Mettert: Contributing to Student Leadership Development
Skylar Mettert’s new job is one he has prepared for since he was an undergraduate at The University of Findlay.
And, after serving the past 18 months as a graduate assistant for Sharinda Welton, director of student activities, commuter services and leadership development, Mettert was named in January to a newly created position as assistant director.
His new duties include serving as adviser to Student Government Association, adviser for Greek life and Greek Council, and expanding and creating leadership development opportunities for students, especially a men’s leadership development program.
Mettert began honing his leadership experiences when he was elected sophomore class president – a victory that paved the way for his election as Student Government Association president in the subsequent two years.
“I definitely put a lot of time into the SGA,” Skylar said. “I had this wonderful opportunity to grow and to help others to grow.”
According to David Emsweller, the University’s vice president for student affairs, “As president, Skylar had a depth of understanding about how things operate and how to get things done. He changed a lot of the ways SGA does things, and he did it in a way that people would not be offended or upset. His approach was very participatory.”
Improvements he initiated included better and more accurate recordkeeping among the organizations, better student representation on and input to campus committees, and greater collaboration with faculty advisers and the Student Activities Office.
One of the things Skylar did was to promote the personal leadership skills of the SGA members and organization presidents. He instituted more focused leadership training and restructured meetings to ensure time for break-out sessions on topics of general interest – such as budget practices, change management and communications.
In addition to his involvement with SGA, Mettert’s activities included serving as a student representative to the UF Board of Trustees, the presidential search committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. He also was inducted as a member of the Mortar Board honor society and was named Founders’ Son, one of the highest honors bestowed by the University.
A 2011 graduate with a bachelor of science degree in pre-veterinary medicine and biology, Mettert has completed all but three courses toward a master of arts in education, focusing on the human resource development strand with an emphasis on leadership. Temporarily, he has suspended his graduate studies in order to devote himself to learning his new job, but he hopes to complete his master’s degree by summer of 2014, he said.
His ultimate goal is to pursue a career in higher education student administration and to eventually earn a doctorate to qualify him for a vice presidential position some day. His job as assistant director is a “first step in my career in higher education,” he noted.
“The SGA really sparked my interest in higher education leadership,” Mettert said, “I’ve learned here that if you get involved, get ‘hands-on’ with activities while paying attention to the academic side of things, you can become a well-rounded person. And there are a lot of people at Findlay who are willing and eager to help you along the way.”
Now, Mettert is one of the many people at Findlay who are there to make students’ experiences more meaningful in developing the whole person.