Mount Olive, N.C. - The Odyssey Leadership Program, the University of Mount Olive athletics leadership series, wrapped up its 2016-17 program on May 1 with its final of six sessions held this academic year. The final leadership session featured a guest speaker on leadership topics and how student-athletes can become better leaders.
The session's guest speaker was Justine Wong-Orantes, a member of the women's volleyball team at the University of Nebraska, who talked with student-athletes via Skype. Wong-Orantes, a two-time NCAA All-American, NCAA National Champion, and a member of Team USA, discussed the challenges that arise from being a captain during the pursuit for a national championship. Wong-Orantes also discussed how she has embraced change and challenges and how those hurdles have made her a better leader on and off the court.
The Odyssey Leadership Program, under the direction of men's volleyball head coach David Heller, has featured six sessions over the course of the 2016-17 academic year. Session activities and topics have included a DiSC self-assessment, teamwork and communication activities, a trip to a ropes course, understanding vulnerability and languages of appreciation, and activities that helped student-athletes build confidence.
16 UMO student-athletes graduated from the leadership program with seven graduating with distinction.
Kayla Allen, Softball
Linn Bergman, Women's Golf *
Lindsey Burton, Women's Golf
Jose Cortijos, Men's Tennis
Evan Floyd, Men's Lacrosse
Leah Hanle, Women's Cross Country and Track and Field
Kian Hollevoet, Men's Volleyball *
Diego Lopez, Men's Cross Country and Track and Field *
Anton Lund, Men's Soccer *
Liam McAnally, Men's Golf
Markus Proesch, Men's Golf *
Joel Roberts, Men's Volleyball *
Mikayla Sindel, Women's Lacrosse *
Kamber Skeen, Women's Volleyball and Track and Field
Tai Smith, Men's Cross Country and Track and Field
Jocelyn Yurchak, Women's Soccer
"I think the Odyssey program was a huge success this year and saw a great group of students take pride in their teams and university", said Heller. "They sacrificed valuable time to work with other student-athletes to address real issues that all teams face. I am very proud of all of our graduates for taking responsibility within the program and finding ways to communicate with others on campus to help make the experience better for everyone. I have no doubt that these young, gifted students will continue to be leaders on their teams and in their careers long after they hang up their jerseys. "