Zachary Keeler Takes on Two Roles: Presidential Leadership Circle and Student-Athlete

The Presidential Leadership Circle (PLC) is a unique opportunity experience provided to 12 selected seniors on campus. In this council, students develop their leadership skills through various opportunities provided by Frostburg State University. These students get the opportunity to shadow the president, network and have life changing experiences by providing for others in need.

Dr. Tom Bowling, who is currently serving as the interim president at Frostburg State University, works closely with the PLC striving for the success of these students. It is here where the students are able to shadow Dr. Bowling and assist him in getting involved with the school.

“We talk about campus related situations, we also go over leadership philosophies, and how we can become better leaders. Also, we go over Dr. Bowling’s philosophies. It’s kind of like a teaching thing,” said senior Zachary Keeler, who is also the catcher on FSU’s baseball team.

The process of becoming a member in the Presidential Leadership Circle first includes meeting the requirements, some of which include being a full time student, sustaining a GPA average of 3.0 or above and having completed 75 credit hours. After completing the application the next stage consists of multiple interviews.

Through the PLC, students are offered the opportunity to travel outside of Frostburg to provide for those in need. Just recently, five students within the Presidential Leadership Circle traveled to Uganda. One of the five students, Keeler, stated it was, “a life changing experience.” The two-week program consisted of “partnering with a water school in Uganda. It’s a non-profit that promotes clean water and clean sanitation . While we were there we painted a maternity ward and we also taught classes on clean sanitation and how they can purify water.” Along with their services of providing informative information, PLC students also assisted in building housing facilities.

Sustaining this position for the entire year, Keeler balances being a PLC member along with his busy baseball career, all while he prepares to graduate this spring with a double-major in business management and economics.

“It’s very tough. You just have to plan out when you’re going to do things,” Keeler said. Through this program, Keeler has realized much about “leading as a whole; when we went to Uganda we learned to be better leaders in a sense that we want to do better for other people. Leading is not a formal thing. It is doing things by example and motivating people because they see you doing things that they might not normally do.”

Leadership is an acquired ability that Keeler is able to use through his baseball career. In baseball, he is able to set a positive example and push his teammates into performing to the best of their abilities. As FSU Baseball Coach Guy Robertson previously stated in an interview, “I think what we have to do is maximize the potential and ability of the 2016 group.” The potential of these Bobcats was shown this past weekend as they came off of a 3-0 tournament win in North Carolina. Keeler noted, “I think we really came together, it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the season and what we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to perform on the field so I think we did good and it’s a really good start for us.”

The team will travel back to Fayetteville, North Carolina to compete against Farmingdale State, SUNY Brockport and Pitt-Greensburg this upcoming weekend February 26-28. Keeler will continue to assist the Bobcats as they hope to go further than their previous season while he develops his leadership skills through the Presidential Leadership Circle.

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