Social Work Students Serve and Lead in the 2020 Orientations

From left, Alyssa Brown, Mina Ouanvilay, and Liliana Rivas.

Four students earning their Bachelor of Social Work degree will be Student Orientation Leaders this fall, making it the largest representation of our students in the Department’s history.  Alyssa Brown, Mina Ouanvilay, Lexi Templeton, and Liliana Rivas are all ready to share their NC State experience with the incoming class.

While their motivations for pursuing this role may be different, they all share a common interest in helping their fellow students. Ms. Ouanvilay, a first-generation college student, shared her motivation for participating in the orientations. “As a first-gen, I’ve gone through the battles of FAFSA, struggling to figure out student housing and discovering a community that is right for me. I hope to be the mentor I never had and extend warm welcomes to our future wolfpack students! As an Orientation Leader, our role is to set up our students for success as they come into their first semester at NC State and I just cannot wait to bring advice with energy and light to any conversation,” she said.

Coming to a new city and school can be a difficult transition for many students. Ms. Brown, a former Residential Advisor at NC State, identifies with these challenges new students face. According to her, “What I’m looking forward to the most is answering any questions incoming students and their families have about life on NC State’s campus, as well as helping our incoming social work major and minor students.” In doing so, she hopes the students will gain a much deeper understanding of NC State.

Though, this year, the upcoming orientations will face an unprecedented challenge. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, NC State has transitioned the orientations to a virtual format. Despite these challenges, Ms. Rivas expresses her resolve to assist the incoming students. ” I’ll admit that I was a little bit upset to learn that orientation would be moved online due to the impact of COVID-19. I was really excited to be on campus and take part in an orientation like the one I attended a couple of years ago. However, we must adapt to our circumstances and learn to get excited for those, too. I’m now excited about facilitating online because it allows for creativity in how orientation leaders connect to new students and make them feel welcome. This creativity comes in the form of utilizing technology and social media to engage and connect. I look forward to this new challenge and to how orientation will unfold in this format,” she said.

Regardless of the format, our Department is excited to have our students represent the social work profession at the upcoming orientations. As a diverse and knowledgable group of students, they will surely bring unique perspectives to the programs.

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