SMWC grad student receives award for strong leadership

February 10th, 2017 | SMWC

Emilee Robers holding her award

By Dianne Frances D. Powell

Described by her peers as a leader with a strong work ethic, a Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) student and West Terre Haute native recently received a community award because of those very same qualities.

On Jan. 18, The Madison Area Chamber of Commerce presented the Ambassador of the Year Award to Emilee Roberts, a student in SMWC’s Master of Leadership Development (MLD) program, who is about to officially complete her degree when she defends her thesis next week.

A graduate of Fayette Elementary School and West Vigo middle and high schools, Roberts decided to stay in Madison, the county seat of Jefferson County in Indiana, after getting a job in the area upon graduation in 2014.

Since then, she has been working as program director of non-profit organization, Girls Inc. She also grew active in the community, particularly in the Madison Chamber’s ambassador program. In 2016, she served as its chairperson.

“Emilee was recognized for displaying great leadership and strong work ethic,” the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce said in a news release.

“Emilee has always taken pride in her role and promotes the Chamber and its ambassador program through social media and contacts in the community,” the release said.

“Emilee is always positive and wears a contagious smile when she greets people.”

This was Roberts’ second award in a month. She also received SMWC’s Graduate Alumni Leadership and Service Award when she walked during winter commencement in December.

Roberts said she was humbled by being selected Ambassador of the Year especially because she received it from a group of accomplished business and community leaders. “It’s a really great experience when you get to work with a lot of outstanding individuals,” she said. She is set to join the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors this year.

Passionate about connecting with people, Roberts says the knowledge and skills she gained from the MLD program helped her in leading fellow Chamber ambassadors — leaders in their own organizations — when she served as chair last year. The classes, she said, helped her understand different leadership styles. “It was incredibly helpful to learn how to motivate them to be the best leader they can be,” she said.

Roberts also uses her new leadership skills and knowledge at her job at Girls Inc., where she creates and implements after-school and summer programs for girls ages 5-18. In this role, she inspires them to be educated and to reach their goals. “It’s important to start them at a young age and hone them to be incredible leaders, she said.

“The MLD program not only teaches you information about non-profit or organizational leadership but it also teaches you about yourself,” Roberts said, “the type of leader that you are and the type of leader you are aspiring to be.”

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