Tag Archives: BCIL

Nathaniel PearsonThe evolution of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership continues with the appointment of Dr. Nathaniel Pearson as inaugural director.

Pearson, formerly executive director of the Nerney Leadership Institute at Cabrini University, assumed his new role June 1. He is the first person to hold the directorship, which is named in memory of Elvin (35C) and Fleta Patterson (35C) Sims. The position was endowed by a $2 million commitment from their son, retired Union Pacific executive John Edward Sims, who wished to honor their example as parents, educators and mentors in their home and community.

As director, Pearson will work to further BCIL’s impact through collaboration with faculty, staff, students and community partners. Current initiatives funded by gifts to the LifeReady Campaign include the Gordon and Joyce Carper Mentoring Program, which recently completed its sixth year pairing Berry students with community leaders; the Cecil B. Wright III Lecture Series, which this spring welcomed international journalist and former CNN executive Parisa Khosravi; and the Bowen and Barbara McCoy and Ted A. Owens faculty development grants.

In addition to his work as executive director of the Nerney Leadership Institute, Pearson has also served as assistant professor of leadership studies at Cabrini University and West Virginia University. His background is in child and family counseling, and he holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Gonzaga University.

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Parisa Khosravi and Buster Wright

Berry Trustee Buster Wright (73C), right, greets Parisa Khosravi, the latest speaker in the lecture series that bears his name.

Parisa Khosravi may not have literally moved mountains, but she has rerouted a commercial airline, covered the Iraq wars and Tiananmen Square, and promoted equality and acceptance as a leader at CNN. Earlier this spring, she shared her experience and insight with Berry students through the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture.

As an immigrant who lived through the 1979 Iranian revolution, a religious minority and a woman whose first language was not English, Khosravi had to overcome doubters who didn’t believe she was good enough to be a journalist. She refused to let them limit her potential, ultimately serving as CNN’s senior vice president of international news gathering, national news gathering, global relations and the first-ever ambassador for CNN Worldwide.

“Why would we ever allow someone else to tell us what we’re capable of?” she asked.

In her remarks, Khosravi emphasized how important it is to take care of your people and to treat them all with respect. She noted that she always made sure her employees kept tabs on their physical and mental health, especially when covering stories in war zones and other serious situations.

“As a leader, people need to know you are as good as your word and you will have their back,” she said. “And they will have your back too.”

Khosravi said that anyone can become a leader, but they have to be willing to work at it.

“People are not born leaders,” she stated. “We become leaders by how we handle ourselves in the valleys of life.”

The Cecil B. Wright III Lecture Series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, a major priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign.

While on campus, Khosravi sat for a brief interview focusing on integrity and other leadership-related issues. Click the video player above to view.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Christine Todd Whitman

Christine Todd Whitman talks to Dr. Brian Campbell, associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies.

The Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series welcomed an impressive voice of experience Jan. 25 in the form of Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.

Whitman, who made history in 1994 as New Jersey’s first female governor, addressed the topic of “Women, Leadership, Power and Politics: Overcoming Obstacles,” in her formal remarks in Krannert Center. She also took part in a classroom discussion with students in Berry’s environmental studies program.

During her presentation, Whitman stressed the importance of integrity in any leadership position and talked about characteristics such as education, perseverance, honesty and decency that contribute to it.

“To me, leadership isn’t leadership at all without integrity,” she stated. “It’s exploitation.”

Afterward, she fielded numerous questions from a very engaged student audience, with topics ranging from her involvement with the EPA to her inspiration for going into politics.

The Wright lecture series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, a major priority of LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity. Past speakers have included Harvard University’s Barbara Kellerman, Aflac CEO Dan Amos, meningitis vaccine expert Dr. Marc LaForce and Home Depot Executive Vice President Bill Lennie.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Buster Wright Portrait

Buster Wright

Barbara Kellerman Portrait

Barbara Kellerman

The new year will bring a new initiative within the Berry College Integrity in Leadership Center – the Cecil B. “Buster” Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series. The series honors the role that Wright, a 1973 alumnus who now serves as vice chair of the Berry College Board of Trustees, has played as a force behind the establishment of the leadership center and its Carper mentoring program, his generosity toward Berry, and his personal character.

The Feb. 11 inaugural presentation will feature remarks by Barbara Kellerman, the James MacGregor Burns Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University. Her public lecture is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Berry College Chapel. Admission is free. Before speaking, Kellerman will dine with students and special guests. While on campus, she also will conduct a half day of classroom visits.

“It is a wonderful privilege to have Dr. Kellerman here for the inauguration of the Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series,” said President Steve Briggs. “Buster Wright admires Dr. Kellerman’s writings and uses them in his mentoring work with Berry students, so it is a fitting tribute to his convictions and tenacity that she should deliver the lecture as his vision becomes a reality.”

The Integrity in Leadership Center is a priority of Berry’s LifeReady Campaign.

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