Tyler Heck (teaching), a 3 year LIA member—Leadership in Action is the experience of a lifetime. The skits we perform force people to think about, ask, and answer tough questions that are otherwise ignored. Our skits are relate to everyone we perform for and it makes them think about those experiences, good or bad. LIA is a great experience that I recommend for any student at UW-L
Katelyn Mazza (CLS), a 2 year LIA member—LIA to me means Leadership (becoming a leader within teams), awareness (of real life events/situations), growth ( as a person, speaking confidence, who you are), confidence (in who you are), and teamwork (being a team and making friends)
Nick Thuot-Petkovich (CBA), a 2 year LIA member--LIA, to me, is an opportunity to extend myself beyond the general campus community. I think that this group has done wonders to initiate tough conversations amongst those fortunate enough to see a performance. The awareness that has been spread through LIA is nothing short of outstanding.
Sarah Gagnon (SAH), a 3 year LIA member---To me, LIA is all about the interactions with the students. It’s a way to open students’ eyes to issues they face every day in a way that allows conversation that will facilitate change.
Alyssa Pizzoferrato (SAH), a 1st year LIA member—Leadership in Action is a great experience. It has allowed me to learn about other people’s personal experiences and become more active in the La Crosse community. While doing the skits, you also come to understand different perspectives, like for example, a bully who has different ideology than yourself.
Saeng Yang (SAH non-traditional), a 2 year LIA member—LIA lets you see from other people’s perspective on everyday life issues, and shows interventions for everyday issues. LIA is the best experience I am having here at UW-L because LIA makes you understand why do we, and how do we, perceive our social issues.
Annie Fularczyk(SAH teaching), a 1st year LIA member—Through LIA I am able to make the audience more aware of what others are going through. These skits catch the attention of people who have never experienced what is acted out in the skits, and makes people who experience these things feel more comfortable in talking about it. It is amazing to see the reaction from the audience, and through this I have learned so much. Finally, it has helped with my speaking skills and made me more of a leader.
Kali Mehlhoff (teaching) a 2 year LIA member—WE always wish that those around us would understand what we are going through and they could understand what it is like to walk in our shoes. LIA is like a shoe store. It allows you to try on all sorts of shoes so even if you don’t settle on a certain pair or you try on many that don’t fit, you will never forget what it was like to wear that pair of shoes.
Michael Schiller (SAH) a 1st year LIA member—LIA provides an excellent opportunity to show kids’ real life situations from a perspective where they can just sit back, reflect, and truly understand what is going on. Many of our skits portray situations that happen under their noses every day that they may not be aware of. The questions asked by the kids really help them relate to and better understand the skits. It is a joy to be in LIA, especially when you brighten a kid’s day.
Mikayla Smith (SAC), a 1st year LIA member—LIA has been a wonderful experience. I found it has been a great opportunity to incorporate some of my own personal history into these skits to open the audience’s eyes to issues involving diversity. Every skit I have so performed has been on a topic relateable to my own life and it has been an amazing opportunity that has allowed me to experience some catharsis. LIA has helped me to grow as an individual as well as help bring attention to controversial social situations.
Stacy Miller (SAH), a 1st year LIA member—LIA has changed my life. Stepping into other shoes through these skits really makes a person grow a deeper understanding and acceptance with diversity. Now I am able to touch other’s lives and make them think with these skits.
Nate Noble (science teaching), a 1st year LIA member—Being in LIA I’m sort of reaching out to the younger generation, and even to people older than us. Topics we cover in our skits can sometimes be funny but mainly bring up important social situations. Actually performing the skits makes you see both sides of a conflict because you are actively involved in the hypothetical situation.
Talia Kramer (SAH), a 1st year LIA member—After being in LIA this semester, I have gained so much more than I expected to gain. I have learned how to become more vocal and outgoing in front of new people, and learned to better respect minorities and those who are not ‘normal’ by being able to connect to them in the skits. I have learned to respect others more by learning that every person has their own struggles. I have now learned to have an open mind whenever meeting people. I have also been able to teach those around me about different issues, thanks to this group.
Austin Wersal (teaching), a 1st year LIA member—As a future teacher I believe that diversity and the acceptance of differences among people are crucial life lessons. Promoting diversity and oppression awareness are important values to teach children at a young age, but these lessons aren’t only for developing children but for people of all ages. If people could learn to accept and respect each other’s differences, the world will become a more friendly and peaceful place. These skits help expose the oppression that resides in everyday scenarios and teach through hypothetical, yet very real examples.
Samantha Suckow (teaching), a 1st year LIA member—Being in LIA means voicing different issues and problems to the public. Personally it has helped me communicate more efficiently with others and has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I will continue to be in this group because it has made me a better person and is a great opportunity to only continue to grow.
Adam Treinen (teaching), a 1st year LIA member—LIA is important to me because I have gained experience talking in front of large groups and developed more confidence with public speaking. Also I have gained more awareness about the discrimination and trouble s some people face in their everyday lives. This benefits me in my future because as an educator one must be aware of what his or her students are experiencing and know how to talk professionally in front of a group.
Allison Kocik (teaching), a 1st year LIA member—LIA is a great experience that brought me out of my comfort zone. Not only does this program open my eyes to different situations I might encounter as a teacher, it also taught me how to talk in front of a crowd. This program brings all kinds of issues to light.
Matt Bjornstad (SAH), a 1st year LIA member—To me, being involved with LIA has made me a better rounded person and has opened my eyes to different forms of diversity issues in the world and has really showed me that these issues are around me every day.
Morgan Welborn (CLS), a 1st year LIA member—To me LIA is a learning experience where I have had the opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and become a representative of everyday issues. It has opened my eyes to problems and how to deal with them in the best positive way by teaching others about them and their consequences.
Taylor Schafer (SAH), a 1st year LIA member—To me, being in LIA is about spreading awareness of difficulties and troubles in our world, and seeing the audience realize it. It was so amazing to see how angry and appalled my audience was at some of the content of the skits, like “people actually do this? Does this actually happen? And it opens their eyes and lets them know that things like that ARE happening around them.
Abby Suttner (teaching), a 1st year LIA member—LIA has allowed me to free myself from the fear of speaking in public and answering questions on the spot. I am grateful for this liberation as well as the opportunity to experience different situations brought about by various people. This has been a difficult challenge that I am proud to say that I have conquered.
Brandon Noble (CLS), a 1st year LIA member—Starting off, I just joined LIA because I wanted to satisfy my 10 hours for my EFN class and get out, but after a few performances, I began to realize there was a larger meaning in the tasks I was completing for the group. By tackling the issues raised by our skits, I began to realize that I was getting as much out of it as the people I was performing for, and it pushed me to do my best to accurately reflect the thoughts and emotions in the skits to make sure everyone involved was able to take away the best possible message from our performances.Erin Richter (SAH)-- I am not in the class, however, listening to the planning and skits that they perform makes me realize how simple it is to become aware of the problems kids face, as well as help them. It gives me a good feeling that there are people like Bob who are willing to run and pay for things like this to help others.