The full-time Rollins MBA student, Xiaolin Lu was awarded this year's SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award. Lu was presented with the honor during a recent ceremony at the school and was also recognized for his achievement during the Rollins MBA commencement ceremony on May 1. In addition to Lu, Rollins MBA students Tolulope Odulesi and Aldo L. Ahlers were named SunTrust Leaders of Merit, and Jessica Scharf, finalist.
(Left to right) Aldo Ahlers, Xiaolin Lu, Jessica Scharf,
Richard Watkins, Sr., Tolulope Odulesi
The SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award is the top honor given to the students in the Rollin’s MBA Center for Leadership Development who best exemplify the qualities of ethical, responsible and thoughtful leadership, and who have applied these characteristics and practices at the school and throughout the community. Supported by the generosity of SunTrust Bank, this recognition is considered to be among the most prestigious awards given by the Rollins MBA.
In his submission Lu, who is from China, talked about how he had to adapt his skills to meet the individualistic leadership culture of the United States from China’s group- oriented approach.
“The SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit award provides a vehicle through which students can focus on leadership development and better prepare themselves to assume leadership positions upon graduation,” said Susan A. Bach, director of the Rollins MBA Center for Leadership Development. “These skills are critical to success in the workplace.”
The criteria for these awards consist of behavioral assessments, participation in leadership coaching, attendance at leadership programs, course completion in leadership and communication, and community service. Students who meet these requirements compile a Leadership Portfolio which details leadership development and includes a development plan, written reflections of demonstrated leadership, references, a resume and objectives for future leadership based on what has been learned earning the Rollins MBA. The entrants are judged by a selection panel of local Orlando business leaders.
This year’s selection panel was: Greg Hess, SVP, wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch; Trey (Rex) McPherson, RD Keene Trust; Theresa Williams, SVP relationship manager, Wachovia Wells Fargo; Richard Watkins, SVP, public wealth management, Sun Trust Bank; and Whitney McDonald, 2009’s SunTrust Distinguished Leader of Merit.