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Ignite Your Strengths Video Testimonials

As part of the University's commitment to developing and nurturing the whole person, the Ignite Your Strengths Initiative engages students, faculty, staff and alumni in strengths-based development, providing opportunities for the University community to engage in activities and reflection about ways to acknowledge and build upon their strengths.

The video testimonials below feature members of the Villanova community, speaking about the impact of the initiative. 


Madison Mullen: Using Your Strengths

"In my nursing class as well as in my ancients class we do a lot of group work so

using my two CliftonStrengths of focus, which allows me to be more empathetic

with my classmates and understand where they're coming from, as well as

learner which is differentiating the different strengths between the people in my

class I can be a leader in that group setting and figure out how we can best

collaborate as a team to do the project at hand."

Madison Mullen, Class of 2023

English (United States)

Aaron Sykes: Strengths Working Together

"All my strengths seem to build on and add to each other. They weren't distinct

things and they all had their own separate areas which they manifested

themselves they sort of overlapped and added to each other. So my five

strengths were learner, input, analytical, restorative and an achiever and well the

first three I kind of always saw myself. I saw how like I was able to not only enjoy

the collecting of information, but you know ways in which to apply them in

other ways so always looking at different angles trying to find new ways on

which I can contribute to a situation. Restorative kind of brings them into a

practical sense where I can, you know, apply all the information and find ways in

which I can use them to achieve a solution. And then achiever is something that

I just remember my mom always telling me when I was little like always doing

your best and putting your best effort forward so just the fact that it manifested

itself in the achiever strength it's just really like a sign to me that I'm doing

something right and it's great to hear those things things that you always heard

about for your whole life and find ways that you can actually do these things in

the real world. The CliftonStrengths initiative has been so helpful to my

development as a person and as a professional in the future."

Aaron Sykes, Class of 2020

English (United States)

Aaron Sykes: Understanding Your Strengths

"It gave me sort of things I always knew about myself so, for example, it said I'm

a learner and for as long as I can remember I love just absorbing information and

just finding new ways to learn things and new skills, but it also gave me other

strengths that I never thought that somebody would say about me. So for

example, I'm a restorative which means I like solving problems and as I reflect

upon it I realized how much I enjoyed doing those things when I saw a problem

or I saw situations that needed resolutions I always tried to work towards finding

a solution towards them and as a chemical engineer I think that's our goal in life

is to sort of see those problems and find solutions to them. So I think finding that

strength and realizing that my major is engineering just means that I'm on the

right path to my career so I think it definitely found ways that I can do better and

sort of reflect on where I need to go from here."

Aaron Sykes, Class of 2020

English (United States)

Aaron Sykes: Utilizing Your Strengths

"I'm coming in as a freshman you're really learning about yourself in various

different ways and trying to learn about what you want to do for the rest of your

life so it's kind of stressful to figure out what you're good at and the

CliftonStrengths just gave me a shortcut to do those things and to actively use

them on my time on campus. So I did the CliftonStrengths initiative when I was a

sophomore and after that it just motivated me and encouraged me to sort of get

involved in ways in which I can utilize those strengths so after my sophomore

year I became involved in a NSBE, the National Society of Black Engineers, on

the E board and sort of utilizing those strengths to build programming and doing

events for underrepresented students in STEM and then also in the orientation

program where now all the new students have to take the CliftonStrengths

initiative and since I had that experience of finding my strengths and finding

ways to utilize them I was able to communicate to them on how they can do

that as well and tell them that these are ways that these are things that you

always know about yourself and you can utilize them to make an impact not

only on this campus but in other ways and for the rest of your life so it's been

very, very impactful on my journey here."

Aaron Sykes, Class of 2020

English (United States)


Noelle Comolli: Using CliftonStrengths in the Classroom

"I use the strengths initiative in my freshman class. So what we do is after the

students have just taken the CliftonStrengths during their orientation I have

them in their first seven weeks as engineers, and we talk about building teams

and how to build strong teams, and we have a map where we map out on each

team which strengths everyone has and we talk about if your team has a

lot of achievers everyone on there's an achiever and nobody has maybe

relationship-building skills. That might be great in that your team is going to get

the project done, but what if conflict arises? How is the team going to manage

conflict. So we like to use it as a way to leverage kind of how different strengths

can build together and how if you're all the same strength maybe you need to be

aware of weaknesses that you have on a team."

Noelle Comolli, PhD

English (United States)

Crystal Lucky: Embracing Your Strengths as a Scholar

"Taking the assessment and realizing that four of my top five were all in that

relationship building category. I had a real aha moment. I recognized oh that's

why I've been the way that I have been most of my life it's the way; it's the

reason probably that I'm usually the last person at an event to leave because I've

been talking to everybody. When I took the strengths assessment I started

thinking about myself as not only an associate dean and I started thinking about

the ways that I work with students and with my faculty colleagues and

also who I am in the classroom, but I also started thinking about who I am as a

scholar and as a researcher. And one of the things because I am such an

extrovert and I am such a people oriented person I will admit that the kinds of

isolated work and discipline that is required to sit and to write was often very

difficult for me and I realized it wasn't because I didn't necessarily like to write,

but I think that for me I was trying to fit myself into the mold of what I thought a

writer should look like or even what an academic how that person should fulfill

that research component of her or his life.

Being isolated in a room by myself for hours trying to write I realized was really

difficult and I wasn't really comfortable doing it, and when I started thinking

about who I am as a researcher within the strengths context I started realizing

and paying attention to when I was my most productive and when I am my most

productive I am alone, but I'm in the company of other people that I don't know.

And I started really analyzing that and I realized it's because I am a relationship

building person I don't like that kind of isolation for long periods of time, but I

know that I need to be alone to do the work and I finally stopped trying to fit

myself in somebody else's mold and I get my work done in a way that works for

my strengths."

Crystal Lucky, PhD

English (United States)


Stephen Sheridan: Using CliftonStrengths in the Workplace

"A lot of the conversations I've had about the strengths initiative have been with

other staff and we've kind of thought about ways in which we use our strengths

that maybe we don't think about. I remember talking to one colleague and they

were saying, 'I don't feel like I used these strengths at all in my day to day job.'

But as we talked further they were kind of able to understand it's like okay well

maybe I do do this maybe I don't see it in the output but I see it in the

relationships I have with my boss, with my friends, with my colleagues and that

was really important so people felt as if okay maybe I am using these on a day-

to-day basis but it might not be in my deliverable at work but it's definitely in the


Stephen Sheridan

English (United States)