At right, Joe Giaimo '11 leads a student forum May 2. His guest lecturers have brought a series of diverse perspectives on what defines a leader. (Photo by Brian Katten)
By Ben Cohen ’10, physical education intern
Ask any group of NESCAC student-athletes why they chose their respective institutions, and each will likely mention the conference schools’ strength in both academics and athletics. But Joe Giaimo ’11 has taken things one step further. Giaimo, a captain on the Cardinal football and baseball squads, is leading a student forum this semester, CCIV420-02: “Leadership, Mentoring, and Coaching.”
The forum evaluates effective forms of leadership, seeks out answers to what is leadership, defines it, dissects the changing conceptions of leadership, analyzes the psychology of leaders, and eventually discusses the difference between leadership and power.
The roundtable discussions are made up of many future Wesleyan leaders in business, medicine, law, teaching, religion, and athletics.
“It’s almost like a talk radio show throwing around ideas and observations,” Giaimo says.
Although the course is taught by one of the campus’s most prominent student-athletes, Giaimo and his 14 students have by no means limited their case studies to coaches. Leaders studied in the class have ranged from Fortune 500 CEOs to Barack Obama. Of course, sports figures are well represented in the curriculum, as the class has also studied New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, former UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden and Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, among others. Giaimo also arranged for frequent guest lecturers, including Wesleyan baseball coach Mark Woodworth ’94, football coach Mike Whalen ’83 and Wesleyan President Michael Roth ’78.
“Wesleyan has given us the opportunity to go off and study this heavily interesting question in an academic environment
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