Qualities of an Effective Leader: Organization and Commitment, Kindness and Empathy

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Katrina Steckle“I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be an effective leader,” shared Katrina Steckle. “It takes incredible organization, commitment, and energy, but it also takes kindness and empathy.” Katrina has just graduated with a Psychology and English Literature and Rhetoric double major with a History minor at the University of Waterloo. She was a resident and later and associate at Conrad Grebel University College. To her, Grebel is a place to nurture faith, grow into an effective leader, create a home away from home, and make long-lasting memories.

Katrina’s interest in Grebel started with her older sister, Sam Steckle. Sam lived at Grebel during her undergrad and whenever she came home to visit family, she always explained her experiences with great fondness. Whenever the opportunity arose, Katrina leapt at the chance to visit her sister at Grebel and took the opportunity to explore the College as well. “I really liked the people and the atmosphere,” she said. And when the time came to decide which university option best suited her, Katrina attended a Grebel Open House. “I got a tour from a really friendly upper-year and had a delicious lunch in the Grebel dining room. My tour convinced me that I wanted to attend Waterloo and live at Grebel!”

After moving in, Katrina got involved in as many activities as she could, all with a smile. She has participated on the Larger Leadership Team as an Environment Rep, Special Projects Rep, and Grebelspeaks Editor. She was a don, Chapel Committee member and Chapel Choir member, took part in three reading week service trips—two to Toronto with Toronto Ontario Opportunities for Learning and Service (she co-led the second trip), and one to Florida with Mennonite Disaster Service— and participated in three Grebel musicals. Her favourite initiative was in her second year, in the co-creation of a weekly hymn sing that continues to run every Sunday to this day. 

Katrina sings in Chapel ChoirKatrina sings in the Chapel Choir during a 2017 term end banquet.

Katrina found great satisfaction from these experiences. She grew as a person, learned new skills, formed friendships, and most importantly, gave back to the community. “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to invest in a community and create a home away from home throughout my undergrad. Being able to give back to the Grebel community has been really important because the community has given so much to me.”

Faith is very important to Katrina. For the past year, she has attended Waterloo North Mennonite Church virtually, and she grew up as a member of Zurich Mennonite Church. Nearly every term at Grebel, she was involved in the Chapel program where she learned valuable lessons and ways to connect music and worship. “As a member of the Chapel Committee, I learned a lot about what it takes to provide faith-nurturing experiences for a community while also nurturing my own faith,” she explained. Working with members of the Chapel Committee enlightened Katrina in many ways. It taught her much about living out her faith, and also a valuable lesson, especially when working with students with different beliefs. “It is always worth listening to people who have different opinions than you do because you never know what you may learn from them.”

In September 2021, Katrina will be starting a Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Regent College in Vancouver, with hopes of becoming a high school English teacher. Though her time at Grebel has come to an end, she will treasure the memories she made and the people she met along the way. “I’ll always remember the conversations, laughs, and adventures that I had with them,” Katrina said. “And reminiscing about those experiences with people I’m still in touch with is endlessly enjoyable.”

By Jace Jaeden Ellis

  1. 2021 (31)
    1. July (3)
    2. June (3)
    3. May (4)
    4. April (5)
    5. March (5)
    6. February (5)
    7. January (6)
  2. 2020 (51)
    1. December (2)
    2. November (2)
    3. October (5)
    4. September (3)
    5. August (4)
    6. June (2)
    7. May (5)
    8. April (11)
    9. March (5)
    10. February (5)
    11. January (7)
  3. 2019 (19)
    1. December (1)
    2. November (2)
    3. October (1)
    4. September (6)
    5. July (1)
    6. June (1)
    7. May (3)
    8. April (2)
    9. March (1)
    10. February (1)
  4. 2018 (25)
  5. 2017 (26)
  6. 2016 (24)
  7. 2015 (31)
  8. 2014 (24)
  9. 2013 (25)
  10. 2012 (14)
  11. 2011 (25)
  12. 2010 (8)
  13. 2009 (14)
  14. 2008 (7)
  15. 2007 (13)
  16. 2006 (6)
  17. 2005 (11)
  18. 2004 (14)
  19. 2003 (4)