Sunday, April 10, 2016

FAMU orientation leaders win big at Southern Regional Workshop

In preparation for the upcoming summer orientations, the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), Orientation Leaders ventured to Greenville, N.C. to attend the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop March 11-13.

During the workshop the group worked with institutions across the region to share knowledge and learn more about the field of orientation, transition, and retention.

Comprised of 21 undergraduate and graduate students and staff members, the FAMU Orientation Team participated and competed in an array of SROW traditions with schools from all over the Southeast.

While there, FAMU’s team racked up the trophies, taking home a first place award for their Saturday Night Live themed skit in the annual Skit Competition; first place in the Program Banner competition; and first place in the medium delegation of the Spirit Competition, an award bestowed upon them by other participating schools.

Corday Dukes, a FAMU graduate student, has been attending SROW since 2011. While it wasn’t her first year at SROW, this year was the first time Dukes competed in the Graduate Case Study, and she was awarded Best Communicator. With many years of workshops under her belt, Dukes said she is able to truly appreciate how each school has grown and evolved and implemented new techniques that will benefit their student bodies.

“It was really special attending this year as a graduate student,” Dukes said. “Just seeing how everyone has evolved has been really cool. Seeing how different orientation leaders have different skills and how they’re able to bring in somebody who’s shy and make them feel comfortable and spirited for their university was great.”

As she closes out her first year at FAMU, freshman orientation leader Audri Selter said she remembers her own orientation like it was yesterday. Selter said it was the energy and enthusiasm of her own orientation leaders that not only made her feel welcomed at FAMU, but also encouraged her to join the orientation team.

“Being a freshman myself and recently being on the other end of this experience, I know how they’re feeling. I know they’re feeling nervous and anxious, because I was just there,” Selter explained. “I remember meeting my own orientation leaders, and they were the first faces I really saw on campus and trusted, and as orientation leaders that’s what we’re there for.”

Upon their return from SROW, the orientation leaders met with President Elmira Mangum. She congratulated the students on their wins and thanked them for their efforts in ensuring incoming students feel welcomed to campus.

“You all really do have one of the first memorable interactions that the incoming class of freshmen experience, so what you do is so important,” Mangum said to the group of orientation leaders. “They’re looking to you all for that vital information, and it’s great that you guys can give them that first great FAMU experience.”

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