LIA Member Story: Stasia Hebert-McZeal

Director of Distance Education at South Louisiana Community College (SLCC), Stasia Herbert-McZeal, PhD, discusses the lessons learned and friendships gained through her Leadership Lafayette participation.
Herbert Mczeal, Stasia

Which LIA program(s) have you participated in?

LL Class of 26

Briefly describe your life as a leader before LIA.

Department Chair at SLCC 7 years; President of National Association of Pro Bono Coordinators (1 year); President of Commission on the Needs of Women

How did you hear about LIA and/or its programs?

From friends who participated

What made you want to participate in an LIA program?

As a life-long resident of Lafayette Parish, I wanted to experience learning about my community in an in-depth manner.

What were you hoping to learn and/or gain from the experience?

I hoped to garner an expanded view of my community. What I gained was friendship with a great group of classmates.

What were you most nervous about prior to participating?

I was most nervous about the time commitment.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

SIMSOC and the history of Lafayette by Lynn Guidry!

What surprised you the most about your experience?

I truly enjoyed our monthly classes, which felt like reunions.

What has been your greatest or most rewarding achievement since your experience with LIA?

I always wanted to run for school board, I did in 2019. That experience was an eyeopener and taught me a lot about myself and my community.

Who do you think would benefit from the program and why?

As a black woman, I have seen more and more the inclusion of a diverse class. I see a few more representatives from school systems, but I think more teachers should participate. Our school system has changed, our students have changed, and LIA provides an opportunity to see where various sectors of our community intersect!

Is there any advice you’d like to give future participants?

Enjoy the experience, be open minded and listen. Your experiences are your experiences, but someone else may have an experience that is different, and that is not wrong! We are all different, even when we seem to look the same. Get to know other LIA participants, they represent a great networking opportunity.

Anything else you’d like to comment on or say about LIA?

I learned a lot more about my community during my LIA time. At the same time, I realize that I have grown a lot since my experience with LIA.

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