Learning to Lead Podcast March 2012: Penny Semaia

This year, I’ve started a new leadership podcast and a newsletter called, “Learning to Lead”. In the podcast, I will be interviewing leaders as well as sharing what I have been learning about leadership. My hope is that through these resources, you will grow both as a person and as a leader. If you would like to subscribe to this podcast through iTunes, click here!

In addition to the podcast, I will be sending out a. The newsletter will be published 1-2 times a month with new leadership content not found on my blog, leadership quotes, leadership resources, and interviews with leaders. Subscribe to the Newsletter Now!

Episode 3 – March 2012: Penny Semaia

In this episode, I interviewed my friend, Penny Semaia. Penny Semaia is currently the Assistant Athletic Director of Student Life at the University of Pittsburgh. He was a four-year letterwinner with the Panthers from 2000-04 and earned his bachelors’ degree in anthropology with related areas in sociology and performance from Pitt in 2003. In 2011, Penny Semaia was named an introductory member of the 2011-12 National Collegiate Advisory Board, Semaia was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He is also a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, a volunteer with the Asian and Pacific Islanders of America Scholarship Fund and a member of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Most recently he is the recipient of the 2012 Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in Service to the Community.





Tell us about yourself! (where you were born, how you got to Pitt, how you got into the position you’re in now)

You’ve said giving back was instilled at you from a very young age, how was that instilled in you?

In high school and college, you always seemed to get involved with activities and leadership, can you talk about why it’s so important to be a part of these things, how they have helped you become who you are today?

What were or are some of the best leadership experiences you’ve had? Why?

Tell us about your experience as a football player at Pitt! What did that teach you about life and leadership?

What is the Life skills program at Pitt?

What specifically do you teach the students?

How do you prepare student athletes for success in and after college?

What sets some student athletes apart from others?

What student athlete have you seen overcome the largest obstacles in their time at Pitt?

What are the main issues you find student athletes facing? How do you help them overcome them?

What have you learned from leading student athletes?

One of my favorite lessons you teach is, High five and a smile! Elaborate on that!

Who are some of your heroes and mentors and what did they teach you? (2-3)

What books have influenced you?

Where is Penny in 20 years?

Any last pieces of advice for our listeners?

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