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Leadership and Service Center

A presentation session at SLDC

Student Leadership and Diversity Conference

This one-day regional conference features more than 30 educational sessions and keynote speakers which explore issues in diversity and student leadership. Held in the spring, the conference is open to students and staff from institutions across the Southeast.

Call for presenters

Submit an application to present an educational session at SLDC.
Deadline extended to Monday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m.

SLDC 2019 will be held Feb. 2, 2019 | Register here

Online registration and payment is available for SLDC 2019. The early-bird registration deadline is Dec. 18.

Learn leadership to make an impact.

The Student Leadership and Diversity Conference (SLDC) is an opportunity for students and staff from institutions across the Southeast to network and explore important issues in diversity and student leadership. With access to more than 30 educational sessions and keynote speakers, SLDC trains and educates participants in:

  • Essential leadership skills for a diverse society
  • Developing a leadership identity
  • Creating initiatives and methods to foster sustainable positive change
  • Maximizing their student leadership experience

All conference activities are held in the Russell House University Union on the University of South Carolina campus in Columbia, SC.


Who Should Attend?

On average, about 500 students, faculty and staff members at universities, colleges and technical schools in the southeast region join their peers at SLDC each year. SLDC is especially beneficial for student leaders in:

  • Student organizations and student government
  • Residence hall governments
  • Greek organizations
  • Programming boards
  • Student media groups
  • Diversity outreach/education groups

Plan your Day

What is the cost to attend?

Your registration includes a continental breakfast, lunch, conference padfolio and other materials you'll need for the day. 

Early bird registration - Now through Dec. 18, 2018

  • USC-Columbia Cost: $25
  • Non-USC Cost: $35

Regular registration - Dec. 19, 2018 -Jan. 17, 2019

  • USC-Columbia Cost: $35
  • Non-USC Cost: $45
How can I pay?

Payment may be made via credit card online during the registration process.

For individuals registering groups, payment by check may be also selected as an option during the registration process.

Are hotels close by?

Yes, there are a number of excellent hotels in the area. Some even offer a special rate if you're visiting the campus, so be sure to ask when you call for reservations.

Accommodations » 

Is parking available nearby?

SLDC takes place in the Russell House University Union, located at 1400 Greene St. in Columbia, SC. Car and van parking for the conference is available in the Bull Street Garage located behind the Russell House. Visitors should enter through Gate 3. Buses may drop conference participants off in front of the Russell House and can then park in the Barnwell Street lots.

What's the event schedule?

The event will occur from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include a keynote speaker, multiple educational sessions, breakfast, and lunch. The full conference schedule will be released closer to the day of the event.


What if I need to cancel?

The SLDC cancellation and change policy is as follows:

Through Dec. 18 – Full refund for cancellation of spots; registrant changes allowed.

Dec. 19 through Jan. 17 – 50% refund for cancellation of spots; registrant changes allowed.

Jan. 18 through Jan. 25 – No refund for cancellation of spots; registrant changes allowed.

Jan. 26 through Feb. 2 – No refunds; all registrant information locked in.



View the 2018 SLDC program.

Need ideas for your presentation application? Look at what was presented last year! 

SLDC 2018 Presentations

Session Title Presenter(s) Description Keywords
(hidden column)

Active and Intentional Advising [pdf]

Carly Rice, University of South Carolina

Founded on “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick Lencioni, this presentation will outline areas of development for organizations. As an advisor, it is crucial to identify these areas and be able to effectively respond with developmental strategies for students. Being an active advisor is vital in the development of any team or organization. Attendees will be able to apply the concepts outlined by Lencioni to their own organizations. 


Advocacy Efforts on Issues That Matter to You [pdf]

Theresa Harrison, University of South CarolinaFrancis Dantzler, Sexual Trauma Services of the MidlandsKaty Watkins, Richland Library 

Looking to have a deeper impact on your community? Advocacy is one option that can take on various forms from coalition building to policy-driven research. Richland County Public Library and Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands will address what advocacy looks like in their organizations and what they look for in volunteers. Participants will also learn how they can be recognized for their advocacy efforts at USC. Information shared will be applicable no matter where your community is located!

diversity, social justice 

Leading an Interdisciplinary Team: Building Rapport and Fostering Collaboration [pdf]

Jennifer Mandelbaum, University of South CarolinaHeather Bowling, University of South CarolinaRyan Orland, University of South Carolina 

A medical student, a public health student, and a social work student walk into a meeting ... it’s the opening line of a joke, to be sure. How can the students walk out of the meeting with a shared vision and purpose, drawing on the strengths of their disciplines and using them for the common good? Join our presenters as they share five characteristics of effective interdisciplinary teams and give participants a chance to tackle a problem of their own and succeed at interdisciplinary cooperation. 


Leading to Serve and Serving to Lead - Connections between Leadership and Service [pdf]

Lindsey Woelker, University of North Carolina at Greensboro 

Robert Greenleaf stated, "good leaders must first become good servants". Serving your community comes with great responsibility.  As students progress through our institutions, it becomes essential to equip them with the skills necessary to create positive social change.  This workshop will introduce the UNCG Leadership Framework and provide students with some tangible next steps to become change agents.


Our Great Divide: Recognizing Moral Difference and the Importance of Compassionate Leadership [pdf]

Josh Finch, University of South Carolina

As leaders, we are called to build coalitions for positive change in our communities. Unfortunately, as our country becomes more and more polarized by political ideology it has become harder to build relationships and lead across differences. This session is designed to teach participants about our moral foundations and how social compassion can empower leaders to connect productively with others. Activities and takeaways will help leaders recognize moral differences, work through controversy with civility, and identify opportunities for further growth as leaders.


Dear Social Media, You Saved My Organization [pdf]

Bri Sirota, University of South Carolina

It’s second nature to use social media in our personal lives, but do you know how to use it as a business tool? This presentation will teach you how to use social media to recruit, promote, network, and build your organization’s brand. Keeping up with the virtual world we live in is crucial to maintain a successful organization on any college campus.


Knowing Your Rights - How to Navigate the Law [pdf]

Ivy Sibley, University of South CarolinaRebecca Borovsky, University of South CarolinaSusan Bon, Ph.D., J.D., University of South Carolina

In the past couple of years, the number of student protests has grown and reached countless campuses. Free speech and hate speech are mentioned in the news daily, but what do these legal terms really mean and what does the law say about them? What speech is protected under the first amendment? When is speech restricted? As a result of this presentation, attendees will be able to answer these questions and understand their speech rights.

foundations, pillars, success

Su-peer Leadership

Kate Champnella, Midlands Technical CollegeRebecca Kaze, University of South Carolina

Congrats! You are pursuing a leadership role within a student organization. With great power comes great responsibility, right? But what happens when those responsibilities include supervising your peers or maybe even your friends? Finding a balance between fulfilling your supervisory responsibilities and maintaining friendships can be tricky. We’ll walk you through how to identify your leadership style, navigate challenging situations and how to take your peer leadership to the next level!


Survey Says ... Common Pitfalls of Student Leaders and How to Address Them [pdf]

Lauren Olson, University of South Carolina

Lauren has overseen student employees and student leaders at the University of South Carolina for the past 12 years. She has worked with students in a variety of capacities and at various points on their leadership journeys. Through her experiences, she has seen a multitude of student leaders succeed and struggle. Through discussion and example sharing, let her teach you how not to be “THAT leader.”


What You Ghana Do? Exploring the Active Citizen Continuum [pdf]

Leena Holt, University of South CarolinaOlivia Frieden, University of South Carolina

Are you a member? Volunteer? Conscientious citizen? Or active citizen? This session will give you insight on the active citizen continuum, allow you to see where you stand, and how to move forward. Hear from a student and professional who are currently exploring the active citizen continuum. This session will allow for opportunity to discuss passions and interest and how one can move beyond the role of member and even volunteer! Join us in a discussion on how we all can make a difference.

diversity, social justice

Your Invisible Toolbox: Educating Millenials and Generation Z [pdf]

QuiAnne’ Holmes, Clemson UniversityJen Loh, Clemson UniversityKim Carter, Clemson UniversityChristian Barrientos, Clemson University

The use of technology, service, and trainings is not a new concept in student affairs; however, the implications for generational changes is a relatively new area of inquiry. Many studies have revealed that educators and professionals need to develop new skills and techniques in higher education to address the vast needs of their students.


Everything I Know About Leadership, I Learned While Flying in a Blue Angel Jet

Julie Beck, Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce

One of the coolest things I have ever done in my life is take a 30 minute plane ride in a Blue Angel jet. Only 1% of the world’s population ever gets an opportunity to do this. Come and watch a video and experience what it’s like to travel the speed of sound, to encounter 7.4 G’s and to black out due to the high G force and yet through it all, keep smiling. Learn some valuable leadership lessons that can be applied to your professional and personal life, despite what challenges you encounter.


Building a Coalition: Utilizing Networking and Relationship Building to Move Your Organization Forward

Jarod Holt, University of South Carolina

Have you built your coalition? Spending time to build rapport,

understanding, and collaboration can be a lost art. Come learn

ways to build relationships and rapport with stakeholders that can

help your organization succeed.


Beyond Service: Advocacy for Community Change Part II

Sarah Gay, University of South CarolinaCaroline Wallace, University of South Carolina

What social issues are you passionate about? How do you support people who experience societal challenges based on ability, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, race and religion? Perhaps you wish to get more involved after participating in community service, fundraisers or awareness events. Participants will discuss community advocacy, reflect on how their motives and identities relate to people they wish to serve, and learn tips for working toward a more just society through advocacy.

diversity, social justice

The Wall

Fabian Miramontes, Lynchburg CollegeLaura Arriaza, Lynchburg CollegeAssiatu Swaray, Lynchburg CollegeMaria Murillo, Lynchburg College

“The Wall” is an interactive and educational experience examining negative stereotypes about various groups of people. Participants will work in groups to identify the negative stereotypes associated with certain groups and then individually to dispel them. Participants will learn how to be advocates for themselves as well as those who are different by using their leadership positions to eradicate stereotyping and thus discrimination from their campuses and communities.

diversity, social justice

Jump! Working Through Fear to Reach Your Full Potential 

Tadean Page, Winthrop UniversityPatricia Riley, Winthrop University

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” We all have fears, but there is a key to conquering those fears. That key is jumping! This hands-on, interactive workshop will equip you with the tools and motivation needed to work through fears and challenges individually and within your organization(s) to reach success and truly become #Fearless. Ready. Set. JUMP!

foundations, pillars for success

What’s Your Name? Implications of Student Name Use to Foster Inclusion

Wonjae Kim, Clemson University

A problem we may encounter with racially and ethnically diverse students can occur within initial moments of meeting a student. The impact of names can prove to be an effective way to build rapport and foster inclusion, but can easily turn into a source of anxiety if approached tactlessly. This session will illustrate the impact of names, discuss different experiences around this issue, and co-construct best practices among other practitioners to foster inclusivity among diverse student populations.

diversity, social justice

Servant Leadership: A Deep Dive

Vicki Clark – speaker, facilitator, consultant and trainer

In this session, students will have the opportunity to learn more about the tenets of servant leadership that were spoken about during the lunch keynote address. Students will further explore their own roles as servant leaders on campus and in the community.


What Employers Are Really Looking For: How to Market Your Various Experiences

Rebecca Borovsky, University of South CarolinaIvy Sibley, University of South Carolina

Have you been a lifeguard, member of a student organization, or leader on campus – but do not know how to make these experiences seem relevant in the job search? If so, this presentation is for you! Through activities and discussion, you will leave this session with strategies to nail your next application, interview or networking event! In addition, this presentation will briefly highlight resume writing and interviewing.

foundations, pillars for success

Building Values for a Better Leader

Sarah Vaughan, University of South Carolina

What are your values? Maybe you understand what’s important

to you – but how does that relate to your leadership style? During

this interactive presentation, we will discuss the importance

of understanding your values not only for your own personal

development, but for your interpersonal development as well. We will explore how values affect the way you work with other people,

how you lead, and how you can make an impact on others.

foundations, pillars for success

Students Leading Change

Ross Lordo, University of South CarolinaRebecca Kaze, University of South CarolinaKim McMahon, University of South Carolina

Join us as we explore the unique role students can play as change makers on campus. Providing a historical perspective of student movements in higher education, we examine the power and influence of the student voice. In highlighting strategies and lessons learned from our push for a new student union at the University of South Carolina, come hear how you can become an effective advocate for change on your campus.


From a Retweet to a Call for Action

Bria Dantzler, College of CharlestonDeronda Corbin Washington, College of Charleston

Social media has taken the role of becoming a primary news source for social justice issues. Millennials have made these issues and their voices go viral. Their voices have made a difference in their communities because of their calls to action. How far can a "like" or "share" take us? Attendees will become activated to find their voice and become knowledgeable of how to close the gap between shared social posts that display discrimination and solutions to end the cycle.

leadership, diversity, social justice

Cultural Awareness, Diversity, Inclusion and You: Living in a Multicultural World

Franklin Ellis, Psy.D., Coastal Carolina University

A high-energy informative presentation loaded with activities and knowledge! Participants will leave this presentation informed on how to recognize systems of oppression and how to utilize their privileged identities to aid in reducing the amount of discrimination that occurs in our world.

diversity, social justice

Leadership Lessons for Introverts … and Those Who Work Alongside Them

Lacie Rhoden, University of South CarolinaShelby Gillis, University of South Carolina

There are often major misconceptions about the leadership abilities of introverts. Have you ever been told you’re too reserved to lead confidently? Have you ever had doubts about your own or a peer’s leadership because of their introverted nature? In this session, we will explore the fallacies and truths of introverts, illuminate their natural gifts of leadership, and provide insight on how to capitalize on a characteristic that not everyone sees as a strength. You will leave this session with tangible tips, ideas, and approaches about introverts, whether you are one or you work alongside one.

foundations, pillars for success

Market Like You Mean It: Using Digital Tools and Strategies to Improve Your Organization’s Reach and Engagement [pdf]

Sydney Patterson, University of South Carolina 

On a university campus with hundreds of student organizations, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Effective marketing looks a little different for everyone, but in this session, we’ll discuss tried and- true digital marketing strategies to build your organization’s brand identity and find a social media strategy that can boost your organization’s reach. You’ll leave with a first draft of an actionable brand and marketing plan to implement with your organization.


Communication: The Key to Effecitive Relationships in the Workplace

Willis Watt, Ph.D., Methodist University 

How can you be an effective leader with team members across cultures, experiences, training and generations? Practicing the seven aspects of positive functioning work relationships will improve your potential of working together, across boundaries, to achieve goals. 


Cat Got Your Tongue?

Jen Coken – author, speaker, comedian, and life coach 

Conflict in life is inevitable. How you deal with it can make or break your success in your organization and in your personal life. What if there was a way for you to have a tough conversation with a friend or someone in your group that left you feeling more connected, loved, appreciated and grateful? Our keynote speaker, Jen Coken, will give you the tools to transform any relationship from being problematic to one full of gratitude for the lessons you learned from each other. In this talk you will: understand the nature of a “hard” conversation; identify what stops you from having them; develop strategies to have them go successfully; and make it easier on someone else who is having a difficult conversation with you. 

foundations, pillars for success 

Passion and Burn Out: The Importance of Self-Care

Megan Colascione, Shane Bello, Emily Dunn, Taylor Wright, Ross Lordo, Lindsay Bratun, Kathryn Stoudemire, Mary Sizemore, University of South Carolina

Do you love what you do, but experience a lack of energy and cannot give 110%? Are you pulled in multiple directions, but don’t know how to say “no?” Come join our discussion on passion and burn-out; learn from student leaders and their personal stories on how to give your all to your position and organization, but still make self-care a priority.

foundations, pillars for success, leadership

De-stigmatizing Social Justice Work: How to Build a Foundation of Social Justice in Leadership

Emilee O’Brien, Furman University

Social justice work has a stigma of the “liberal agenda” in the highly politicized climate of our culture and institutions. In this interactive session, explore how social justice can serve as the foundation for your leadership on campus and in your community, despite the polarization of the goals and outcomes of this work. To lead through social justice involves the recognition of power, privilege, and identity development with the intent of inclusive and strategic coalition building on campus.

leadership, diversity, social justice

Can You Escape? Building Teams Using Escape Rooms

Patricia Riley, Winthrop University

Learn what Winthrop is doing to have student leaders engage with content through an infusion of critical thinking and problem solving. During this session, participants will interact and learn how to use escape rooms to teach teamwork, problem solving and critical thinking. Participants will leave with resources to build a free, in-person activity. If you like puzzles, codes, and games, this session is for you.


Establishing Your Personal and Professional Brand Through Blogging

Skylar Pritchard, University of South Carolina

The blogging community has the world abuzz and it’s time for you to join in the excitement! Through this session, you can take your college experiences to the next level by establishing your own personal and professional brand through the creation of a blog. We will discuss various personal and professional niches in the blogging world, how you can add to them, and the methods for marketing your blog on your professional resume for future employment and engagement opportunities.

foundations, pillars for success

Nevertheless, She Persisted: Bridging the Confidence Gap for Women

Lauren Haynes, University of South Carolina

What would you do if you weren’t afraid? Start a women’s march, ignite the #MeToo campaign, star in Wonder Woman, or give a powerful speech on the Senate floor? The year 2017 was a year full of confident women who made bold statements, started movements, and broke glass ceilings. Join this discussion-based workshop where we look at powerful women in pop culture and determine how to bridge the confidence gap to achieve your goals.

diversity, social justice

Being a Leader: Leadership Skills from Campus to Career

Errica Bishop,  Asia Brown, Kat Clark, Art Dunn, Target

Attendees of this session will have an opportunity to engage in discussions about their past experiences and determine how those relate to the leadership they will be expected to exercise in the workplace. Students will connect with Target leaders and learn about their keys to success.


5 Gears: How to be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time

Alan Spies, Ph.D., University of South Carolina

It is difficult to be both connected and productive, especially with the growing use of technology in every area of life. During this interactive presentation, students will be equipped with simple tools to assist in being fully present with others. Using common language and visual tools, students will self-assess their respective health in various areas of life, such as their abilities to focus on the tasks at hand, to recharge and to fully connect with others.

foundations, pillars for success

Advisor Campus Trends Discussion

Anna Edwards, Ph.D., University of South Carolina

Ambra Hiott, Ed.D., University of South Carolina

Join other advisors at this session to network and discuss campus trends and how to best advise student leaders through challenging times. Topics will include campus protests/free speech, organizational change and civic engagement. Session participants are encouraged to bring their own “lessons learned” to contribute to the conversation. This session will be facilitated by Anna Edwards, associate vice president for Student Life and Ambra Hiott, director of the Leadership and Service Center.


Continuing the Conversation

Jen Coken – author, speaker, comedian, and life coach

In this educational session, Jen Coken will expand on the morning’s keynote address. Participants will learn more about how to authentically empower and inspire people as leaders to enact lasting positive change in their organizations and communities.

leadership, diversity, social justice