APSU President Alisa White takes time out of her Tuesday mornings to teach a section of Leadership Development to students in the President’s Emerging Leader’s Program.
Being part of the President’s Emerging Leader’s Program is a prestigious accomplishment for many students. This is made more evident since White is a professor for freshman PELP students.
Every semester, PELP students are required to enroll in a class for the program. For second-semester freshmen, this means taking LDEV 3001, or Leadership Issues I with White. It is a course designed to give an understanding of how leadership works, as well as the effectiveness of different styles.
White has followed in lieu of past APSU President Timothy Hall, who taught a section of APSU 1000 to freshman PELP students in the fall.
White worked as an associate professor after she earned her Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She then went on to become department chair, a graduate adviser, dean and provost at various universities.
“I think it’s a great experience,” said freshman computer science major Jordan Reedy. “I mean, at how many other places would you be able to have the actual president of the university teaching you?”
White tends to be laid back in her teaching style, preferring to initiate class-wide conversation to simply lecturing.
“It’s a little intimidating, because we know she expects so much more out of us than most teachers, so it takes a while to get adjusted to her class,” said freshman physics major Christy Lizura.
The class takes place on Tuesdays, at 8 a.m. White often comes in with her coffee cup, making sure everyone has enough energy to make it through the morning.
White tries to keep the classroom alive with discussion, finding group projects and other ways to keep us awake and focused. I find it touching that she finds the time in her packed schedule to teach us about leadership.
“It’s obvious from the way she teaches the class that she truly loves APSU and has great plans for it,” said freshman biology major Waqas Ahmed.
Reedy said being taught by White makes him feel he’s experiencing something truly unique.
“It’s no easy task to become a university president, so she must have quite a bit of experience in the world and we have a chance to learn directly from that,” Reedy said.