HARROGATE, Tennessee, April 9, 2019—Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Lincoln Ambassadors participated in the Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW) March 15-17 at Coastal Carolina University in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
The LMU contingent of 13 students joined 2,200 others from universities across the southeast. LMU won first place in tee shirt design, third place in banner design and LMU Assistant Dean of Students Elise Syoen was nominated as a 2019 Regional Outstanding Orientation Transition Retention (OTR) Professional.
“We took part in a lot of conversations about how we make students feel connected and how to keep them here at LMU,” said Syoen.
The LMU delegation included juniors Alayna Miracle of Middlesboro, Kentucky; Dawson Delph of Tazewell, Tennessee; Laura Lawson of Gate City, Virginia; Morgan Harville of Thorn Hill, Tennessee; sophomores Jessica Saganich of Lake City, Tennessee; Sam Stanfill of LaFollette, Tennessee; Taegan Allen of Memphis, Tennessee; freshmen Noah Canady of Harlan, Kentucky; Shelby Murphy of Chilhowie, Virginia; Austen Smith of Murfreeseboro, Tennessee; Gage Keck of New Tazewell, Tennessee; Emma Cummings of Knoxville, Tennessee; and Robin Reed of Cherokee, North Carolina.
Miracle and Delph, who serve as co-directors of the Lincoln Ambassadors, presented “From Passenger to Co-Pilot – Becoming a Peer Supervisor” as part of the Saturday workshop sessions for attendees.
“SROW has an energy that is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. Every student there has the same goal: to improve their university and bring back the skills necessary to make first year students feel welcomed,” Miracle said. “This conference is a reminder that a leadership position is so much more than a title, but instead an action and an example. Our entire delegation is excited to bring back what we learned and use it to enhance the first year student experience.”
“The SROW experience was one that is nearly unmatchable,” Delph said. “It is easy to provide students with the tools they need to be leaders, but leadership is a quality that must be emulated by those who surround students. SROW is simply that: groups of like-minded individuals coming together to acquire the tools they need to successful leaders and being surrounded by professionals and peers who are the true embodiment of leaders.”
Lincoln Ambassadors prepared for the conference for three months, changing lyrics to popular songs with choreography for the (S3D) song, step, skit and dance competition. The conference, themed “SROWtally Tacky Tourists,” included group sessions and activities designed to sharpen the skills of undergraduate student orientation leaders. SROW is a regional conference of NODA, the association for orientation, transition and retention in higher education. NODA Region 6 includes nine states from the southeast.
Lincoln Ambassadors are upper-division students whose primary role is to help first-year students understand what it means to be a Railsplitter and succeed at LMU. The Lincoln Ambassador serves as a resource and guide throughout New Student Registration, Welcome Weekend and into the fall semester by assisting with the facilitation of the UACT 100 course. The Lincoln Ambassadors contribute to the orientation, transition and retention of students, by actively engaging with them during their first year, helping to create connection within the LMU community.
Lincoln Ambassadors are chosen through an application and interview process through LMU Student Services. Those selected enroll in a credit-bearing course called “Foundations of Leadership” where they spend the spring semester learning how to embody the role of leader and mentor to new students. The Lincoln Ambassadors return throughout the summer to work New Student Registration days and arrive on campus early in fall to prepare for Welcome Weekend. They are required to maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA while co-facilitating the Intro to College Success UACT 100 course.
The mission of NODA is to provide education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention. NODA was chartered in 1976 and continues the tradition of orientation, retention and transition professionals who have met annually for over 40 years. Today, NODA is an international association comprised of professional administrators, students, faculty and related organizations.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing
educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus
is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and
graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280
or email at [email protected].