Lessons in Leadership


Here are eight Muhlenberg students who are each involved in at least three executive leadership positions on campus. Meet them below.

Our process began with an interest in what creates overwhelmed students. Of course, there are a range of contributing factors like coursework, social life, home life, socioeconomic status, identity and plain genetics. As two people relatively active on campus, we were uniquely intrigued by how over-commitment contributes to overwhelm. After all, Muhlenberg is famously infamous for its subtle standard of hyperactive campus engagement: the double majored, triple minored ‘Troy Boltens’ trophying student panels. We assumed that the “most involved” members on campus would express feelings of burnout and unmanageable stress. But as we moved closer to our interviews, we began to better fine tune the focus of our project. Instead of boxing student leaders into an assumed stretched-thin experience, we thought it would be more worthwhile to expand and complicate our perception of leadership. This became less about overwhelmed student leaders and more about the student leaders themselves. Their drive. Their style. Their story.

Went in with the expectations that we would be using uniform questions but we found that the best way was to tailor our questions to the responses of the interviewees.

Harry Glicklin ‘26

Here’s what Harry had to say:

Sam Bitterman ‘26

Here’s what Sam had to say:

Amy Swartz ‘26

Here’s what Amy had to say:

Sam Nulman ‘24

Here’s what Sam had to say:

Paige Henderson ‘24

Here’s what Paige had to say:

Marilyn Rajesh ‘26

Here’s what Marilyn had to say:

Emma Forster ‘26

Here’s what Emma had to say:

Bethany Qian ‘25

Here’s what Bethany had to say:

Between the chaos, it’s important that we celebrate perspectives, notice patterns and honor differences. This collection of voices grounded us in why people do what they do: community building, career readiness, passion, or tangible impact. While stress was absolutely present in their experiences, they’re interest and passion overshadowed the challenges that come with leadership and involvement. In a piece that sought out to explore stress in active student leaders, we found passion and unexpected balance.


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