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Emerging Leader Summit

The Emerging Leaders Summit is an excellent opportunity for freshmen and sophomore leaders. Participants will build a foundation of leadership development from the very beginning of their career at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Participants are challenged to think beyond positional leadership and are given the opportunity to explore what leadership means to them, to assess their personal behavioral style, and to tackle such topics as personal values, happiness, branding, body language, and communication. Participants leave with a clearer understanding of how they define leadership and why. Participants also interact with new student leaders from across campus, developing relationships and a network that stretches across University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Emerging Leaders Summit is a student developed program that will take place from 9am-5pm on Saturday, October 29th in the Union at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. We will select participants we feel will benefit from this program and can also contribute knowledge and experience to their fellow participants. Registration is open now! If selected, conference fee is $25. Check out pictures from last year HERE!











Keynote Speaker: Tom Krieglstein

Tom Krieglstein is an award winning speaker and writer on increasing student engagement and fostering student retention. He has worked with over 550 schools worldwide through his award winning leadership program, Dance Floor Theory. Tom has gone from successful internet entrepreneur of a $1.5 million dollar company at 21 years old to five time “Campus Speaker of the Year.” As the founder of Swift Kick and The Student Affairs Collective, Tom has dedicated his life to training campus leaders on how to create a culture of engagement where every student feels welcomed, connected and engaged. He also co-authored six student affairs books, including his award winning book “First Year Student to First Year Success” and is a co-host for the popular Student Affairs Spectacular podcast.

And on a personal note, Tom lives in New York City and loves peanut butter. 

Small Group Presenters:

Kimberly Billeaudeau

Kimberly Billeaudeau's presentation will be titled "The Next Big Thing".

Kimberly Billeaudeau currently serves as the Director of Career Services at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has been in the Career Services profession for over fourteen years. Kimberly is involved in several local, regional and national associations for Career Services professionals and employers and is a past President of the Louisiana Association of Colleges & Employers. She provides training to students, alumni and employers on job search preparation, interviewing techniques, recruiting strategies and professional etiquette.

In addition, Kimberly currently serves as the Faculty Advisor for Delta Delta Delta Sorority and the Disney College Program Student Alumni Association. She also serves on the university's Student Organization Committee.

Heidie Lindsey

Heidie Lindsey has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from The Florida State University.  Ms. Lindsey currently serves as the Associate Dean of Students and the Director of Student Engagement and Leadership at UL Lafayette.  Since coming to UL in 2013, the Office of Student Engagement and Leadership was established and today includes all student organizations, Greek life, several new leadership programs, the University Program Council, and UL Spirit Squads.  Ms. Lindsey serves as the primary advisor to the Student Leadership Council and the UL chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.  She also teaches a special section of UNIV 100 entitled, “Learning Leadership.”  Prior to coming to UL, Ms. Lindsey was over the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership at Mississippi State University for 12 years and was the Assistant Director of Student Activities at the University of North Alabama for 8 years.   She is a member of Delta Gamma Sorority, having served as President of the Acadiana Alumnae Association and currently serves as Vice President for Membership.

Fred Mills, Jr.

Senator Mills currently serves on the following Senate Committees: Chairman of Health & Welfare Committee, Judiciary C Committee, and Local & Municipal Affairs Committee. He is also appointed to serve on the following Senate Select Committees: Coastal Restoration & Flood Control and the Select Committee on Women and Children. Senator Mills is President/CEO of Farmers Merchants Bank & Trust. He is a Pharmacist and owner of Cashway Pharmacy in Parks. Senator Mills is the founder and current President of St. Martin Economic Development Authority also known as SMEDA.    He also serves on many other local boards including Acadian Ambulance and Hospice of Acadiana.

Senator Mills and his lovely wife Deborah have been married 40  years.

Skyra Rideaux

Skyra Rideaux is a first generation college graduate and is known among her peers as an idea enthusiast.  Since 2013, Skyra has partnered with several community members and leaders to create, support and lead initiatives such as having black men dress in suits to greet students on the first day of school at Lafayette Middle; to facilitating the regions first Gulf Coast Young Professionals Summit, which resulted in 125 attendees from across the State and the creation of two new businesses.

Skyra is currently the chairwoman of the Evangeline Thruway Redevelopment Team (ETRT), a volunteer citizens committee appointed by the City-Parish Council and charged with helping guide the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant work in conjunction with the I-49 Connector project. She was also recently appointed by the Mayor-President to serve as the Project Front Yard Coordinator where she is responsible for the government wide coordination of cleanliness, beautification and education activities which include revitalization of gateways, improved streetscapes, litter removal and prevention, public art, river cleanup and education.  Additionally, she is responsible for sharing information and working interdepartmentally with Lafayette Consolidated Government directors in the enforcement of ordinances that affect the appearance of our community and neighborhoods.

Although a public relations professional by trade, Skyra’s purpose, passion and pursuits are more closely aligned with being civically engaged and community driven. She is a firm believer in servant leadership and the development and edification of people and communities. It is her personal mission to help community members, specifically those who are disadvantaged and under-resourced, to achieve their greatest potential through education, empowerment and access to opportunities.

Skyra most recently served as the Executive Director of Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic and as the Events and Public Relations Manager of Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE). She has been recognized as an Acadiana Top 20 under 40 award honoree, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette Class XXVIII (28), a veteran of the United States Navy and an alum of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.

Karli Sherman

Karli's presentation is "Follow the Yellow Brick Road: a path towards Courageous Leadership".

Karli is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Leadership working with the University Program Council (UPC). She is an alumna of Florida State University (Master's in Higher Education & Student Affairs), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (Bachelors of General Studies in Arts and Humanities), and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Her areas of interest include event management, college student development, musical theatre, leadership development, and glitter.

When she's not volunteering with the Junior League of Lafayette, you can find Karli ballroom dancing, at a festival, singing, or hanging out with her 3.5 pound maltipoo, Pixie.

Dr. Caryn Winters

Dr. Winters's presentation is titled Communication Strategies for Projecting a Positive Ethos.

Dr. Caryn Winters is a native of New Iberia, LA. She received her Bachelor's degree from Loyola University New Orleans, where she had  dual majors in Political Science and Media Studies. As a Jesuit institution founded upon social justice and servant leadership, Loyola encouraged its students to be people with and for others. Dr. Winters deeply internalized this call to service, and joined the AmeriCorps program as a VISTA, or Volunteer In Service To America, where she worked as a community organizer in one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of Fort Worth, Texas.

Following her service, Dr. Winters pursued her Masters of Science in Interpersonal Communication at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. After leaving UL, Dr. Winters attended The Pennsylvania State University where she earned her PhD in Communications. During her time at Penn State, Dr. Winters developed academic interests in media literacy, cultural studies, civic engagement, and the interrelationship among democracy, higher education, and the meaning of good work. Her research interests came together in her dissertation, entitled: The Primacy of Principles: Exploring Journalism Educators' Democratic Imperative to Do Good Work. Dr. Winters considers it a distinct honor to have the opportunity to return to UL Lafayette and the Department of Communication, where she serves as an Assistant Professor of Organizational Communication. Dr. Winters teaches courses that include Leadership Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Training and Development, and Communication Consultation.

She is the adviser for the National Association for Black Journalists and the Organizational Communication Association.

Conference Coordinators

Andrew Albritton

Andrew Albritton, a senior majoring in Economics/Legal Studies, is from the small town of Morgan City, LA. He graduated valedictorian in 2013, and since starting at UL has gotten involved in a wide variety of campus organizations, including Sigma Chi fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, Student Orientation Staff, Student Leadership Council, The Big Event, and the Student Government Association. He credits the Emerging Leader's Summit, which he attended in 2015 as an inductee of the Alpha class, with helping him to develop the leadership and networking skills necessary to be a successful student leader.

Katie Wappel

Katie Wappel is a junior at UL majoring in Business Informatics and is from Springfield, IL. She came to UL in 2014 and has joined multiple campus organizations since. She is a member and officer of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, an officer on the Panhellenic Council Executive Board, a junior representative for the UL Honors Board, a senator in the Student Government Association, and a member of Student Leadership Council. She also works for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UL as a Campus Tour Guide. She also attended the 2015 Emerging Leader’s Summit as a member of the Alpha class and came back as a facilitator at last year’s Emerging Leader’s Summit, which has helped her grow not only as a person but also as a leader on campus.


Sponsored By:

Interfraternity Council, Office of Student Engagement and Leadership, Student Leadership Council, UL Lafayette Alumni Association and Student Government Association.