McDonough Scholar Gabe Tingle ’26 (West Lafayette, Ohio) was invigorated with ideas as he left the 2024 Naval Academy Leadership Conference with fellow Marietta College students and McDonough staff.
“I’m starting the Global Leadership section this semester, so I can’t wait to bring my experiences that I’ve had here back to my class at Marietta,” said Tingle, an Accounting major. “I’ve met people from Bulgaria, Germany, Spain and Poland, and also people from all over the country. I tried to connect with them to share my culture and learn some of theirs, and also engage with them about the leadership practices we were hearing at the conference.”
Thanks to donor support, Tingle, Jon White ’26 (Davisville, West Virginia), Ronnie Hess ’27 (Fredericktown, Ohio), Gezahagn Alameraw ’25 (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Office of Student Life Area Coordinator Brittanie Clair and McDonough’s Community Engagement Coordinator Jason Nulton were able to attend the conference, which was themed “Learning to Lead: The Lifelong Pursuit of Service.”
The Naval Academy’s Center for Experiential Leadership Development hosts the event. Nulton said ROTC units and civilian programs like McDonough also typically attend. This year’s featured presenters included representatives from Naval Academies of 15 allied nations, including Ukraine.
“We had a number of great speakers and panelists, including Lt. Brad Snyder, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who was blinded in Afghanistan by an IED and ended up competing as a swimmer in the 2012, 2016, and 2020 Paralympics, racking up six gold and two silver medals,” Nulton said.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the conference was working in small groups that were intentionally comprised of people from other institutions. Nulton said each attendee had a number on their nametag, which assigned them to groups with corresponding numbers.
“Of the six of us here together, we all had different groups, so every one of us was part of a different group, which forced networking and interaction and discussion with people from different schools and backgrounds,” Nulton said.
Tingle’s group included students from different military academies and ROTC programs and people who were advanced in their careers.
“That was probably the most beneficial part for me — to be able to ask people about their experiences and then connect them with my experiences in my civilian life and how I could connect that with leadership and apply that to my life,” Tingle said. “The biggest message of this leadership conference was self-reflection. How can you self-reflect, change what you need to change to better your organization or whatever part of life you are trying to improve for others around you? It really brought things back to what I am learning in McDonough. I see those concepts being used by other leadership groups, like the military and the different military programs.”
Nulton and Tingle both expressed gratitude for being able to attend, learn from, and bring ideas back to Marietta College.
“A lot of the costs were covered by donors — so their support really has provided this memorable experience to our group because it exposed them to something that is bigger than they are and outside of the campus perspective they’re used to seeing,” Nulton said. “It was very broadening and valuable.”
Tingle, who is from a rural area in Coshocton County, believes it is experiences like being selected to attend national and international conferences and having opportunities to network with diverse groups are what sets Marietta College apart from other colleges and universities.
“Not only that, but Marietta College gives you every opportunity to have close connections with all of the faculty and staff members, who do everything they can to open doors to new experiences for you,” Tingle said. “I’d tell any student looking at colleges that Marietta is full of opportunities and will serve as a launching pad for exposure to lots of things.”