The National Society of Leadership and Success
Building leaders who make a better world

The NSLS Featured in the News

NSLS members across the country are actively working in being leaders who make a better world. You can find some of their stories covered in the news below.

   Waubonsee’s Chapter achieves President’s Circle Status
Posted on: Oct/01/2019
   Press Release

The Waubonsee Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) achieved President’s Circle status for the 2018-19 academic year. The students completed nine of ten chapter pillars to achieve this status.

Advisors for 2018-19 were Spencer Brayton, Library Manager; Teri Fuller, Professor of English Developmental Education; Randall Hines, Assistant Professor of Computer Aided Design and Drafting; Anita Moore-Bohannon, Dean for Academic Support; and Dr. Mary Tosch, Student Life Manager.

   NSLS Member Featured by Brookdale CC
Posted on: Sep/01/2019
   Press Release

After 21 years as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Thomas Polak IV decided to return to school to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Polak choose to attend Brookdale Community College’s nursing program because of the stellar reputation of the program. “I had heard so many positive experiences from friends, I realized there was no other choice than Brookdale,” he said.

Since Polak was already an LPN, he was able to apply for the advanced placement LPN to RN challenge. To be accepted into the program, students must attend an orientation, pass a math test, validate their nursing skills, participate in simulations and complete other requirements. If accepted, students can earn credit for three required courses or 11 credits, towards their AAS degree in Nursing.
Picture of Beth Stryker.

“From the moment I stepped foot on the campus of Brookdale, I have had the privilege of meeting phenomenal staff members during my process in registration, including everyone at One Stop, especially Beth Stryker,” said Polak. Stryker, enrollment specialist in admissions and registration, helps guide nursing students through the admissions process, and Polak said she was extremely helpful.

Polak said the decision to return to school wasn’t easy, but he knew if he wanted to obtain his goal of becoming a director of nursing, furthering his education was key.

“It had been a very long time since I had been in school, and I was aware that this will be a challenge,” he said.

Brookdale faculty members helped in the transition back to school for Polak. “The faculty at Brookdale are second to no one,” he said. “No one could have prepared me for this journey better than each one of my professors with their excellent instruction.” He particularly noted Joan Santa Croce as an inspiration who played a major role in his success.Picture of Tricia Daloia Gandolfo.

Polak also cited Tricia D’Aloia Gandolfo, nursing instructor, as being extremely helpful. “Her inspirational words, kindness and understanding have been the nurturing I needed to get through this transition phase in school, and I owe my success to her,” said Polak.


“I have truly been blessed with an experience that has surpassed all of my expectations as a student at Brookdale.”
-Thomas Polak
Polak said the small class sizes were also key to his success “The ability to learn is so much more intensive here and personal because of the ratio of teachers to students,” said Polak, who is a member of Brookdale’s chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Not only is Polak succeeding academically, but he is also forging new relationships while at Brookdale. “It is difficult to explain, but every person that I’ve met on this campus has become a part of me,” he said. “When I see people from two years ago come up to me and say hello, this is not something you experience in a large school where people come and go,” said Polak. “I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to know all of these wonderful individuals,” he said.

“There are so many programs available to you on the Brookdale campus, regardless of which campus, there is no reason to get your degree at another college,” Polak said. “I have truly been blessed with an experience that has surpassed all of my expectations as a student at Brookdale,” Polak said.

Polak recommended students in the health science majors take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) as soon as possible. This test can be taken once all foundational studies classes are completed. “When students wait, they don’t get put on the waitlist until the test is taken, and then students complain about the waitlist,” Polak said.

Polak’s advice to all students, returning students as well as traditional students, is to keep going. “If you focus on the prize, it will be attainable, and never put off your education for experience,” he said. “Although it is never too late, it is an awful lot easier when you are young.”

   Chapter President: "It's a life-changing society."
Posted on: Aug/01/2019
   News Article

(Kaitlyn Tambasco is an inducted member from Utica College and the chapter's Co-President. This article was originally published here.)

When I entered college, I knew I wanted to keep my involvement up. I was involved quite a bit in high school and wanted to carry that into college. During my college orientation, a common theme among the orientation mentors was involvement. Some of the students told us that they regretted not getting involved earlier. That really stuck with me and it’s something that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Within the first couple weeks of my first semester, I really took advantage of the involvement fair. At the involvement fair that semester, I signed up for Bible Study, the Newspaper, Music/Poetry club, Art club, Psychology club, History club, English club, Curling(which is a new sport in the Olympics), W.I.N.D, Circle K, Public Relations club, Student Senate and Theatre club.

Out of those clubs, I am an active member of three of them. I realized that signing up for all of those, would really put me behind in my school work. One of the clubs that I kept hearing about was the National Society of Leadership and Success. That was one table that I didn’t stop by that day. I just thought “honor society, I’ll never make it in” and really had no interest.

My second semester of my freshman year, my friend Brittany and I got an email about the National Society of Leadership and Success. We were both invited to join. The first thing I thought, was that it was a scam. The reason I thought it was a scam, was because you had to pay a fee. However, I got the email on my birthday and was feeling lucky. I eventually paid the fee and thought “okay, well I’ll give it a shot.” I attended the orientation with a closed mind. However, I did pay attention because part of me wanted to learn more about the organization. The students running the orientation told us how amazing it was to be in the organization and how many doors it’ll open up for us down the road. That’s when my mind opened up a little bit more. I thought that maybe if I go in with an open mind, I will get more out of it. Well, I certainly did. I did a lot of self discovery during the induction process. I remember one moment at Leadership Training day, we had to write down what we thought our purpose was. That was the one part that I left blank. I had no idea what my purpose was. However, it was good that I realized that now, then later in my life. It was such an eye opening day for me. Another part of the induction process, was to attend three speaker broadcasts. The one I remember the most was Anderson Cooper. I’ve always been a fan of him and thought it was so cool that we could watch him live. A few weeks before induction, I had heard that the NSLS e-board was looking for new members. I decided to apply. I wanted to get involved more that semester, as I was used to college life by that time. I broke out my pant suit and wrote out a resume, as I didn’t know how professional the interview was going to be. I remember being really scared for the interview. I thought, “maybe I’ll just stay for a semester and then quit.” A few days after my interview, I found out that I received Success Networking Team Coordinator. At first I was a little upset, considering that was not my first choice in a position. I thought that the advisor did not see what I was capable of.

After that, I found out that for my induction, I had to sit with the e-board, as I was an up and coming e-board member starting the following semester. I also had to help set up for induction and go to the e-board meeting the night before. I still remember that first e-board meeting. I sat on the end of the table, with my mouth shut. I thought to myself “what did I get myself into?” I was so nervous and so scared. I didn’t want to ask too many questions, even though I didn’t understand what was going on. I only really knew one other person on the e-board, as we were in bible study together. I figured that I could just ask her after the meeting what was going on.

For the induction, we all had to get there around nine that morning to start setting up. We all had different tasks, but I found myself constantly asking “am I doing this right?” I just wanted to make a good impression. That’s all. I didn’t want to get kicked out before I even had to start. I was constantly told that I was doing just fine and that I had nothing to worry about.

Towards the end of the induction, our advisor acknowledged all of the e-board members and thanked us for all of our hard work. At the time, I didn’t think that applied to me. All I did was attend one e-board meeting and then help with induction. However, when our advisor said my name along with “in coming SNT coordinator”, something changed inside of me. I stood up tall and embraced that moment. I smiled at my parents and my grandma who were watching me get that attention. I was finally here. That was the moment that I knew that I would be in this society for the long run.

When I officially started that following semester, I gained some confidence that I never had. I really never had thought of myself as a leader. I was always that girl that listened to everybody else’s ideas and never had the confidence to pitch my own. This time was different. At that first e-board meeting the following semester, I was very vocal and shared my opinion on things. When SNT’s were getting overwhelming, I spoke up. I didn’t leave anything behind. I asked for help when I needed it and I was never ashamed of that. Also, my first actual semester of being on the e-board, myself, two other e-board members and our advisor traveled to Baltimore for the NSLS retreat. There, we met so many other students and chapter leaders that were doing the same things we were. We shared our ideas, thoughts and our overall experience with the society. That was one weekend, that I wanted to relive over and over again. It was such a rewarding experience.

The semester after, I was a little bit more experienced. After having one semester down of being SNT coordinator and attending the NSLS retreat, I knew what I was doing. However, there was one day last semester that I was feeling very overwhelmed. With being SNT coordinator, you deal with a lot of emails. That day, I was getting so many emails from students regarding their SNT groups. I felt extremely overwhelmed at that moment and didn’t really know what to do. That’s when I texted my advisor. I explained my situation and just asked if I could do my work in her office. She told me that I didn’t need to ask and to just come up. I ended up staying in her office for about an hour and a half. I got all of my work done and we chatted after that. I was so grateful that she did that. It just showed me how much she cared for us. That was another moment that I knew I had made the right choice to pay the fee.

Now, as the current president of the Utica College chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success, I can now say that deciding to join really changed my life. I have gained so many life skills and have learned so much about myself, other people and the world around me. I have absolutely no regrets about joining.

The National Society of Leadership and Success is more than just a society. It’s more than just paying a fee and calling it a day. It’s more than just a resume builder.

It’s a life-changing society.

   Houston Mayor Congratulates HCC Students
Posted on: Jul/16/2019
   News Article

More than 260 students from HCC Central, Northeast and Southwest Colleges were inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), the nation’s largest leadership honor society, on May 3 at the Central Campus auditorium. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who served as the event’s keynote speaker, expressed his confidence in the students’ abilities and success.

“I know the future is in good hands,” said Turner, who shared a poignant story of how he recognized the leadership skills in his daughter, Ashley, on their drive to her college in San Antonio. “I congratulate all of you on your future success. I am looking at America right here in front of me. A great city is made of great people and great leaders come from all walks of life. I congratulate all of you on what you have done and will do in this great city.”

About the inductees, HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado said, “make no mistake, it’s your hard work that proves you have what it takes to succeed. The HCC family is proud of each and every one of you.”

There are more than a million NSLS members nationwide in 655 chapters. Students are selected for induction based on either their academic standing or leadership potential. Inductees must attend leadership training events, attend speaker broadcasts, submit reports and perform at least five hours of community service.

Since 2013, HCC has created six NSLS chapters and has more than 4,000 student inductees. In the past year, HCC NSLS members participated in such community events as food bank service days, an early childhood education day at House of Tiny Treasures, and as volunteers at several local conferences and governmental ceremonies.

Also honored at the recent NSLS induction ceremony were Joel Levine, Executive Director for Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults, and Dr. Vernus C. Swisher, the retired CEO of Career and Recovery Resources. Excellence in Teaching recipients are HCC professors Walter Adams, Donald Parker and Arthemise Foley.

   Chapter President Earns Rising Star Award
Posted on: Jul/03/2019
   News Article

Emanuel Walker, Chapter President at the Community College of Denver, recently received the Rising Star award from the Colorado Community College System, honoring students and staff who have made key contributions to the overall success of their colleges and communities. Emanuel was also the recipient of the Outstanding New Student award from the Community College of Denver (CCD). 

“This is a special event that I look forward to each year,” said Colorado Community College Chancellor, Joe Garcia. “We are incredibly proud of our students and in awe of their commitment outside of the classroom, on and off-campus, to champion what they believe in. They will no doubt continue to make us proud as they take on their next academic chapter and career endeavors.”

Emanuel is currently working with the city of Aurora, Colo., to bring awareness to teen gun violence and mental health in the city, and he also recently worked with the city of Denver to create scholarship opportunities for African-American high school students in the Denver Public School District. The scholarships were handed out at an event called the Black Male Summit, where Emanuel had the opportunity to share his story and introduce Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and NFL star Brandon Marshall, who previously played in Denver. 

Congratulations to Emanuel and the enter CCD chapter!

   NSLS Member Speaks at TEDxCharleston
Posted on: Jun/06/2019
   News Article

Inducted member Stephen Frederico, a member of the National Online Chapter, recently had the opportunity to give his first TED talk. Stephen spoke about the potential of using nanoparticles in the treatment of cancer, an opportunity that came about due to his work performing cancer research at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Stephen’s passion for the field came from an introductory neuroscience course he took during his freshman year at the College of Charleston. A recent college graduate, Stephen will now be performing cancer research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md.

To view Stephen’s TED talk, click here. You can also read more about his passions here.

   Adrian College Chapter Recognized at "State of the College" Address
Posted on: May/02/2019
   News Article

Adrian College Chapter Advisor and Director of Institutional Research & Assessment Beth Heiss recently had the opportunity to speak at the college’s “State of the College” address about the chapter’s accomplishments this past fall. Nearly 150 students joined in Adrian’s first semester, and the chapter inducted 106 members at its first induction ceremony. The chapter now has 280 members with an induction rate of 77% and has quickly become the largest organization on the campus of 1,800 students. 

Freshman Ryan Boyd, an inducted member and new executive board member, also had the opportunity to speak. “We expect that those who participate in NSLS will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience that they will take with them after graduation,” Ryan said. “We look forward to expanding our community service and starting a mentorship program with incoming freshmen.”

To watch Beth and Ryan speak about the NSLS, click here

   Mount St. Mary's Chapter Attracts 400 New Members
Posted on: Apr/04/2019
   News Article

The NSLS chapter at Mount St. Mary’s University attracted more than 400 new members this year. More than 100 members have attended each of the chapter’s events thus far.

"I was so impressed with the turnout at orientation this year!"  Chapter Vice President Kylie Kunzman told Mount St. Mary’s University News. "It is amazing to see so many students willing to step up and become leaders." 

The chapter, founded in 2017, has been a hit with students.

"I’m so excited for this opportunity to further develop my purpose and passion through NSLS and the positive environment of my peers and leaders of this chapter," said member Megan Smith. "NSLS is helping me clarify my goals and how to achieve them with a deeper understanding."

Click here to read more.

   Thiel College Member Named February's "Student of the Month"
Posted on: Mar/06/2019
   Press Release

GREENVILLE, Pa. - Thiel College announces Madalyn Harding '19, of Warren, Pa., and Michael Long '19, of Cortland, Ohio, are the first Student of the Month honorees for the spring 2019 semester.

The Student of the Month is awarded to seniors. It is among the most prestigious student awards at Thiel College (, with only about six students each semester earning the honor. The pair earned the February honor for their academic achievements and campus leadership.

Harding is an international business, business administration major with a concentration in human resources management and general management, and a minor in economics. She is involved with Chi Eta Sigma business honorary society, and is the business and accounting club secretary. She is senior class treasurer. Harding is a member of the American Society of Safety Professionals and The National Society of Leadership and Success.

She serves as student coordinator of Thiel College Peer Mentors and is a student worker for Academic Records. She has been a Dean's List recipient for six semesters and won the Thiel College Library Research Award in 2016. A first-generation college student, Harding has also interned with Whirley-DrinkWorks! in Warren, Pa. each of the past four years. She was named Thiel College Intern of the Year 2016.

Harding, a 2015 graduate of Warren Area High School, is the daughter of Wally and Sharon Harding, of Warren, Pa. She plans to pursue a career in the fields of human resources, safety and/or supply chain management following graduation.

Long is a member of the Thiel's binary engineering program and is completing his coursework at the University of Pittsburgh. He is a member of the Thiel Tomcat Marching Pride.

Long, a 2014 graduate of Woodland Hills High School and a first-generation college student, was involved with Pi Nu Epsilon national music honorary society, the Thiel Players, the ultimate frisbee club, the global club, the Organization of Black Collegians, Active Minds, Habitat for Humanity, the Thiel Choir and Thiel Christian Fellowship.

Click here to read the original article.

   NSLS Member at Rutgers University-Newark Selected as Schwarzman Scholar
Posted on: Jan/10/2019
   News Article

NSLS Member Mussab Ali | Photo By Mel Evans, Rutgers Today

By Cynthia Medina and Nora Luongo
Rutgers Today

A recent Rutgers graduate and two seniors were named today as the university’s first Schwarzman Scholars, a prestigious global program designed to help students develop their leadership skills while pursuing a master’s degree in global affairs at one of the top universities in China.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick senior Nick Pellitta, Haoyang Yu, a 2015 Rutgers-New Brunswick graduate, and Mussab Ali, a senior at Rutgers University-Newark, will spend a year studying at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The trio is already a standout group. In 2017, Ali became the youngest person ever elected to the Jersey City school board and is also a recipient of the elite Truman scholarship, awarded to students with exceptional leadership potential. Yu, who holds a degree in computer engineering from Rutgers, leads a team at Goldman Sachs as a senior analyst in derivatives processing engineering. Pellitta, who is majoring in both economics and political science, hopes to one day serve in public office and to improve the lives of people in New Jersey.

“It is really exciting to be a recipient of a Schwarzman scholarship and to be part of this growing network of international leaders,’’ Ali said. “I think too often people here focus on American ideas and struggle to understand what other people do. Considering how fast China has risen in the global economy, I am excited to look at the ways they are different from us and what we can learn from them.’’

Pellitta is looking forward to the experience for similar reasons.

“I think one of the most important parts of good governance is being able to understand the perspectives of people who come from very different backgrounds,’’ said Pellitta, a School of Arts and Sciences and Rutgers-New Brunswick Honors College student from Flemington. “Living in China for a year will be a great opportunity to learn about the political, economic, social and cultural life there, and I hope to use those lessons to shape my views on the world and the relationship that the United States will have with China in the future.’’

Ali, Pellitta and Yu are among 147 scholars selected from more than 2,800 applicants. The recipients come from 38 countries and 119 universities – with 40 percent originating from the United States, 20 percent from China and the remaining 40 percent from around the world.

The program, launched in 2016, was created by Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Stephen A. Schwarzman. It provides full scholarships to prepare the next generation of business, political and civil society leaders to create change in the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century.

“We are extremely proud that three of our best and brightest students are the first-ever Rutgers recipients of the Schwarzman scholarship,” said Ben. Sifuentes-Jáuregui, vice chancellor for Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Rutgers-New Brunswick. “Their success demonstrates how Rutgers is at the forefront of training the next generation of global leaders.’’

While studying in Beijing, the students will be able to select a concentration in public policy, economics and business, or international studies while learning from the country’s top business leaders. The program offers a year of cultural immersion, opportunities to travel throughout China, work with mentors and participate in leadership training.

Ali, who broke ground as the first Muslim to serve on the Jersey City school board and was recently re-elected to a second term, is looking to start a nonprofit organization to train young people to become more involved civically. He is hoping to use his experience as a Schwarzman Scholar to create more opportunities for youth in Jersey City. “I’m already thinking about ways I can leverage being on a school board and impacting Jersey City education with this international experience. Especially looking at the demographics of Jersey City, most of these kids have never had international experiences.”

Arthur D. Casciato, director for the Office of Distinguished Fellowships within the Division of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, worked with Ali and Pellitta and praised their skills.

“Right from the beginning, I recognized that these two extraordinarily talented and committed young men, both Jersey boys through and through, would make Rutgers and their home state very proud,” Casciato said.

Yu, who will be leaving Goldman Sachs for the scholarship opportunity, said it was a difficult decision, but his experience at Rutgers taught him that sometimes the risk is worth the reward.

“I want to become an entrepreneur and eventually move back to China, so I had to decide what was most important to me. I need leadership and networking platforms to continue to grow,” said Yu. “In five to 10 years, I hope to build my own company in financial technology. If I stayed here, I could grow step by step, but if I take this risk, I can reach my goals much faster.”

Click here to read the original article.