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WLC Class Of: 2013
Adult Accelerated -
Business Management and Leadership
Occupation: Secretary/Treasurer, Milwaukee Police Association
Shawn Lauda was a member of the Milwaukee Police Department for
nearly 20 years when he decided to go back to school to not only fulfill a
lifetime dream of obtaining his bachelor’s degree and preparing for another
career after law enforcement, but to provide an example for his children. After
completing his associate degree at an area technical college, Shawn enrolled in
Wisconsin Lutheran College’s adult accelerated degree completion program.
The Importance of Servant
While at WLC, Shawn studied
business management and leadership, specifically servant leadership. Entering
the program, he didn’t think that the leadership courses would be significant to
him, but soon discovered that the servant leadership concepts being taught and
modeled were having a profound impact on his life.
Applying Knowledge and
During his years as a member of the
Milwaukee Police Department, Shawn became family with his fellow officers and
says he’ll “bleed blue forever.” That is why, in 2012, he decided to run for a
position on the Milwaukee Police Association (MPA) Executive Board, the union
board that represents all 1,600 Milwaukee police officers and detectives.
During his campaign for the Board, he utilized many of the skills that he learned
at WLC. For instance, he developed a strategy and timeline, created
professional flyers, sent emails, and tweaked his resume for distribution to
the membership of would-be voters, all concepts and skills he learned within
WLC’s program. He then went around the city to nearly all of the police
department’s districts and bureaus and spoke to officers and detectives at
their roll calls about his vision for the MPA.
Servant Leadership in Action
In October of 2012, Shawn was
elected to join the seven-member MPA Board as a part-time Trustee. The Executive
Board then later elected him in January of 2013 as their full-time
The WLC Experience
Shawn is grateful that he had the
opportunity to attend WLC and found it to be one of the best experiences of his
life. He says he thoroughly enjoyed working with each member of his cohort and
feels that he made some lifelong friends.
Shawn still makes his way back to
Wisconsin Lutheran College to regularly visit with staff and friends, and would
like to use the servant leadership skills that he learned in the program to
give back to the school in any way that he can.