Dylan Lyle, Journalism Major, Attended 2018 Net Impact Conference

Posted on 12/7/2018 11:24:34 AM

Dylan LyleThe 2018 Net Impact Conference offered life-changing experiences and networking opportunities for Up to Us team leaders and members in Phoenix, Arizona, Oct. 25 through Oct. 27.

Dylan Lyle, a senior Journalism and Public Relations Department major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, took full advantage of this opportunity and used the networking skills he’s been learning in his department to make some professional connections. Lyle is a team leader for the Up to Us competition. He attended the three-day event, which was completely funded by the program.

Net Impact is a nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in using business skills in support of various social and environmental causes. It serves both a professional organization and one of the largest student organizations among MBAs in the world. The program started in 1993 as a small network of MBA students who wanted to make a difference. Today, Net Impact is an entirely interdisciplinary network of students and professionals across the globe driving impact on campuses, throughout their careers and in their local communities.  

After arriving in Phoenix, he settled in at the Renaissance Hotel, where he and his roommate attended their first training seminar. It simple team building and understanding exercises, and everyone shared a few personal experiences regarding how they discovered the Up to Us program.

Lyle had learned about the program in his Intro to Public Relations class last spring. Dr. Michele Papakie, his professor, had involved the class in a campaign that spread awareness of the national debt. After that, Lyle was hooked. Papakie suggested he serve as a team leader for the organization in the fall.

At the conference, Lyle met the founder of the Green Bronx Machine, Stephen Ritz. The Green Bronx Machine is a non-profit powerhouse out of South Bronx, NYC. He is an educator and administrator who believes that students shouldn’t have to leave their communities to live, learn, and earn in a better one. He is expanding his organization to 22 states next year and will be employing hundreds of people. Lyle intends to be one of them.

“I was able to give him my elevator speech, on an actual elevator, and I only had 14 floors and a short walk to make an impression,” Lyle said. “I got his contact information, and we parted ways.”

Ritz was a keynote speaker at the conference and remembered Lyle and his elevator speech, including his name.

“He delivered the most inspiring presentation I have ever seen,” Lyle said. “After the presentation, during a photo opportunity, Ritz got my attention across the crowd and said, ‘Duncan Lyle, Kane, Pa., how are you?”

Ritz apologized and used Dylan’s correct first name the following morning when they crossed paths again. 

Another highlight of the trip was when Lyle and others decided to go out in the desert at 6 a.m. to explore and climb the mountains before the team building and leadership seminar began at 8:30 a.m.

He returned home on a flight from Phoenix to Pittsburgh with a layover in Salt Lake City, Utah. On the way, he was seated beside house music producer, Alex Cruz. Lyle plans to do some promotional work with him in the future.

“I’m a huge fan of his music and was able to make one final networking connection in the Entertainment Industry before returning home,” Lyle said.

Back at IUP, Lyle hosted two events sponsored by Up to Us in the Humanities and Social Sciences building lobby. They were both successful despite the hurried nature of students rushing to classes, combined with inclement weather. Lyle’s next step is to establish an official Up to Us chapter at IUP, so it is easier for other students to get involved.

For more information, contact Dylan Lyle at D.S.Lyle@iup.edu.