Leading from the back
On his desk, Trey Rorer ’23 keeps three index cards on which he has written a series of goals in various categories: academic (get a 3.0 GPA or higher), athletic (score five goals in lacrosse this season) and personal (read the Bible, pray daily, share the gospel).
Trey likes to challenge himself to grow. He is a deep thinker and a curious question-asker. He spends his leisure time listening to podcasts on wide-ranging topics such as workplace preparation, emotional intelligence and physical, intellectual and spiritual development. He likes to lift weights, play the drums at his church and practice his lacrosse movements. He’s also a thoughtful student leader who loves sharing his knowledge to help others.
He is self-aware—although he is capable of stepping into the spotlight to lead, he prefers a different style of leadership. He’s not usually the loud guy occupying center stage, directing hordes of people to follow him. “I like to lead from the back,” he remarks. He likes to be the guy who knows a lot and builds relationships with people who then come to him with their questions.
As a junior on the men’s lacrosse team, Trey looks forward to the opportunities for mentoring younger players. “I’m excited to be able to lead my new teammates in that way and to help them, to make their experience better,” he says. Though he’s not one to wear his heart on his sleeve, he’s also not afraid to share his mistakes so that the other players can learn from them.
The depth chart of the team has grown this year, and Trey knows it will now be more competitive to earn time on the field. But he appreciates the value of competition and the practice it will give him for going into the workforce. “That’s just going to push me that much harder,” he reflects.
Trey brings the same service-oriented, improvement-focused attitude to his work as a student life programming assistant. “Programming assistants are problem-solvers,” he comments. When he noticed students whose glasses fogged up atop their masks, he requested some funding from the student life office for anti-fog spray and microfiber cloths that he could hand out. Last year, Trey knew students needed safe ways to interact while social distancing, so he helped plan two silent disco events with plenty of space for attendees to dance and have fun. The events were a hit.
“I’ve gotten better at problem-solving,” Trey says, musing on his experience. “It’s helped me lead and take initiative and fix things.” He keeps these three principles in mind when tackling his job duties: Always have the mindset of serving students. Try to represent as many students as possible. Be active in developing in your areas of weaknesses.
Trey has gleaned lessons from watching his lacrosse coach and the student life staff, observing their leadership and communications styles. “Zena is a strong, understanding, compassionate leader, bringing people together from different areas,” he notes. Similar to Zena, Trey strives to share his knowledge with compassion, informing people and expanding their thinking without setting himself above them.
He wants to bring this approach to his career as well. As an exercise science major, Trey is working toward becoming a strength and conditioning coach or a personal trainer. “I want to work with people and show them how to achieve whatever their fitness goal is through exercise,” he says.
As one of his steps toward this goal, he took a kinesiology class last year and enjoyed it so much that he will be a peer tutor for kinesiology this year. The class helped him understand what all the muscles in the body do and how they interact with each other. “I like to know the inner workings of things,” he says. “Seeing things that are tangibly building on top of each other to make me into the knowledgeable person that I want to be is really exciting.”