September 24, 2008
RSU Student Leaders Study President Kennedy in Texas
The Rogers State University President's Leadership Class jump started their academic year with a trip to Fort Worth and Dallas, Texas, to study President John F. Kennedy.
The class participated in an examination of the leadership of America's 35th president during a three-day trip to Texas.
Serving as hosts for the trip were Dr. Carolyn Taylor, coordinator of the leadership program, Sen. Stratton Taylor, Dr. Jim Ford, director of the university's Honors Program, Dr. Laura Gray, RSU English professor, and RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. Stephany Foutch, RSU alumni director, also accompanied students on the trip.
"We want students to learn about leadership by studying the career of one of our great political leaders," said Dr. Taylor, who also serves as a political science professor at RSU.
The President's Leadership Class (PLC) is a four-year scholarship program designed to develop leadership skills and enhance the academic experience for participants. PLC members coordinate community service projects, spearhead various campus initiatives, attend alumni and other university events and participate in recruitment events at area high schools. They must live on campus and maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
The group rode the Amtrak Heartland Flyer to Ft. Worth after taking a bus to Oklahoma City. For many students it was their first experience on rail transit.
"Taking the train was one of the best parts of the trip – it was a great way to travel," said PLC student Charlotte Robinson, a native of Morris, Okla.
Once in the Lone Star State students took line dancing lessons at Billy Bob's Texas restaurant and toured the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Students learned about corporate citizenship and community participation from XTO Energy executives, Taylor said. XTO, one of the nation's largest independent oil and gas producers, made significant contributions in recent years to revitalizing Fort Worth's downtown.
In preparation for the trip, students read John A. Barnes book "John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President."
Students toured the Kennedy assassination site and visited the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
In addition the group visited the Kimbell Art Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art during the trip.
RSU freshman Amy Paschal, a native of Tulsa, said that in addition to learning about President Kennedy and seeing the best of what Fort Worth and Dallas had to offer, she enjoyed the chance to get to know other PLC members.
"Not only was it an educational trip, but it was a great bonding experience," Paschal said.
RSU President's Leadership Class members include the following students: