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Excellence in Leadership award-winner Jonathan Lazatin’s ‘nurturing a strong community’

By Em Jankauski

The secret sauce to strong leadership is mentorship. Jonathan Lazatin, the Battery Workforce Challenge Year One’s Excellence in Leadership award-winner, embodies bold mentorship.

Lazatin is the project manager for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas & College of Southern Nevada BattChallenge team and doctoral student at UNLV studying mechanical engineering. We recently sat down with him for a Q&A. Check out his inspirational answers.


Q: What does earning this award mean to you and the entire University of Nevada, Las Vegas & College of Southern Nevada BattChallenge team?
“I am super grateful to have received this award, and I want to extend a huge thank you to the team for submitting such a wonderful nomination. To me, this award means that the work I have put into organizing and facilitating team projects and the effort I have placed in trying to be open and transparent about our team’s goals and processes has been seen and appreciated.

“For the team, I think it means that we are succeeding in creating an environment where team members feel like they’re learning and contributing to something important. Leadership is only partially about the outcome, but especially in the context of this competition, (it’s) more about how the students are learning to navigate a complex set of challenges, many of which they’ve never faced before. I hope as the competition progresses, our leadership team continues to grow our capabilities to guide team members, and that they feel confident in their skills and experience as they enter the workforce.”

Q: This award recognizes your commitment to mentorship and knowledge sharing. What is the drive behind all your fruitful mentorship efforts?
“The drive behind our mentorship effort is a desire to have all team members feel a sense of ownership and fulfillment from the work they have contributed to the project. (Given our) young team, there is often a gap between the students’ current skill sets and the required work needed to complete a task. Through coaching and mentoring, I hope students see their progress and feel empowered in their ability to meet the challenges ahead of them.”

Q: What legacy do you hope to leave on your students – our future battery workforce?
“No matter what path you take, there is always value in nurturing a strong community, continuing to learn and grow tangible skills, and developing greater self-awareness to build a life and body of work that is both challenging and fulfilling. I hope students in the program come away with a deeper understanding of how their individual contributions are part of a network of actions that lead to collective accomplishments.”

Watch team members Brendan O’Tool, lead faculty advisor; Yessenia Henriquez, communications lead; and Dustin Wick’s, business development lead, video submission to nominate Jonathan Lazatin for the Excellence in Leadership Award.

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