A senior in the College of Arts and Science and a Nashville native, Queen Stevenson has been a natural and nuanced storyteller since she could remember. She is a Communication Studies major and served as Opinion Editor for the Vanderbilt Hustler from 2015-2016. A lover of books, good conversation and the beauty of language, Queen is ecstatic to be a 2016 TedxVanderbiltUniversity speaker, ending her Vandy career by learning from her peers and sharing what she’s learned about leadership over the past four years.
Why and how do college students choose to lead? I believe that we can use our own email signatures as a vehicle to examine our approach to leadership. For the past three years, I’ve observed the email signatures of my peers and seen that some are full of every position and title possible — it’s like we are trying to spell out our self-worth and prove our qualifications in every email sent. Reminder — I lead six different organizations, so I’m a serious and capable human! Hire me/Choose me/Love me. All Best, Me. Extensive signatures say something about the breadth of our campus involvement, but not necessarily the depth. I was one of these email signature leaders myself; now I’m not leading anything, and my identity has totally transformed. In my recovery from campus leadership, I’m taking a hard and curious look at student leader shame, fear, identity anxiety and how that can all be examined by reading the bottom of an email.