On Thursday, October 29th, Alcorn State University (ASU) welcomed a new organization into its ranks, The Lead Listening Society, Lambda Sigma Nu.
While on a trip to Costa Rica, Business Professor at ASU and founder, Dr. John Igwebuike, was inspired to create this unique organization by the national tree of Costa Rica, dubbed ‘The Listening Tree’. The tree sprouts buds that look like a human ear. Combining Alcorn’s Ode with the line ‘beneath the shade of giant trees’ and the national tree of Costa Rica, Igwebuike decided to create the first listening organization.
“Alcorn is the first and finest agricultural school so why not plant the first listening organization connected to the listening tree at the first and finest Historically Black College and University (HBCU)? I also believe there is a spiritual dimension to events like this that you can’t control,” Dr. Igwebuike stated about the organization.
Lambda Sigma Nu has ten commitments which equate to the word LISTEN. These include creating safe spaces, withholding all pre-judgments, seek to understand then to be understood, be swift to listen and slow to speak, listen to understand not just reply, respond from another’s perspective, acknowledge before asserting, receive and give constructive feedback, thank the speakers and listeners, and finally commit to a lifelong practice of self-reflection.
Among the 22 inaugural inductees, Junior Agricultural Business major Jarius Colley was excited about the opportunity to be included in such an organization.
“This is really a great thing that I have been looking forward to. I’m incredibly happy about this group being at Alcorn because more people really should know about something like this,” said Colley.
Alongside Colley, a variety of students from other majors were inducted including Accounting, Applied Science, and Biomedical Engineering.
Lambda Sigma Nu is dedicated to enhancing the listening leadership skills of its members for lifelong learning and leadership success. Listening is a universal force for good in the world and society members can harness its positive power by learning, practicing and disseminating the art skill and the science of effective listening. In applying these principles members grow to become artful listeners while helping to make the world a better place.
Igwebuike plans to move forward and expand the organization within the next few years with students at the forefront by spreading the group’s message to the student body of Alcorn and to their communities.