James Caprio ('24), Jalane Tsague ('25), Sally Boutaleb ('24), and Genevieve Ryan ('26) outside of Arnold Hall at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado

ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (March 27, 2024) — Jalane Maiva Tsague Nguepi, a Business Administration-Management major from Davenport, was one of four students to represent Augustana College at the 31st annual National Character and Leadership Symposium (NCLS) at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA). The conference was held February 21-23 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

NCLS is an annual two-day symposium in which participants hear distinguished scholars, military leaders, corporate executives, and world-class athletes share their inspirational stories of character and leadership. Augustana sends four students to attend the event each year.

Augustana's Rogers Entrepreneurship Endowment Fund paid the trip expenses for all four students.

The symposium's theme was "Valuing Human Conditions, Cultures and Societies." USAFA cadets, ROTC cadets, service-people, civilian students, and other participants discussed the importance of leaders embracing culture and empowering people. Through lectures, panels, and workshops, participants explored how to live honorably and build effective teams by bringing together differing experiences, viewpoints, and strengths.

Featured speakers included Olympic gold medalist swimmer Missy Franklin, NASA astronaut Dr Kjell N Lindgren, author and activist Bryan Stevenson, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, senior military leaders, and others.

Back at Augustana, the students hope to apply the knowledge and skills they learned at the conference to their roles both on campus and beyond.

"The diverse perspectives shared reinforced the importance of embracing cultural diversity in leadership," said attendee Sally Boutaleb, an Accounting, Business Administration-Finance, and Data Analytics-Business Analytics triple major from Morocco. "I'm eager to apply these lessons to my own journey, knowing that the connections made and experiences shared will shape my approach to leadership for years to come."

Augustana College is a vibrant, welcoming liberal-arts college located on a 115-acre campus in the Quad Cities (pop 400,000) along the Mississippi River. Augustana, a residential campus, has 100 majors and programs, 160 student organizations, and 28 varsity athletic teams.

The college enrolls 2,500 students in a metro area that provides access to many career-paths and hands-on learning opportunities, including internships, jobs, student teaching, and research sites.

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