Episode 05: How can we build uplifting and lasting relationships?

April 2023

Justin Stoddard, the CEO and Founder of “Climbing the Mountain”, discusses how we can build resiliency and how to overcome adversity. Stoddard, a veteran and now a professor at the United States Air Force Academy, discusses with three students Eyda Gu, Ananya Mangla, and Saniya Shahid how to lead through example and lift up others around you. Using individual and universal experiences, Stoddard breaks down exactly what it means to be an uplifting and inspiring leader and the importance of building relationships with those that uplift you.

 

Episode Competencies

Resilience, Empathy, Building Relationships, Meaning-Making

 

Episode Resources

Reflection Questions:

  • How can you use your passions to uplift others?

  • Think about those that uplift you, how can you flip the switch and support them?

  • How can you become more accessible to others?

Speaker Bio

Justin Stoddard

Justin Stoddard

Assistant Professor

Justin Stoddard, PhD, serves as an Assistant Professor and Chief of Character and Leadership Innovation at the U.S. Air Force Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD), where he is responsible for leading character and leadership development innovation efforts for the USAFA Team. Justin’s expertise in resiliency and overcoming challenges supports and explores methods to improve and refine the delivery of character and leadership development programs.

Justin first enlisted in the Army in 1997 as a combat medic, and then attended the University of Colorado Boulder ROTC commissioning in 2001 with dual majors in Philosophy and Russian studies. From 2001-2017, Justin served in active duty, reserve, and mobilized reservist positions as a rifle platoon leader in Afghanistan from 2003-2004, HHC commander from 2009-2011, and Senior Intelligence Division Chief from 2012-2017. In 2011, Justin earned his
master’s degree in leadership studies and intelligence and national security studies from the University of Texas – El Paso, and in 2019 earned his PhD from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in Education Leadership, Research, and Policy researching the grit and resiliency of USAFA cadets.

Eyda Gu

Eyda Gu

Student

Eyda is a sophomore at the University of Michigan and is majoring in Biology, Health, and Society. She enlisted in the US Army National Guard in 2020, immediately after high school, then contracted into the Army ROTC at UofM in 2021 to become a US Officer. Between multiple injuries, joining the Army, and studying at UofM, Eyda has had to endlessly strengthen her resiliency. She continues to build her adaptability today.

Ananya Mangla

Ananya Mangla

Student

Ananya is a junior in LSA, currently pursuing a double major in Economics with a minor in QMSS. She is also a Leadership Teaching Fellow at the Barger Leadership Institute. Ananya is very interested in leadership and team dynamics, for which she has done study abroad experiential programs in the UK, France and Belgium. She wishes to pursue Product Management post graduation.

Saniya Shahid

Saniya Shahid

Student

Saniya is a senior at the University of Michigan studying Industrial and Operations Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship. While Saniya’s primary focus is STEM, she loves stepping out of her comfort zone and getting to know other people in other schools across campus. She believes in being a lifelong learner and isn’t afraid to be a beginner. On campus, Saniya is involved with the Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering as a production assistant for the TedTalk-style Entrepreneurship Hour course and a former Instructional Aide. In addition to the CFE, Saniya is involved with the Barger Leadership Institute as a Marketing and Communications Applied Leadership Fellow where she can explore her creative side through graphic design and social media management.

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