Student Leadership at Heart of SOLD Conference
Annual Event to Feature Speakers, Workshops and Oratorical Competition
By Mike Emery
Each year, leaders emerge from University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) classrooms ready to address challenges in their respective communities and industries.
While these Gators gain invaluable leadership skills within their respective majors, UHD offers other resources focused on honing their skills – including the annual SOLD Conference.
For the fourth consecutive year, UHD will host the SOLD (or Student Organization Leadership Development) Conference, which offers students interactive workshops and professional insights from keynote speakers. This year’s event runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jan. 18, and students are encouraged to register in advance. The conference’s keynote speaker is Dr. Abigail Koenig, UHD lecturer in communication studies. A schedule of events is available on the conference’s website.
With the theme, “The Learner, The Leader, The Legacy,” the 2019 SOLD Conference will help students tap into their hidden strengths as leaders and develop an understanding of how to establish and maintain a legacy of leadership.
“Students will learn what it means to be a leader and how to identify the skills necessary to inspire others,” said Percy Jackson, assistant director of Student Activities and the principal coordinator of the SOLD Conference. “They also will discover how to apply their strengths as leaders to achieve both personal and professional goals.”
This year’s conference will feature its first oratorical competition, which will test students’ writing and speaking skills. Participants will address the questions, “What drives you to be a leader and how are you creating your legacy?”
“This is an exciting new component of the conference that will showcase communication as an effective leadership trait,” Jackson said. “Many UHD students have never participated in an oratorical competition, so it will definitely challenge them to think about the topic and express their responses clearly and creatively.”
Although the event precedes Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the conference will be connected with GatorServe – UHD’s Day of Service that kicks off at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 21. On this date, UHD volunteers (including SOLD attendees) will assist with community clean-up projects in the Fifth Ward.
The SOLD Conference is presented by Student Activities with support from university departments including the Office of Financial Aid and the Career Development Center.
“Students can expect to receive a wealth of knowledge at this event,” Jackson said. “In addition to learning new skills, they can connect with one another and really learn even more about themselves. So many of our students are natural leaders, and the SOLD Conference will help them realize that.”
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD)—the second largest university in Houston—has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.
As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz. Annually, UHD educates more than 14,000 students; boasts over 50,000 alumni and offers 44 bachelor’s and eight master’s degree programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service, Sciences & Technology; and University College). In 2018, UHD grew its First Time in College student population by 11 percent and transfer students by 14 percent.
UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston. It also is ranked among 15 U.S. universities with lowest net price to students (according to the U.S. Department of Education). The University is noted nationally as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and a Minority-Serving Institution. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.