Le Fer Hall

What does leadership mean to me?

Blog | 02.20.2024

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) has always strived to empower students to effect positive change in the world. To celebrate National Leadership Day, two SMWC students reflected on what leadership means to them. Read more about their leadership experiences at SMWC!

Lucia Fruchtenicht, junior, art and pre-art therapy major

When I enrolled at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC), I had no idea what would be in store for me. It sounds cliché, but I was worried about academic achievements, making friends and just generally being involved on the campus. As a freshman, I was not involved in much. I felt that I needed to get used to “being a college student” before jumping into anything, but looking back, I wish I had jumped in.

I have been given many opportunities to showcase my skills that I will always be grateful for, none of which would have been possible without the faculty and staff who believed in my capabilities as a leader. Video managing for our sprint football team, becoming a student tutor in the Learning Resource Center, participating in the Orientation Leader program and being elected as president for the Peace and Justice Club have been amazingly rewarding experiences.

Being a student leader during my time at The Woods so far has provided many opportunities to enrich my college experience and to prepare myself for roles outside of college life. Refining skills such as conflict resolution, time management and communication have had great benefits for me in places such as the classroom, at my workplace and in my personal relationships. The friends I have made through these positions will have a lasting impact on my life, and hopefully, the footprints I have left will encourage other students to seek out their own leadership opportunities and make their mark during their time at SMWC.

Lucia Fruchetenict

Lucia Fruchetenict is a junior at SMWC majoring in art and pre-art therapy, originally from Covington, Kentucky. Lucia has continued to flourish throughout her collegiate journey. Along with being a video manager for the SMWC sprint football team, Lucia is also a student tutor on campus. She’s served as an Orientation Leader and is the president of the Peace and Justice Club at The Woods.

Katrina Strow, senior exercise science major

Throughout my time at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, I have grown as a leader. When I moved onto campus in the Fall of 2020, I planned to focus on my academics, softball and preparing a resume for graduate school. Within the first week, many upperclassmen gave the advice of, “Get involved!” I realized that I should get involved in at least one student organization on campus to meet new people and help make a difference on campus. The student organization that stuck out to me the most was Student Senate.

I have been a part of Student Senate every year that I have been at SMWC. I have served as a representative, secretary, vice president, and president. Being a part of this organization has allowed me to enhance my leadership skills in a way that I never could have imagined. I have learned and gained skills in communication, collaboration, teamwork and critical thinking. All these skills are ones that I will be able to use in my future career as a physical therapist when working with patients and colleagues.

Not only have I been a leader through Student Senate, but I have also been a leader as a co-captain on the softball team. By serving in this role, I have been able to encourage my teammates to be great on the field,  and in the classroom. I believe in being a servant leader to best help the team or organization that one is a part of. This allows for those around you to follow your lead and create great success for everyone involved. Without becoming a student leader at SMWC, I would not be as prepared for graduate school and my future career as I am now.

Katrina “Kit” Strow

Katrina “Kit” Strow is a senior at SMWC studying Exercise Science. Originally from Paris, Illinois, Kit was familiar with The Woods throughout her high school career as her sister attended SMWC. She is a Saint Mother Theodore Guerin Scholar, captain on the SMWC softball team and serves on several student organizations, including Student Senate.


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