Friday, November 30, 2007

Working on Improving the Environment Keeps Professor Motivated

By Courtney Westlake

A self-described "outdoor person," Dr. Tih-Fen Ting is still getting used to the cold winter weather of Illinois after having spent most of her life in Taiwan and also living in California. That hasn't stopped her, though, from gaining a fast appreciation for the plains and animal life of Central Illinois, particularly the UIS prairie, where she spends much of her time exploring nature.

Ting, who came to UIS in 2003 after receiving her Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment, says that no matter the climate or location, the environment is always of utmost importance to her.

"Environment has always been something I have cared about and been concerned with; it probably started with my appreciation of nature," she said.

After getting acquainted with UIS, Ting quickly became involved with Students Allied for a Greener Earth, or SAGE, as the faculty adviser in 2004. The only student environmental club on campus, SAGE seeks to find a balance between meeting human needs while still maintaining ecological integrity, Ting said.

"The reason to do that is so that we can actually have a sustainable future with what we are doing with the current generation and not undermining what the future generations can do," she said.

As part of its strategic plan, the UIS campus is striving to be a model in promoting environmental sustainability and is now taking action with plans for a green roof on the new residence hall, Founders Hall, and more.

"The green campus is a huge movement in the nation," Ting said. "What UIS is doing is what a lot of institutions are doing, and what we are making sure of is that we are keeping up and doing a lot of the right things."

There are many small things that the individual can do to make a huge change in environmental sustainability, Ting said. This includes being aware of water conservation, turning off the lights and computer when not in use and being diligent about recycling.

"It doesn't take much effort to recycle and make it a daily habit," she said. "Don't be a passive bystander; an individual can make a difference if everyone acts."

The future of
the environment and nature relies on the actions of people today, Ting said, and there is no reason more can’t be done. Thanks to a grant from Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, UIS is now working to expand its recycling program. Ting also encourages people to buy more local food in order to support local farmers and producers and to promote organic farming, which will increase sustainability of local agriculture.

Ting said she hopes to eventually see all new buildings compliant with LEED standards (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design), which includes being energy-efficient, being conservative in water usage, using recycled materials and having an interior with carpet and paint that have low emission of harmful fumes.

Students and others interested in environmental sustainability and keeping the campus green are encouraged to learn about SAGE, its mission and its future events, Ting said. (Check out more information on SAGE here).

"Humans are an integral part of the ecosystem,” Ting said. “What we are doing impacts the environment; I think it's very important we have to be conscious of what we are doing. Whether clean air to breathe or clean drinking water, those are services we get from having a healthy environment."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Women's Center Director Makes Big Things Happen

By Courtney Westlake

Upon entering the Women's Center, located at one end of the Student Affairs Building, a visitor can't help but feel welcome by the colorful decor and comfortable furniture throughout the room.

It's a feeling that director Lynn Otterson wants to be sure to convey to the campus community, especially the women, who come through the door.

Despite a small space and a limited budget, Otterson and the Women's Center have reached out to the campus time and again through a vast array of social events, programming and education efforts to promote important women's issues and safety.

Otterson first started with the Women's Center in 1995, a year after the center opened. Currently, she works with one graduate assistant, Amanda Looney, in running the center, and receives additional help and support from the Women's Issues Caucus, which is a separate organization but still works closely with the center. And the Women's Center is never lacking in activity.

The Rape Aggression Defense program, in coordination with campus police, and the WhistleStop program are two efforts currently at the forefront of the center to educate the campus about sexual assault. Last year, for the first time, the Women's Issues Caucus Club teamed up with the Women's Center to put on a play, and the center also hosts many social events, including the UIS Women's Holiday Party, which is very popular with the women on campus, Otterson said.

In the spring, the Women's Center is planning a large campus event called "Take Back the Night," which is also a national event, Otterson said. In connection with Lincoln Land, the two schools will host the first-ever LLCC-UIS Take Back the Night.

"We'll start at one school and have a rally and then we'll do the march and probably have a party at the end to signify taking back the night," Otterson said. "So women can be free in the night to have fun or go to school or whatever they want."

The Women's Center also recognizes the efforts of others on campus with the annual Naomi B. Lynn Award for Outstanding Contributions to Women at UIS, through which each recipient is given a certificate and plaque, as well as something placed in the Peace and Friendship Garden in their name, such as a tree, bench or birdhouse.

In future semesters, the Women's Center hopes to add space to the program as well as the program called CARE - Campus Acquaintance Rape Education. With UIS growing not only in numbers but also adding freshmen and sophomores to campus, a program like CARE is essential to campus, Otterson said.

"It's so positive because they can talk freely with peers," she said. "It's really state of the art; it's really the bottom line for good schools now to have an intensive peer educator- acquaintance rape education right at the front for all the students."

Otterson said she sees every day how important the Women's Center is to UIS.

"I have a great time in here just about every day," she said. "A lot of people come in and out. Sometimes they're needing connections or a sense of community, and sometimes they need something specific or just wanting to find copacetic people to be active with or be in a club with and share ideals."

"I try really hard at getting good students in here," Otterson added. "The right kind of people, as with my current graduate assistant Amanda, that if I'm not here, and someone comes in and says "I've been raped," they can, first of all, be the right person but then turn around to our referral books and give them the right advice, people to talk to and resources. Sometimes our women just need a lot of support, and I think we do well with that."

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Service Learning Provides Unique Opportunities for UIS Students

By Courtney Westlake

Cristina Bowman, a UIS sophomore and Springfield native, hadn't given much thought to homelessness and hunger until she decided to take a service learning course at UIS.

Bowman's class, Learning and Serving: Hunger and Homeless, requires that everyone meet certain amount of hours toward assisting and bettering the local community.

"We spend 20 hours at St. John's Breadline, and 40 hours working on group project, which is collecting items like plastic bags, small plastic containers, tea and sugar (for the clients of the Breadline)," Bowman said.

The Service Learning Program was started as an effort to get students involved in volunteer and service opportunities, and is currently led by service learning coordinator and professor of applied study Kathy Guthrie.

Under the new curriculum set by the campus senate in 2005 called ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience), students must fulfill 13 hours in various categories such as U.S. Communities, Global Awareness, a Speaker Series and more. Guthrie sets up courses that connect community service to academic credit under the ECCE requirements.

Past and present courses on community service focus on issues, including hunger and homelessness and the environment, Guthrie said. There are also online courses that center on general service and a new course that will be offered in the spring on social change and leadership.

"It's important to get not only students but any individual to think about how they can be active and involved in their community," Guthrie said. "Everyone is passionate about something, but it's finding that passion and actually acting on it."

Recently, students taking the course on environmental issues created an anti-littering campaign for city and worked with waste and recycling manager within Public Works. The students recruited high school students to pick up trash one day around the State Fair Grounds. Fifty to 60 high school students showed up to work with three UIS students, which sparked residents in the surrounding area to join the students in cleaning or offering them beverages, Guthrie said.

There is also a current group of UIS students performing service at the Animal Protective League, working with the animals and providing advocacy for the animals, she said.

For her hunger and homelessness class, Bowman is working on an additional, individual project that includes videotaping the guests of the Breadline, asking questions such as "how has the breadline helped you?" Then she will compile the information for the Breadline to help them better their services.

"It's really opened my eyes to the problems in the community," Bowman said. "We do need to help the homeless around here. My projects may seem a little small, but I know I'm doing my part in helping the community of Springfield."

As for the future of the service learning program, Guthrie is working to start an immersion program for students to provide service in other parts of the country or internationally.

"There seems to be a lot of interest in that, so once those (courses) get established, that will be quite popular because it's taking people out of the area they're used to living in and being engaged in and taking them to another part of the country they've never seen," she said.

Ideally, Guthrie hopes to build the program up and inspire students to find their passion and make a positive social change.

"I think a lot of time people get stuck and think 'I can't make a difference' or 'I can only give one hour of community service a week, a month or a year' and so then they feel it's such a small amount, they don't even do that," Guthrie said. "That hour does make a difference."

Hunger Banquet Raises Global Awareness

By Courtney Westlake

Students and other participants learned about the worldwide issues of hunger and even got a small taste of what life would be like going hungry during the 3rd annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet.

On Wednesday evening, November 14, UIS hosted the Hunger Banquet in the Great Room in Lincoln Residence Hall. The event is held in observance of National Hunger and Homelessness Week and focused this year on the theme "Poverty Has a Woman's Face."

During the Hunger Banquet, guests are randomly assigned high-, middle-, or low-income rankings and are served food that range from gourmet meals to small portions of rice and water, depending on the guest's designation.

The program also included a video, artwork, and displays, as well as a presentation by UIS student Shana Stine, who spent a month in Kenya, Africa last summer. Stine told the personal stories of several framed photographs of children she had taken while there.

"When you hear numbers like 854 million people are hungry today, we forget that for each number, there is a story and a face, and a lot of crying, a hungry belly and a lot of pain 854 million times over," Stine said. "I was blessed to spend the summer in Kenya, and it changed my whole perspective on life and what it means to be privileged. After living with hungry orphans most of my trip, I came back a changed person."

The name of the Banquet, "Oxfam", came from the original postal abbreviation for the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, which was started in England during World War II to provide relief to war victims in Europe. Oxfam America, an affiliate of Oxfam International, is a relief and development organization that works to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice.

The purpose of the Hunger Banquet is to raise awareness of hunger nationally and internationally.

"The majority of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are women; poverty has extensive implications for women around the world," said Ashley Rook, who helped to coordinate the event. "For most of us in this room, we can't imagine what it would be like to be in a refugee camp or lose a relative to starvation."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Burkhardt Named University Scholar for UIS

By Courtney Westlake

As a renowned author of the biography 'William Maxwell: A Literary Life,' Barbara Burkhardt is no stranger to hard work and dedication.

"It was a very long process," Burkhardt said, with a laugh. "I did my master's thesis on (Maxwell's) novel 'So Long, See You Tomorrow' and then when I went to get my Ph.D., I did a dissertation on a more broader range of his works. It was 10 more years beyond my Ph.D. that I worked on the book."

Burkhardt, an associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was recognized for her contributions by being named University Scholar for 2007-2008. She is one of 13 faculty members, and the only one from UIS, chosen for this award honoring and rewarding outstanding teachers and scholars at the three U of I campuses. University Scholars receive $10,000 a year for three years to support research and other scholarly activities.

Burkhardt holds a Ph.D. in American literature from UIUC and a master's degree in English from UIS. She has been a member of the UIS faculty since 2001 and teaches graduate seminars on postmodern fiction, Mark Twain, and writers of The New Yorker, as well as courses on the American novel, Midwestern literature, and American women writers.

Burkhardt is thankful and humbled by being named the recipient of the University Scholar honor.

"It really was the biggest honor I've ever received," she said. "I feel very fortunate to be on faculty here, let alone be named as the University Scholar. I really want to use the funds that go with that to do more work like I've been doing. I'm going to be working now on a biography of the publisher Alfred Knopf, who was Maxwell's publisher, but also the publisher for Willa Cather, John Updike and more."

Burkhardt's biography on William Maxwell was the first major critical study of the Illinois writer's life and work, and drew high reviews from publications such as New York Newsday, The Washington Post, USA Today, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly.

Burkhardt said she credits many of her fellow professors and colleagues at UIS for her successes and is grateful to UIS for providing such wonderful opportunities for her.

"I think about the scholars here who have inspired me, some of whom received the scholar award in the past," she said. "When I spoke to the campus at the luncheon, I spoke about the joy of scholarship. We really are a teaching campus, and the joy of scholarship is really something I try to pass on to my students."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wheelhouse Finds Integrity and Expansion at WUIS

By Courtney Westlake

Like most media outlets, national public radio has its fair share of challenges, but during a time when commercial radio is struggling, public radio is expanding and continuing to find its niche. WUIS is no exception.

"It's making yourself relevant and trying to offer something that goes along with public radio's quality of providing programming people can't find elsewhere but still providing in-depth news," said Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of WUIS.

Wheelhouse has been general manager at the station for two years, after previously spending ten years as a statehouse news reporter for all public radio stations in Illinois. WUIS has about ten staff members, and are looking to expand the station and modernize the facility, Wheelhouse said.

"The real challenge is that technology keeps changing and will be changing, and the audience is going to continue to fragment," he said. "We keep hoping to adapt with the technology while sticking with our core principles."

HD radio is now making it possible for WUIS to broadcast in digital. Audience members with special receivers can pick up extra channels, and WUIS hopes to eventually be broadcasting three channels.

Public radio has an average audience age of 50 years old. One of the new channels for HD radio listeners will be a "form of alternative programming" geared toward a younger audience, Wheelhouse said, to attract the younger demographic to tune in.

"We want to do that with quality and public radio integrity, but we have to have something in public radio that caters to that age group," he said. "So our second station will be to serve the students of the university and also those under 35, or under 50 even, around the region."

Wheelhouse said now as a manager, he plans to keep a strong emphasis on news after spending years as a reporter, but also wants to bring "alternative forms of music to the radio that aren't necessarily commercial successes," he said. What he likes best about public radio is "being in it," he said.

"It has integrity," Wheelhouse said. "In public radio, you still find the true commitment to journalism."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sloan Consortium Award Presented

By Courtney Westlake

From the time that UIS began as Sangamon State University, there has been an emphasis on access to learning through whatever technology is available at the time.

"Given this history, it was natural in the late 1990s for UIS faculty to engage in the latest emerging technology: web-based construction, online education," said Provost Harry Berman. "Over time, some of our best teachers found that this new medium of instruction had its own distinctive strengths."

On Monday, November 12, the campus community celebrated the steady growth and excellence of UIS' online learning with the presentation of the Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming award, given by the Sloan Consortium.

The Sloan Consortium is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching and is comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning. The award to UIS was among six given by Sloan this year for exceptional online education, and UIS was the only institution to receive an award for institution-wide teaching and learning programming.

The award was given on Nov. 7 in Orlando at the annual Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning, which draws more than 1,000 attendees both nationally and internationally.

The Sloan Consortium's awards programs were started in 2001 to recognize excellence in online education and include five awards: two for individuals and three given to institutions, said Burks Oakley, UIUC Professor Emeritus and charter board member for Sloan-C.

"I'd like to point out that the Sloan-C awards are selected by a very distinguished panel of our peers ," Oakley said. "So it's especially rewarding that our peers think so highly of what we are doing. It's also very important for our online students because they're going to be able to say they earned their degrees from an institution recognized nationally for its quality, scale and breadth of its online learning."

The award is an honor to everyone: students, staff and faculty, who really bring the meaning of "blended campus" to life, Chancellor Richard Ringeisen said.

"What has skyrocketed is how the online development we have here has really blended into the campus, and that the technology that's been used to develop this wonderful online learning is present not just in online learning but all throughout campus," he said.

Currently, Berman acknowledged, online majors make up more than 22 percent of UIS enrollment and about a third of the credit hours generated from the last academic year were online classes. This fall, half of UIS students are taking at least one online course and half of UIS faculty regularly teach online courses.

"That's an awful lot of extension of this new technology into everything we do on campus," Berman said. "Online learning has fundamentally changed UIS."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Internationally-known Astronomers Encourage the Sciences at UIS

By Courtney Westlake

Dr. Roberta Humphreys has high hopes for the future of women in the sciences and encourages women to pursue their interests despite challenges, she said during a brown bag discussion that was part of two public presentations on Friday, November 9.

Humphreys' presentation was called "A Conversation on Being WISE: Women in Science and Engineering." Friday evening, at 7:30 p.m. in University Hall, room 2008, Dr. Kris Davidson will speak on "The Violent Supernova Impostor."

Davidson and Humphreys are both faculty members at the University of Minnesota, where Davidson is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Astronomy and Humphreys is Institute of Technology Distinguished Professor of Astronomy. Both collaborate with UIS Assistant Professor of Astronomy/Physics John Martin on ongoing research projects involving the Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Telescope in Chile.

Humphreys' seminar focused on how women can succeed professionally in scientific fields. She discussed her own experiences, as well as issues that women regularly encounter in academia and science, before opening the discussion to questions and comments from participants.

She also recommended several books, including "Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women" by Virginia Valian and "The Science Glass Ceiling" by Sue Rosser for further reading on the topic.

During her program, Humphreys offered a chart of numbers, showing a slow, but steady increase in the number of women pursuing their bachelor's, master's and Ph.D.'s in the sciences, including engineering, computer science, physics and more.

"When I got my Ph.D. in 1969, astronomy had the largest percentage of women, at 6 percent," Humphreys said. "Physics was at 2 percent, and math was non-existent."

Now, the culture is changing for the better, Humphreys said, and it seems every decade opens the door a little wider for women in all fields.

"Fields have become more family-friendly. But the question is, the numbers tell us things are changing, but is it a level playing field?" she asked. "I would say no, it isn't. But it will be someday. Eventually the numbers will rule."

Humphreys anticipates that women will begin to rise in leadership positions and change the policies. It all starts, however, with encouragement in the grade schools and high schools, she said.

"There is becoming a realization down through the grade schools, the middle schools and the high schools that they are going to need that preparation, not only for the sciences but to get into the best colleges," she said. "I think more and more that things are changing."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Former New York Times Reporter Talks Freedom of the Press

By Courtney Westlake

In the past, the public has turned to the press for information that is being suppressed, and leaking the truth is healthy for the balance of the country. Currently, though, that balance is being thrown off, according to Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winner and former investigative reporter for The New York Times who was on campus on Wednesday, November 7.

Miller's evening presentation and a luncheon seminar also Wednesday featuring Charles Lewis were the first two programs in the Government Accountability and a Free Press Project, a series of events designed to explore legal, ethical, and practical political and policy issues that may arise as members of the press engage in investigative reporting that is intended to uncover less-than-transparent government conduct.

In July 2005, Miller was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the source of a leak outing Valerie Plame as a covert CIA agent. Miller did not write about Plame, but she reportedly possessed evidence relevant to the investigation. Because of this, she spent 85 days in jail, twice as long as any American reporter has ever been confined for protecting a confidential source.

On Wednesday, Miller spoke about freedom of the press. Lewis and a panel of investigative reporters from around the area were also part of the presentation, and Bill Wheelhouse, general manager of public radio station WUIS 91.9 FM, was the moderator of the event.

"Other reporters are also in jeopardy," Miller said during her speech. "The number of journalists being subpoenaed in civil and criminal investigations in the United States to force them to disclose who leaked secret information to them is growing dramatically."

Some issues, however, need to be confidential to the government, Miller admitted. From her experiences as a reporter in Iraq, she has seen the necessity for certain information, like troop deployment, to be "secrets," she said.

"But why did the Pentagon also insist on banning TV cameras from recording the return of our dead in caskets from Iraq? Why did it prohibit the publication of photographs of those caskets?" Miller asked. "Reporting restrictions on reporters and growing secrecy has led the American Society of Newspaper Editors to issue a call to arms to its members, urging them to demand answers about this deeply disturbing trend of secrecy."

The "war on our freedoms" is putting civil liberties in danger, Miller said.

"Over the years, far more damage has been done to national security by government secrecy and deceit than by the press's reporting of that secret information," she said. "The pendulum, that national balance, may be swinging too far toward national security and away from civil liberties, and as a result, we risk now being both less free and less safe."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Professor Touts Computer Technology to Advance Education

By Courtney Westlake

Dr. Kathleen Burns admits that her penmanship is so awful, her students used to complain good-naturedly they couldn't read her writing on the chalkboard.

That is why, she jokes, she was forced to become an expert on computer technology as a means of teaching and learning in the classroom.

Burns, a professor in the college of Education and Human Services, is new to UIS this fall. She obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees in education, forever knowing that being a teacher was her calling.

"I always wanted to be a teacher; that was my heart's desire ever since I can remember," she said. "I just didn’t realize I would end up being a professor of education."

But Burns had a great mentor while she was working on her master's degree, who encouraged her to pursue a Ph.D., from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and go on to teach at the college level.

The decision to join the UIS community, Burns said, was an easy one. She attended the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and says that the underground tunnels at Wisconsin and at UIS are extremely similar, which she loves. While visiting from her previous position at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Burns was taken with UIS.

"The very first time I came on this campus, I said 'I am going to work here'," she said. "It was really easy for me to say that's where I want to be."

Burns is currently teaching her first class that is completely online, called Technology in Education, which she is thrilled about. She also teaches Social Studies Methods and Teaching, Learning and Assessment for elementary majors.

Online learning and computer technology have been special interests of Burns in her professional work since the beginning. She became intrigued at the concept while she was working as administrator in high school setting. When technology began to come around, the school needed someone to "take charge" as the coordinator between technology and education.

"I ended up being the mediator, the person on campus who could do little fixes to the computer and the network, and it just got more and more evolved, to the point where I was doing the technology end of things more than other things," she said.

Burns then landed a part-time stint assisting fellow teachers with using computers within their teaching curriculum and classroom education. She ended up writing her Ph.D. dissertation on the subject.

Burns said over the years, she has become so closely associated with technology in the classroom that she has seen firsthand the benefits that computer technology does play and could potentially affect in the classroom setting. She is excited about what is progressing.

"I can honestly say that I think there won't be classrooms at some point," she said. "Imagine how online learning and computer technology could benefit high school students who want to take a more advanced class, like a college course. Or challenge alternative students, most of whom are so smart, but just bored with the day-to-day in-class schedules."

"I’ve been there since it began to be implemented," she added, "and I think it just keeps getting better and better."

Friday, November 02, 2007

UIS Gets a Taste of Old Time Music

By Courtney Westlake

The catchy sound of fiddle, banjo and guitar music, quietly accompanied by the on-beat tapping of shoes, echoed down the halls of the Health Sciences Building on Friday afternoon, November 2.
The Fiddle Forum was held in the Visual Arts Gallery in the Health Sciences Building with several guests on campus to educate and entertain their audience with "old-time music." The musicians included Ron Adams on guitar, Howard Marshall on fiddle, Mark Mathewson on guitar, Steve Staley on fiddle, Erich Schroeder on banjo and Sharon Graf on fiddle. Graf was also the moderator of the event.

A wide variety of old-time music was played, with songs that included "A Soldier's Joy" and "Grandfather's Clock."

In addition to the musical performance, the performers also presented various perspectives including issues like why old-time music should still be played, what classifies music as "old-time" and the differences between Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri fiddle music.

"I think this idea that everybody gets to pick up the tune and do their own thing with it is part of what makes up old-time music," said Graf, who is also a music faculty member at UIS, during one of the discussions that took place between the music selections. "It makes it fun and interesting to me."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

UI President Speaks to UIS Community about Leadership

By Courtney Westlake


B. Joseph White said he first began to think about writing a book about leadership while he served as a dean at the University of Michigan, when the faculty held a softball game of the "Reptiles" versus the "Mammals." White eventually applied that concept of reptiles and mammals to types of people and, ultimately, leadership.

On Thursday evening, November 1, White, president of the University of Illinois, discussed the topic, "The Nature of Leadership," in Brookens Auditorium. White shared insights about leadership he has seen from his experiences, both professional and personal. The event was sponsored by the Friends of Brookens Library.

The lecture was followed by a book signing and reception in the Public Affairs Center restaurant, and both the presentation and reception were free and open to the public. White signed copies of his book, "The Nature of Leadership: Reptiles, Mammals, and the Challenge of Becoming a Great Leader."

White became president of the U of I in January 2005. Previously, he held positions at the University of Michigan for nearly three decades, including a term as interim president and leading the Business School for 10 years.

White's presentation was part of the ECCE (Engaged Citizenship Common Experience) Speakers Series at UIS, campus-sponsored lectures by speakers who exemplify engaged citizenship.

In his program, White said he believes the public in general often judges a leader on "superficial grounds," like appearance.

"Leadership is ultimately about the results that you achieve; it's about some other things too, but mostly about the results you achieve," he emphasized. "You make the best judgments you can: you roll the dice and do your best to get the outcomes you seek. If you do, then you're a good leader. If not, well, then you tried, and that's how leadership goes."

During the presentation, White showed pictures of people he admired as leaders, such as Madeleine Albright and Tim Nugent, many of whom were subjects in his book. He stressed that while public results are part of being a leader, private or personal accomplishments also make a leader as well.

He also showcased a pyramid he created, and is featured in his book, that includes a foundation, two side consisting of reptiles and mammals and the top, which reads "Great Leader Ingredients." Leadership is made up of an array of "ingredients," White said, like integrity and character.

"Leadership is hard work," he said. "It's physically hard, it's intellectually hard and it's inter-personally hard."