Maryland Leadership Workshops
Maryland Leadership Workshops Newsletter December 2009
in this issue
:: Message from the President
:: News from our Alumni
:: Giving Back to MLW
:: Spotlight on Joel Goodman
MLWlogoDear MLW Alumni:

Welcome to our second e-newsletter!  If you have any ideas for future newsletter topics or news items, please submit them to Devita.  Enjoy!
Message from the President
By: Ron Dhindsa
I wish you all an enjoyable holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year!  2010 will be a pivotal year for MLW.  We face significant challenges with our $60,000 annual Maryland State Department of Education grant having been reduced to $29,277, and with further cuts likely.  I have met with Governor O'Malley's Chief of Staff to stave off further cuts for MLW and the 37 other State-Aided Educational Institutions.  While the meeting was successful, the uncertainty of Maryland's budget renders ongoing reliance on state funding perilous.

Ironically, these cuts are contemporaneous with our having made the investment in MLW's first full-time, salaried executive director, thereby substantially increasing our capacity to transform the lives of more Maryland students.  Further indicia of our increased capacity is reflected in the many 2 and 3-day residential community outreach programs we have conducted over the past three summers through federal grants (via MSDE) varying from $27,000-$45,000 per year.  We have also conducted a week-long program for Howard County girls for each of the past four years.  Thus, we are at a challenging yet exciting place, in which our capacity to conduct programming is great, yet identifying new funding sources is critical for us to achieve long-term sustainability.

While MLW has made significant progress toward sustainability vis--vis the Mike Michaelson Fund, community outreach programming expansion, and several private grants, the governance model of MLW needs to change for MLW to ensure sustainability beyond any one person or group of people.  Accordingly, the Policy Board will present to the general membership on December 23rd a plan to substantially restructure MLW without compromising the integrity, quality or traditions of our life-transforming programs.

We are excited about the prospect of superimposing a traditional non-profit board of directors structure atop MLW's existing Policy Board structure.  The new Board of Directors would consist of 10-20 persons who are not strangers to MLW and who are well-situated in the community to help MLW raise funds, serve as ambassadors, and assume fiduciary responsibility.  I invite you to attend the MLW corporation meeting (a/k/a holiday party) on December 23rd at Strathmore Mansion to: 1) hear more about MLW's future governance structure; 2) hear more about MLW's 55 year reunion event in the fall of 2010; and 3) rejoice with the MLW family. 

MLW wishes you and your family all the best in this holiday season and the new year!
Warmest regards,

Ron Dhindsa
News from our Alumni
By: Lauren Hanson Lee

MLW would like to send our sincerest congratulations to the following people:

Alison SerinoAlisonSerino
Alison and Brian Baczkowski had their first child Bobby Baczkowski on October 30, 2009! Alison says that motherhood is amazing so far!

Catherine McCall
Catherine and Scott Ballinger are expecting another bundle of joy!  It's a girl and she is due in February.

Sterling Grimes
He was recently accepted into Teach For America and invited to teach high school English as a corps member in Philadelphia. He'll start next fall and be there through 2012.

Candice Epps
Candice won the Dedication to Education and Service Award with her school's (VCU) chapter of Americorps. Congratulations!

Theresa McKay
She will be studying abroad in January for the Spring semester in Alcala, Spain.

Karen Crawford
Karen is getting the Region 2 (PA, NY, NJ, DE, MD) Earl Reum Award.  The Earl Reum Award was created in 1991 to honor the outstanding contributions of writer and speaker, Dr. Earl Reum, whose contributions to the field of student leadership development over the years have affected thousands of advisers and students in the U.S. and Canada.  He has written extensively to create a leadership curriculum for teacher and student use and has authored many articles and monographs dealing with a variety of student activity topics.  He founded our organization, the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD), and is a leader in his own right and an ardent supporter of student activities.  In 2004, the award's nomination and presentation was transferred to NAWD where it replaced the organizations Workshop Director of the Year Award, which has been presented since 1985.

Alana Murray
Alana is currently working on her doctorate in Urban/Minority Education.
Giving Back to MLW
By: Bri O'Brien

Happy holidays! I hope you have time set aside to relax and celebrate with the people you love.

As the New Year approaches, I always find myself taking stock of what's important to me. As much as 2010 will be a time of new adventures and projects, the New Year is also the perfect time to renew your commitment to those things that have always been on your list. I think for most of us - MLW is.

As you wrap up this year with presents, and parties, and toasts, I hope you'll consider including MLW in some way.  Your gifts to MLW are of great importance and allow us to impact Maryland's youth, year after year. So consider a gift in honor of the parent or teacher who originally sent you, or if there isn't anything you really want - ask for contributions to MLW in lieu of gifts. (Don't forget, all charitable contributions are fully tax deductible).

Or if a financial gift is not in the cards this season, I ask that as you make resolutions and do your best to keep them that you find room for MLW on the list. I know that my annual resolution to "do more good this year than last" is always easy to keep with MLW in my life.  And its not difficult to stay involved! You can come to a policy board meeting, recommend a child, connect us with a corporate sponsor, staff a program, and much more! No matter what your schedule or situation, there is always a way to keep the MLW magic in your life!

Happy holidays to you and yours!

To make a contribution, visit our online donation site by clicking here or simply call our office at 301-527-8222 to find out other ways to make your contribution.
Alum Spotlight - Joel Goodman
By: Lauren Hanson LeeJoelGoodman

Below is an interview MLW conducted with former staffer, Joel Goodman.

Background Information on Joel Goodman:
In 1977, Joel founded The HUMOR Project, Inc., the first organization in the world to focus full-time on the positive power of humor.  More than three million people have attended his programs throughout the U.S. and from six continents.  Over four million people have accessed his web site.  More than 165,000 people are part of his AHA (American Humor Association).  Tens of thousands of people from six continents have attended Joel's 52 international humor conferences (a direct outgrowth of the skills he learned as a high school student in MLW).  More than 5000 TV and radio shows, newspapers and magazines in 150+ countries have featured Joel's unique career.  His jest-selling books have sold 100,000+ copies (again the communication and writing skills picked up at MLW proved to be invaluable).  Finally, The HUMOR Project has provided grants to over 450 non-profit organizations, schools, and human service agencies to help them tap the positive power of humor (the importance of "doing well and doing good" was something Joel learned through MLW).

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a number of things at different points. My biggest aspiration was to be a professional athlete. 

In what sport did you aspire to be a professional in?
Well I was basically going to spread it around.  Baseball in summer, basketball in the winter and football in the fall.

So you were a jack of all trades?
I was a jock of all trades.  Yes, I loved sports, I'd play from the morning until after dusk.  Soon though, a reality check entered the scene... I was not going to be the next Mickey Mantle or Bob Cousy.

Do you ever feel pressure to be funny - like all the time?
Yes, it's definitely an occupational hazard.  People are always coming up to me saying, " tell me a joke, be funny, say something funny" I just say "something funny."   So that's been an occupational hazard as well as an amusing challenge.  It's fun to be spontaneous. 

Do you practice what you preach in the workplace?
It's always a serendipitous reminder to practice what I teach.  "Taking your job seriously and yourself lightly" is something I always like to remember.  In fact, that is the most popular program title offered by our Speakers Bureau. I've always seen myself as a balance of serious and light.  I think it's really important to laugh at oneself. 

What is your work environment like?  It sounds like a pretty fun job.
A great ride! The kinds of people who would be attracted to our programs are just the kinds of people that I'd want to hang out with. 

What work advice do you have for others in different jobs and different professions?
There is a difference between being a "serious professional" and a "solemn professional."  You can have a serious job and be serious about what you are doing but at the same time solemnity doesn't serve us in the short or the long run.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself. 

What is your relationship with MLW?
It goes back centuries to Frostburg College.  Sometimes we referred to it as "Frostbite" College.  I had the good fortune to participate in the MLW Senior High Workshop the summer before my junior year, in 1964.  I came home and my mom wondered what had happened to me.  I participated in the Advanced Leadership Seminar the summer before my senior year.  Without a doubt, these were the most impactful and enjoyable learning experiences for me during my K-12 years.  Later, I had the good fortune to serve on the MLW staff during college and graduate school.  My MLW experiences directly led me into completing my Masters and Doctorate.  In fact, my doctoral dissertation focused on the pioneering Advanced Leadership Seminar for which I was Co-Director.  It shook up my world in a positive way.  It opened my eyes and heart to another positive reality. 

What impact did it have on your life?
It goes to the heart of who I am and who I became.  People like Uncle Si were such an inspiration to me. Mike Michaelson was incredible as an encourager of a young person learning. He gave me the space and support for me to learn and grow.  I really attribute a lot of who I am to Si and Mike. 

What would be some advice that you'd like to give to the next generation of staffers or the delegates of today?
Humor can serve us personally and interpersonally.  Humor prevents hardening of the attitudes.  Seven days without laughter makes one weak.  Humor can add years to your life... and life to your years.  Positive, affirming humor can turn human beings into humane beings into humor beings.  We should all try to get more smileage out of life and work!
Special Offer to MLW Staff: 
Joel has been a long-time supporter of MLW.  He would love to offer a special discount to MLW staff who would like to attend The HUMOR Project's renowned international conference on "The Positive Power of Humor and Creativity" that takes place on June 11-13, 2010.  Any MLW staff member who would like to take advantage of this learning-chocked, laughter-charged, life-changing opportunity can use "Code MLW" when registering to receive a 10% tuition discount.  You'll come away with lots of fun, inspiration, skills, and engaging activities (it could also be a great bonding/team-building experience if a number of us go).  For a free copy of the 2010 Humor Sourcebook (mailed in early January-the conference is described on pages 11-23), email (with MLW in the Subject Line) with your name and mailing address or call 518-587-8770. He would also be glad to include you on the list to receive the free monthly Laughing Matters e-zine.