Published: Wed Jul 20, 2011
Hervie Clemons III is a leader.
Clemons, a senior marketing major from Nashville, Tenn., has been involved with Tennessee Tech University’s business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, for years but he used to think he lacked the confidence to be a true leader.
That changed this summer, he says, when he participated in the fraternity’s annual leadership development academy. Clemons was one of 14 students from across the nation to be selected to participate in the four-day retreat.
“I am a stronger leader than I thought,” said Clemons, who will be president of the fraternity this year. “It really helped me break outside my box and transform into a more professional student.”
Clemons is the first TTU student to participate in the academy, but he nearly missed it.
“It seems so small, but it was my first time flying and I kind of have a little bit of a fear of heights,” he said.
His anxiety was compounded by several delays caused by a bad thunderstorm and mechanical problems and a suitcase that was briefly lost en route. He decided to continue his trip because he says that Alpha Kappa Psi was depending on him; the co-ed fraternity has fewer than a dozen members and the group wants to grow this year.
“You’ve got to go with your gut on things that will benefit yourself or others,” the senior said.
During the Indiana retreat, Clemons and the other students participated in a series of team-building exercises and breakout sessions to discuss the different ways of being a leader and communication strategies.
“Having gone through the experience, I’m really grateful because I know it’s going to make me a better leader for my chapter and also in whatever career I end up choosing.”