Common Day of Learning Takes a "Lead"

by Tim Posada '05

Lead: Model, Guide, Serve. The theme of APU's 13th Annual William E. and Ernest L. Boyer Common Day of Learning drove the event, as each session focused on different areas of leadership. Keynote speaker Star Parker, founder and president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education (C.U.R.E.), started the day’s events by speaking in chapel on the Church's role in leadership.

Canceled classes allowed the APU community to unite and learn under a common theme. Common Day of Learning offered three session times held by faculty, staff, students, and special guests on 22 topics ranging from hip-hop and education reform to manhood and financial success.

"I hope each individual who participated in Common Day of Learning walked away with valuable knowledge and skills to become an influential leader in their community," said Sharia Hays, Common Day of Learning graduate student coordinator.

Each session time had a focus group: The first being "Aim High: Leadership and Discipleship at the Olympic Games," with speakers Terry Franson, Ph.D., senior vice president for student life/dean of students; Olympians Bryan Clay '02, and Dave Johnson '86. The second, "It's a (Wo)man's World: Women Making a Difference Discussion Panel," was moderated by Adrien Lowery, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, with panelists Parker; Kimberly Battle-Walters, Ph.D., associate professor of social work; and Grace Barnes, Ph.D, professor of higher education and organizational leadership. The final focus group, "Modeling A Vision of Hope: Christian Higher Education in a world of Colliding Maps," featured Philip W. Eaton, Ph.D., president of Seattle Pacific University.

“At the women in leadership session, I learned about different leadership opportunities,” said Ali This ’06. “And as a leader, I was encouraged. It showed me that if you’re called to be a leader, to be strong and proud of that.”

Along with sessions, a service leadership event took place outside the Hugh and Hazel Darling Library from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., led by Lowery. "Knit One, Lead Too: A 'Warm Up America' Knit Out for Our Local Homeless" brought together more than 70 people knitting 7" by 9" squares that would later be connected into an afghan for a homeless person.

“It was exciting to see people get excited about the craft of knitting and this great cause,” said Lowery.

Common Day of Learning occurs every spring. The CDL Steering Committee, consisting of professors and an ASB representative, organize the event under the leadership of each year's CDL graduate student coordinator and the CDL faculty coordinator (currently Thom Parham, Ph.D.). For more information, contact the CDL office at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 5281.