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The Dean's Digest - October 2013

10/23/13 -  

"Wild Acres" in Little Switzerland, NC sounds like a wild place, doesn't it?

Drs. Will Sparks and Norris Frederick and a team of McColl School of Business staff members led a group of PMBA and MSOD students in our annual leadership challenge weekend recently at Wild Acres in Little Switzerland.  

I guess it is called Little Switzerland because it is in the mountains of North Carolina and the terrain must resemble parts of Switzerland.  Make no mistake, we were in the mountains and it was beautiful.  Whether it rivaled Switzerland??  Debatable.  

And, Wild Acres refers to the compound and surrounding area where we stayed.  Again, we were in beautiful surroundings.  

But the purpose of the weekend was to challenge our students' mental, physical and leadership abilities.  Will and Norris started the challenge on Friday evening with a spirited debate based on Ayn Rand's book "Atlas Shrugged."  Students were then invited to conduct their own debates in small groups.  

Saturday morning brought more point-counterpoint from Will and Norris about capitalism and pragmatic socialism (as Norris defined it).  

All this back-and-forth debating in a stuffy old lodge room made for some restless campers.  Sooo, after lunch on Saturday, our students had the opportunity to learn team building and leadership skills from a group of mountain climbers from Chile.  The group is known as "Vertical," and they showed us how they completed a climb to Mt. Everest in 2012.  

Then it was our turn.  Students were instructed in the finer points of setting up a camp, zip-lining, and helping each other through the "spider web."  By Saturday evening, our campers were tired, but exhilarated!  Did I already mention how beautiful the mountains were??!!  

Here is some feedback I received from one of our students:  
"...I want to take a minute to thank you for such a great weekend.  This weekend was so much fun getting to know new classmates and professors outside of class and really just relaxing while learning a little bit too.  Queens continues to impress me with the efforts they take to put together weekends like this. It was a delight to be invited to such a trip and I hope I can attend another one!"  

This is what the McColl School of Business is all about - creating unique student experiences involving hands on leadership activities while simultaneously challenging beliefs and attitudes.  

As always, we'd love to hear from you, we'd love to meet you for coffee some morning, and we would love for you to subscribe to the McColl School blog.  

Ron Shiffler


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