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EKU College of Business and Technology and Center for Economic Education Partner with Model Laboratory School to Create Lifelong Leaders

Gauntlet Competition

Richmond, KY November 6, 2019

EKU’s College of Business and Technology has partnered with Model Laboratory School in a pilot program to promote the development of lifelong leaders.  Seven students from the EKU School of Business served as judges in Model Laboratory School’s first Gauntlet Competition held at Model on October 17, 2019.  Dr. Cynthia Harter, Director of the EKU Center for Economic Education and Associate Professor of Economics, partnered with Jana Mayer, Coordinator of Extended Learning at Model, and Dr. Michelyn Bhandari, Professor of Public Health at EKU, to put together the program.  Mayer is the program director and spent several weeks working with students in grades 5-8 to prepare them with soft skills that would be needed for the engaging competition.  Harter involved students from EKU’s School of Business to serve as judges as part of fulfilling professional development requirements for their degrees.  The business school juniors and seniors attended training that also included Mandy Connelly, Assistant Director for Career Readiness and Outreach in EKU’s Career and Co-op Center, to learn about the program and to practice the soft skills that students in grades 5-8 had to display in the competition. 

The Gauntlet Competition was based on an event that is part of the Atlanta-based Ron Clark Academy’s National Amazing Shake Competition where students in grades 5-8 pass through a series of fast-paced challenges that require them to interact professionally with judges, introduce themselves with confidence, and handle unexpected questions and circumstances.  For example, in one challenge, Model students were presented with ingredients commonly used to make a spaghetti dinner, and they had one minute to improvise a demonstration on how to make the dinner.  In another challenge, students had to stand at a podium and assume the role of President of the United States for one minute, answering questions asked by a judge who was acting as a reporter.  At each challenge, the young students were expected to introduce themselves to the judge both verbally and with a confident handshake.  There were ten challenges in the Model Gauntlet Competition, and the business school students rated participants on a scale of 1 to 10 for each challenge. 

At the end of the evening, the 20 students who earned the highest total scores were invited to continue participating in the Lifelong Leaders program with Mrs. Mayer as she prepares them for future challenges and eventually narrows the team down to those who will travel to Atlanta to compete in the National Amazing Shake Competition in the spring. 

The School of Business students who participated were Raegan Coyle, Welsy Discua, Jannah Halbert, Courtney McCubbin, Marc McGinnis, Sareena Sagoo, and Rebecca Turner.  In judging the younger students, these students recognized the value of their own education in preparing them for leadership roles now and in the future.  They appreciated the opportunity to test their professionalism while they were helping to prepare younger students for encounters they will face as they get older.  As is often said, the secret to learning something effectively is to teach it.  The Lifelong Leaders program provided these college students with just that opportunity.  The participants of all ages walked away with better communication and leadership skills and had fun during the process.

Contact Information

Associate Professor Cynthia Harter, Ph.D

Published on November 07, 2019

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