Featured image for post: Barton Leadership Initiative Celebrates First Year As it Looks Ahead To Fall 2016

Barton Leadership Initiative Celebrates First Year As it Looks Ahead To Fall 2016

Barton Leadership Initiative

The Barton Leadership Initiative (BLI) is a distinguished group of business students selected by the Barton School of Business faculty and staff for their high academic performance, professionalism, and leadership potential.

The program provides specialized business soft skills training during the fall semester on such topics as professional branding, leadership and followership, business communications, and change management. The specialized fall seminars are designed to prepare students for leadership certification and corporate mentorship during the spring semester. Throughout the year, the BLI also hosts local and national executive guest lecturers.

BLI Mission

The mission of the Barton Leadership Initiative is to develop and empower future leaders that will optimally represent the Barton College brand while serving the local, national, and global business communities. We will achieve this goal through student programs that incorporate multifocal examination of leadership and professional branding. The Barton Leadership Initiative will cultivate leaders that are professionally and purposefully driven to foster mutually beneficial business partnerships, mentorship, and service to the greater Wilson-Barton community.

BB&T Emerging Leader Certification

This spring, history was made at Barton College through the support, partnership, and generosity of BB&T. Four members of the Barton Leadership Initiative (Brianna Clayton, Candice Bunch, Charles Hyde, and Seth Russ) were the first Barton students to earn BB&T’s Emerging Leaders Certification.

These student scholars, now known affectionately by our BB&T partners as the “Fantastic 4,” completed two days of rigorous training, facilitated by BB&T’s Student Leadership Programs Manager Brittany Brown, and Student Leadership Fellow Jasmine Frinks. This training, valued at $12,000, was provided by BB&T at no charge to Barton College.

The Barton Leadership Initiative recognizes BB&T for its generosity in providing this certification training to the BLI and for expanding the training program to certify all BLI students and management students going forward.


This spring, the BLI sponsored a Mentorship Matchmaking Luncheon at Savory & Sweet in Wilson. The group of mentors included vice presidents and assistant vice presidents at BB&T, executives from MetLife and Bridgestone, and directors from the city of Wilson.

As part of the spring mentorship experience, BLI students were invited to their mentors’ place of business for job shadowing and mock interviews. Both mentors and mentees were enthusiastic about the experience and have formed mutually beneficial connections.

2016-2017 BLI Executive Board

To further develop and enhance this new program, the Barton Leadership Initiative has appointed a student executive board to lead the organization during the 2016-2017 academic year. The student leaders and positions are as follows:

Kiara Lewis, President                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Charles Hyde, Executive Vice President                                                                                                                                                                                       Janice Renee Bracken, Vice President of Events                                                                                                                                                                       Crystal Vasquez, Executive Advisory Board Student Liaison

The bar for excellence in leadership has been set high for these student scholars and for those incoming BLI members in the 2016-2017 academic year. The BLI is led by Dr. Tyechia Paul, assistant professor of management and director of the Barton Leadership Initiative in the Barton College School of Business.