By: Sophia Bates, Asst. News Editor
File photo by Amanda Bosse
The University has hired former adjutant general of the Maryland Military Department Linda Singh to be TU’s first Leader-in-Residence.
Singh started her new role on Jan. 22 and has been working on examining where her skillset is needed to move campus forward in what she calls her “learning mode.”
“My first couple of months is really going to be focused in on trying to learn the people and get to know some of my peers and some folks and what they do and their programs and so that I can actually look and see ‘Are there any gaps?’ And see if there are any places where my skill set can add value to the leadership programs,” Singh said. “That is what I’m kind of focused in on. I’m all in this kind of intake and learning mode right now.”
The new Leader-in-Residence program brings in nationally recognized leaders to influence the campus. According to University President Kim Schatzel, Singh’s new role is meant to advance and develop leadership programs on campus.
“We want to take a look at the different programs that we have across campus that foster the development of leadership skills and qualities within the students and to be able to develop a program where we can be more deliberate about it and to be able to advance our capabilities and capacities for that,” Schatzel said.
Leadership opportunities on campus can also help students excel in their future and have a foot in the door for careers.
“I think leadership positions can really make you stand out for future careers and also give you a voice as a student that a lot of other students don’t necessarily have,” said senior English major Maria Asimopoulos.
Schatzel added that leadership is crucial everywhere.
“Leadership is something that every place I go to talk with people, leadership matters,” Schatzel said. “People will tell you that all the time. We have lots of students on campus that are already in leadership positions or are aspiring to leadership positions on campus, or aspiring to leadership positions and being changemakers in their careers. So, what we want to do is be far more intentional about how do we do that as a campus. Linda is going to be the inaugural leader in residence that’s going to help us advance that agenda.”
According to TU junior english major Breanna White, this new position is “a good idea” for TU.
“I think no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to develop new skills,” White said. “College is often a jumping off point into the true workforce and leadership skills will always be useful in a work environment.”
According to Singh, Schatzel’s vision for the future of TU’s campus is what drew her into joining as the Leader-in-Residence.
“As I was looking at universities, I really wanted an environment that was set up for what I would consider to be innovation, to be forward thinking, wanting to be on the leading edge, not being satisfied with the status quo,” Singh said. “I wanted a Maryland school and what I think appealed to me most is that President Schatzel’s view on where she sees the organization going is what resonated with me. That made me very excited to join the Towson team.”
One of the programs that Singh is planning to develop is an annual leadership lecture series. This is in the early stages of development, as Singh is just looking at campus needs.
“Since I am really at the early stages of looking at what’s needed, I would like to ensure that the lecture series may end up being internally focused and externally focused,” Singh said. “I have to really assess what we think is the best thing to do and what is going to add the most value.”
Singh is currently the interim Executive Director and CEO of TEDCO, Maryland’s investment engine for start-up technology, and has also worked in her own consulting and advisory services company, Kaleidoscope Affect LLC. Prior to these roles, she was the adjutant general of the Maryland Military Department.
One thing Singh specifically seeks for Towson’s students as she joins campus is that they become continual learners throughout life.
“What I would say to the students is as you are embarking on your education, don’t just look at it as in ‘yep, I’m checking the box,’’ she said. “Think about how you are going to be continual and life-long learners because that’s what we need in the world. And when you do that, your mind stays sharp. As you get older, you are going to live a longer and healthier and more productive life.”