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Allison Shadel

Allison Shadel

Program: Media/Journalism-Liberal Arts
Class of: 2010

"Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average." Jim Rohn

There are many words that could describe Allison Shadel, Class of 2010, but average would not be one of them. Recipient of the County College of Morris (CCM) Leadership Award, the Succasunna resident blazed a trail of leadership through high school and during her time at CCM.

"County is a two-year college, so student leaders pass through the school quickly. By your second year, you are the upperclassman and it gives you so many opportunities," says Shadel.

Shadel’s nature is to pursue such opportunities with enthusiasm. Among the positions she held at CCM are Student Senator and President Pro Tempore, Chair of the campus’ anti-smoking campaign, Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning student newspaper The Youngtown Edition, inductee to the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Orientation Day tour guide, Open House student representative, committee member for Toys for Tots, and speaker at her commencement ceremony. Today, she remains an active participant of the CCM community as the Alumni Representative on the college’s Board of Trustees.

"Going to CCM instead of a four-year college was a last-minute decision for me," she says. "I definitely benefited from the positive atmosphere. The faculty and administration listen to and support their students."

She believes that the diversity of the CCM student body provides an ideal environment for building leadership skills. "There are so many people with different life experiences here – mothers, fathers, war veterans, younger high school students," she says. "You meet people from all walks of life. That diversity gave me the skills to work with people who are different from me, compromise and figure things out to create a positive outcome. That will benefit me wherever I go."

Some people are born with leadership abilities while others learn them. In Shadel’s case, it was a little of both. "I grew up in a single-parent home with my mom and she definitely showed me that women can be as successful as they will let themselves be. It’s not always easy for women to gain respect. The more we try, the better it will be. We can’t be discouraged and go back in time. Someday, there will be a woman president."

As for her own future, Shadel is attending The College of New Jersey majoring in journalism with a minor in broadcasting. While she realizes the economy is challenging, she is motivated to do what it takes to be successful.

"My ideal job would be as a replacement for Oprah Winfrey. I like the work she does. In addition to being a talk show host, she is a strong woman of influence. I hope to be something like that someday."