For the first time in 2017-18, the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute is recognizing Leaders of the Month. Candidates for Leaders of the Month are nominated by coaches based on leadership qualities demonsrated on and off the field. The January 2018 honorees are senior swimmer Caroline Edelman and senior basketball student-athlete Stephen Brown

Each of the recipients was asked for their thoughts on various elements of leadership.

CAROLINE EDELMAN, Swimming & Diving (Principal Leader)

Caroline is a senior co-captain and applied mathematical sciences major from Wyomissing, Pa. She owns Bucknell's fifth-best time in the 100-yard butterfly and is part of six relays with program top-10 times, including the record-holding 400 free relay and the second-fastest 800 free relay. Caroline scored in the 100 fly at last year's Patriot League Championships, and she will lead the Bison into the 2018 PLCs next week in Annapolis, Md.

What is your favorite part about being a leader? What is the toughest? 

My favorite part of being a leader is simply being a teammate and seeing my friends succeed. Swimming and diving are so highly individual that seeing my teammates swim a best time or get a PR make my contributions as a leader worth it. The most challenging aspect of being a leader is certainly the fact that you can never make everybody on the team happy and that tough decisions often require personal sacrifice or compromise.

What was the most important leadership moment on your team this year and why? 

The beginning of our season in September came with some unforeseen challenges regarding athletic sanctions that threatened the stability of both the men's and women's teams. It was integral that the leaders on both sides remained steadfast and positive for the sake of the team's continued success. I think everyone on the team showed tremendous strength during this time and it payed off with big dual-meet wins for the women against Boston University and Lehigh later in the season.

What "gets you up in the morning?" 

I get up everyday knowing that I'm at an institution that supports the balance between academics and athletics so well. I am so fortunate to be pursuing a major that is both challenging and rewarding while being able to work toward my goals in the pool.

What advice do you have for other student-athlete leaders? 

I think the most important aspect about being a student-athlete leader is finding the fun in your sport on a daily basis. Especially in a sport like swimming with such a long "in-season," it is easy to get bogged down. I found that reminding myself of the many reasons I love swimming had a positive impact upon my mental approach and in turn allowed me to focus more of my time demonstrating my leadership skills and being present for my teammates rather than simply going through the motions. 

STEPHEN BROWN, Basketball (Principal Leader)

Stephen Brown, a psychology major from Manassas, Va., is in his fourth year as the starting point guard on the Bison men's basketball team. Stephen is a two-time All-Patriot League and Patriot League All-Defensive Team honoree, and he is in the midst of a terrific senior season. He went over the 1,000-point mark for his career earlier in the year, and he is fifth on Bucknell's career assists chart.   

What are the elements of leadership that you are working hardest on?

  • My favorite part about being a leader is definitely being able to lead by example. However, the toughest part about being a leader is getting to know how each teammate responds to criticism or what is it that gets them going. 

What was the most important leadership moment on your team this year and why? 

The most important leadership moment on our team this year that I can remember was actually a few days ago. We were down early against Army and weren't really playing well, but the leaders on the team and as a whole, we stayed together, encouraged one another rather than blaming the other person. It was a great experience to go through adversity together and come out with a victory. 

What "gets you up in the morning?" 

What gets me up in the morning is just the fact that I am blessed with another day and opportunity to learn something new, to get better at the game of basketball, and hopefully being able to impact somebody else's life each and every day. 

What advice do you have for other student-athlete leaders? 

To other student-athlete leaders, advice that I would have to offer is to look for opportunities to be of service to your teammates and help them develop as not only as an athlete but also as an individual. As a leader on a team, you can't forget that you are also developing the next leader to come as well.