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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan-March 2014 > Student Leaders: Chad Littlefield

Student Leaders: Chad Littlefield

Chad Littlefield is a unique leader in the College of Education who works to make a difference one smile at a time.
Student Leaders: Chad Littlefield

Chad Littlefield

UNIVERSITY PARK—Don’t laugh, but Chad Littlefield, an alumnus of the Rehabilitation and Human Services program and a current graduate student in Learning, Design, and Technology, started his leadership experience with a red, foam clown nose.

Littlefield believes that people are valuable and worthwhile, and his leadership style is influenced by his passion for people, relationships and community.

“For me, the most important part of being a person is the connection with people,” said Littlefield.

As a freshman, Littlefield founded The Clown Nose Club (CNC), a student organization that believes that people matter and genuine positivity is worth spreading.

In a 2013 TEDxPSU Talk, Littlefield had an opportunity to talk about this belief and share his philosophy of what he calls positive social risks

Today, Littlefield works with World in Conversation (WinC), an organization that aims to facilitate dialogues that expand perspectives and invite greater understanding.

“My job is to sit eight strangers down together in a room and talk about the stuff you are not supposed to talk about, like race, gender, and culture issues,” said Littlefield. He added that his role is not to supply answers, but to facilitate or help smooth the process of conversation.

Littlefield said his leadership philosophy has been informed by his work at WinC. “I believe in conversational leadership, not directive leadership,” said Littlefield. “There is value in leading by helping people see themselves and what they can do. I want to have a conversation with the people I am leading. Rather than point them in some direction, I like to work toward that direction together.”

Littlefield said he would like to someday take the ideas that are entrenched in CNC as well as what he has learned at WinC and form a company that offers consulting services based around interpersonal skills, communication and team building.

--by Kevin Sliman (December 2013)