opportunity to recognize the member’s hard work.”

Continue being great, Red Rocks!


See more pictures on our Flickr page

Kent State University Fall 2014 Induction Ceremony


The Society Chapter at Kent State U. welcomed a whopping 109 newly inducted members. 

Chapter President Mallory Galbreath shared her experience with the audience; “[the Society] has completely changed my life in the best way possible. The entire organization took this shy, quiet girl from Orientation freshman year and turned her into a driven, outspoken leader who isn’t afraid to take a chance…I have been able to make connections that I never thought were possible with so many amazing people, develop leadership skills unique to the Society experience, redefine my idea of what it means to be successful and have a lot of fun along the way! I have met and grown close to many of the people here at Kent State University through the Society…And I have learned how a big school can seem so small when I see our members around campus and they always take a moment to say hello. I couldn’t imagine my college experience, or my life for that matter, without the Society in it.”



Vice President Amber Titus followed: “the National Society of Leadership and Success has helped me to discover and achieve my goals…The Society helped me to pinpoint my goals mainly through the Speaker Broadcasts, which have given me so much inspiration. One of the most inspiring speaker broadcasts to me was Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms Shoes, whose mission to give away a pair of Toms for each pair bought really stuck with me…I hope that all of you have been motivated by the Society to go out and create a better world.”


Chapter Member Colleen Dragovich added; “I am Adjunct Faculty in the ESL Center and currently working on my PhD in Educational Psychology….the Society has provided us with a good base for networking and the skills that we need to be successful leaders…one thing that is a central element in the embodiment of the Society is that in order to achieve success, you must first define your goals and then actively work towards them…This one thing, this tenacity, is essential towards being successful. I encourage all of you to find your passions, define what you think would make you successful, and then don’t give up on it. Re-adjust your goals as life comes your way, but find what makes you happy and be tenacious.”


Also speaking was Community Service Chair Kate Willey, who said; “As we are all now members, it is our duty to start taking initiative to be leaders in areas that we are most passionate about, so that we can bring about new ideas, new change, and a new hope. Being in the Society has developed me in ways that I cannot even begin to describe. It has helped me with my leadership, organization, my people skills, and even life lessons.”

Last but not least, newly inducted member Jean Gabriel DeJesus was invited to contribute his thoughts; “I knew that in order to achieve my goals and be a successful leader, I also needed to be part of an organization that would encourage me and support me in a way that shared my beliefs.  I’m happy to say that I have found that organization…When I read the founder Gary Tuerack’s words, I knew I was in the right place at the right time. He said “We are dream supporters – we build leaders, support people in achieving their dreams, and better the world in the process”. That is exactly the support system I need and I know that all who have joined, believe the same thing.”

Congratulations to our Chapter Leadership, newly inducted and existing members at Kent State!

More pictures on our Flickr page.

Tarrant County College South Campus 2014 Induction Ceremony


Our chapter at Tarrant County College South Campus welcomed 59 inductees to the Society. 

Welcoming the new Society Members were keynote speaker Vice President for Student Development Services Dr. Larry Rideaux and the Chapter E-Board: President Nashae Mortin, VP Diamond Moss, Secretary Elva Azotla, Treasurer Jonathan Kigigha , and Membership Outreach Chair Taylor Gaines. 




See more pictures on our Flicker page


For more Fall 2014 inductions and other events nationwide visit our blog.

Monthly Motivation: 

"To lead people, walk behind them.”

- Lao Tsu

Scholarships and Awards: 







Success in Service Grant Winners!

Keith Ryan Anacker - Rutgers University-New Brunswick

For teaching CPR and AED skills to the Jamesburg and Central Jersey community.

Mary C. Davison - DeVry University-Decatur

For constructing a closet and food pantry to help feed and clothe the needy at the One Accord Church in Decatur Georgia.

Tanya F. Herring - University of Maryland University College-Online Chapter

For an intervention program for at-risk preteen and teen girls in Adelphi, Maryland.

Seth Michael Tate - Southwestern Community College

For fixing the men’s bathrooms at the Christian Love Ministries residential drug and alcohol recovery center in Sylva, North Carolina. 

Stephanie Sproesser Rosa - Indiana University Bloomington

For providing job readiness, training and support for the homeless at the Shalom Community Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

What's Happening: 

Meet Emerging Leader Scholarship Winner Samantha Miller


Samantha, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am in my first year of graduate school at Southern New Hampshire University, studying developmental psychology. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Dakota State University, where I studied human development family science and emergency management. Currently I am living in Fargo, North Dakota working as a teacher of toddlers at North Dakota State University. Most of my time is spent volunteering in the community, usually with the American Red Cross, and when I can I enjoy practicing judo, rock climbing, and working with stained glass.

You regularly volunteer with the American Red Cross and Lutheran Social Services as a disaster action team responder, mass care shelter coordinator, new American services supervisor, and volunteer coordinator. That’s a lot of hard and time-consuming work. What makes you so passionate about helping others?

One of the things I love about volunteering is being able to make a lasting impact in people’s lives. Often I will travel around the country responding after a disaster has devastated a community. While the level of destruction can be difficult to explain, what is always present is the amount of love and support displayed by the community. People from across this nation will pull together to help their neighbors in need, and disagreements or arguments will be suspended while everyone comes together to help with the recovery. While the weeks I spend sleeping on a cot may not be the most comfortable, serving our community and knowing that a difference is being made make it all worthwhile.

What’s your life’s dream?

My dream and career focus are one and the same; my goal is to further my education and earn a PhD in psychology, with a focus on helping children and families affected by disaster. At times this means ensuring their physical needs are met, by say having baby food available in shelters. Other times it will be influencing policies designed to better meet the unique needs of children after a disaster. In the end I hope to become an expert in this sub-field of emergency management. To do so requires understanding and experience of meeting people’s physical, mental, and emotional needs. My dream would be to see every member of a community educated and well prepared before a disaster, and when disasters do happen that our plans and policies meet the unique needs of even the youngest members.

You joined the Society just recently. How has your experience been so far? What do you hope to get from it in the future?

My experience has been very positive. I have been enjoying the speaker broadcasts and appreciate the Motivational Mondays, as they help give an added boost to kick off the week. Right now I have been working on the completion of my SNTs, where my group has been focusing on increasing fire prevention in the Fargo-Moorhead area with the American Red Cross. Of course, perhaps my favorite experience has been becoming the recipient of the Emerging Leader Scholarship, as it will certainly help in my continued educational goals. I look forward to being an active member and continuing to make a positive impact in the community.

You stated in your scholarship application that as a Red Cross volunteer leader, much of your accomplishments are not really your own, but rather they were achieved by those you’ve taught and trained. Is this how you see the role of a leader?

When it comes to being a leader, there is no doubt that a leader takes on a lot of responsibility, but leaders cannot do everything on their own, nor should they. A leader must be able to teach and inspire those around themselves, giving others the skills and guidance to reach their full potential. They must be able to recognize the strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests in each person, and work to help them find an area that person will be able to give and gain the most.

I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most dedicated and incredible people; it is an experience beyond words when you are able to help train and lead a person, and then see that person helping train and lead another. We each do our part to ensure the job gets done, but we know that it must be done together.

What are your thoughts on leadership in times of crisis, and what do you think success means in such circumstances?

I have seen people sent into a panic when a leader handles a situation poorly, and I have seen frightened masses calmed and order returned when an effective leader is in charge. What measures success can often completely depend on the situation; sometimes success can mean having meals ready and organized for 500 people for the next week, other times it can be reuniting a child with their parent after they were separated in a hurricane evacuation. But one thing that always defines success is the outcome for the people you are serving. If you can ensure that those you are responsible for are safe, cared for, and informed, then chances are you’re probably doing a pretty good job.

Do you have any advice for fellow members who may be considering applying for a Society scholarship, award or grant?

I would advise members to not be afraid to try for any scholarship for which they are qualified. I joined this Society in the middle of October, just two weeks before the scholarship application deadline. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to write a glowing essay about my work with the Society, or how it has helped me in my school or career, simply because those things were still to come; but I know that the work I’ve done in my community has made an impact. As a wise person once told me; “What’s the worst that’s going to happen, they say no.” So even if you don’t think you can win, try your hardest, and go for it.

Meet Student Leadership Grant Winner Preslyn Phillips


Preslyn, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. I am a senior at North Carolina State University, where I study Nutrition Science. I really enjoy baking and I absolutely adore community service. I’m a bit of an introvert, but I love to travel, meet new people, and learn the culture and history of places. I challenge myself daily by setting both short term and long term goals, whether this includes learning a new language on my own or mastering a class project, I believe the key to success is establishing long term and short term goals.

What do you hope to eventually become, and why?

I would like to become a Registered Dietician and help people who suffer from food related illness such as type 2 diabetes, anorexia, etc. Nutrients! They are the most essential source of life for everyone on the planet. Without the proper intake of just one nutrient your life could drastically change, that is very important and exciting to me.

How did you hear about the Society, and what made you decide to join?

I received an e­mail invitation to join the Society. After doing research on the Society and the chapter here at NC State, I knew that this was right leadership honor society for me.

In March you’ll be going to Belize as part of an environmental sustainability and agriculture program organized by Peaceworks. Can you tell us a little about that and why it’s important?

Along with other students and advisees from NC State, we will partner with PeaceWorks and travel to Southern Belize where we will build fermentation units and drying sheds to support the local farmers. PeaceWorks is a global nonprofit organization that engages communities, academic institutions, and corporations in innovative cross sector solutions for sustainable development around the world and across seven development disciplines: agriculture, business, education, engineering, health, public service, and technology.

Do you have any advice for fellow members who may be considering applying for a Society scholarship, award or grant?

Be Honest. Be open. Lastly, be yourself.

Meet Emerging Leader Scholarship Winner Barbara Thao



Barbara, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in California but moved to Wisconsin when I was 5, so I consider Wisconsin my home. I am Hmong, an ethnicity that not too many people know about. I was a teen mom, having my first daughter at the age of 16, and my second daughter at the age of 19. However, I graduated high school a semester early with a 3.8 GPA and I am currently in college. I am also in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, my main job being that I work with satellites and antennas. I love the experience that the military gives me, and it is really this experience that helps me believe in myself and leads me to see myself as a leader and role model.

What have your unique experiences in life taught you about leadership and success?

I’ve known that I was meant to be a leader since 5th grade. I’ve always been loud and a little obnoxious, so my teachers saw me as perfect for being a Peer Mediator. In middle school and high school I joined Student Council to help my classmates with whatever I could.  However, I was never confident enough in myself to really come through as a leader. When I enlisted in the military, I was put in charge of my 54-member platoon.  So I had no choice but to step up.  It was very difficult; imagine having 54 people from all over the United States, all with different backgrounds, all with different unique thinking styles, and all thinking that they know what should be done.  It was impossible to keep every single person happy and there were times when I wanted to break down and cry because I felt like I was a failure as a leader. But I made some decisions that I thought were best for the platoon as a whole, rather than what was best for each individual. There were a few who did not like me, but that’s ok. I found that that’s just a part of being a leader; some will hate you and others will follow you. It’s confidence that attracts followers, and I learned that through this experience.

What do you hope to eventually become, and why?

I would like to pursue a career in the military. My main priority right now is to graduate and get my Bachelor’s Degree, and then hopefully a Master’s. If given the opportunity I would like to move up the ranks and put my leadership skills to the test by either being in charge of another platoon or being in charge of my own company with hundreds of soldiers. I’m only 5’ tall, so I am used to people doubting me. But so far I have surprised many people.  And I don’t plan on stopping or slowing down any time soon.

How did you hear about the Society, and what made you decide to join?

I received a letter in the mail with information about the Society. I researched it online and looked through the website, and saw all the different benefits, like letters of recommendation or the scholarship awards, and I also saw the many different chapters located throughout the United States. I thought it was a great opportunity to meet other people who were leaders in their own ways and learn new tips from them.

You’re a pre-inducted member. What do you hope to get from and/or bring to your membership in the Society once inducted?

I hope to meet more people and expand my sphere of influence. So far, I’ve met many great people at the Speaker Broadcasts as well as my SNT group. And each person is unique in their own way. However, I’ve come across some members who are lacking the self-confidence to truly shine and be great leaders.  With my personal experience I would like to help these members realize that they really are great leaders in their own way. Self-confidence doesn’t come to anybody over night, but with the right help and the right guidance members can definitely develop that confidence.

Do you have any advice for fellow members who may be considering applying for a Society scholarship, award or grant?

My advice to those who may be thinking about applying for scholarships, awards, or grants, is to just do it. I honestly didn’t think that I would receive the scholarship award, but I did!  Like the saying goes, you never know until you try. Life is a little too short for ‘what if’s.  Plus, it doesn’t even take that long to apply so the only harm is in not applying for one.

Meet Student Leadership Grant Winner Jareese Mitchell


Jareese, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I best describe myself using two quotes: “I am in the world to change the world” by Muriel Rukeyser and “Its how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success” by David Feherty.

What do you hope to eventually become, and why?

I want to become an English teacher, but through the advocacy work I do with Planned Parenthood I’m getting some exposure to politics, which I’m finding interesting, so we will see where that leads.

I would like to teach English abroad. Many different nationalities come to the U.S. in search of opportunity, and I think that already knowing English would make for an easier transition.

You come from a multicultural background and you have diverse interests. Can you speak a little about how that relates to leadership and success? 

Coming from a multicultural background helps me because I can connect with a variety of people, on different levels and multiple topics. Everyone’s idea of success is different but I know it happens through building relationships and stepping out of your comfort zone.

How did you hear about the Society, and what made you decide to join?

I was introduced to the Society through a mailed invitation. At first I just thought membership in the Society would look good on my résumé, but after I nearly died in a bad car accident my perspective on the Society changed. The support the Society has given me has really helped in many aspects of my life.

You’re currently the Community Service and Outreach Chairmen of your Society Chapter. Does your position relate to your career interest in social service?

My position with the Society does relate to the social service field. Like many students, I’m considering changing my field of study. I am looking at industrial occupational psychology now, which I feel also relates to service.

Do you have any advice for fellow members who may be considering applying for a Society scholarship, award or grant?

My advice would be to just apply. You never know what could happen. Make sure you have a second pair of eyes look over your work. And answer in full all the questions in the application to the scholarship, grant, or award you’re seeking.

NFL legend LeRoy Butler speaks at our University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point chapter


Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer and NFL Super Bowl champion LeRoy Butler spoke at our University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point chapter.








He even supported the chapter with a personal check!




Spotlight On a Society Staffer: Dominique Smith


Tell us a little about yourself and your role at the Society.

I’ve been a Chapter Support Coordinator at the Society for the past five years. I have the honor of making an impact in the lives of our chapter leaders, members and advisors by providing guidance, support and resources that ensure they have the best possible leadership facilitation and developmental experience.

What does that entail?

The development and provision of training, resources, and the use of my knowledge and experience from serving as a student leader and campus staff member to inspire and direct chapter success.

What brought you to the Society?

I’m passionate about building leaders who make a better world. It aligns with my personal mission in life. I enjoy having the opportunity to impact many campus communities through the works of our students.

What do you do outside the Society?

I am a speaker and freelance workshop facilitator for high school and college students. I have a personal mission to inspire and teach, and to create opportunities for leadership development. Through my passion for leadership and higher education I empower students to do more, so that they can be more.

What advice would you like to share with Society members?

We as people are interdependent on one another. You following your passion, and living your purpose contributes to the creation of the platform that supports someone else’s opportunity to achieve success. That is leadership that is legacy.

Who’s your favorite leader, past or present, real or fictional?

Oprah Winfrey (She is focused, determined, wise, and accomplished).

What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

At the moment I have two:

“Comparison is the thief of joy”

– Theodore Roosevelt

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

–Maya Angelou


Our members are leading and inspiring individuals on their campuses and in their communities across the country every day, and we want to help tell those stories! Articles and other content for upcoming newsletters can be submitted anytime to communications@societyleadership.orgPlease include photos from your event, and let us know what you were doing, who participated and how it impacted your members and community. So many chapters are making a difference every day.

Keep up the good work!