NSI snapshot interviews

Photo by Christina Roby

The Echo asked around and got some questions answered from people involved with NSI and new students.

Misty Jaggers, Director for Student Success

The Echo: How do you pick which programming to use at NSI?

Jaggers: “Each year the NSI committee meets shortly after NSI has concluded to review the program and review information from the [evaluations] the parents and students complete.  We use that information to help shape what we want to incorporate for the following year.  I also utilize resources from the National Orientation Directors Association and the First Year Experience Resource Center to make sure we are being intentional in meeting the needs of our incoming students through our programming each year.”


This year, all the freshmen were required to take the Clifton Strengths Finder Test and part of the monthly NSI sessions will be workshops in which students will learn how to live in to their strengths.


The Echo: How many years have you been planning to incorporate strengths?

Jaggers: “The Strengths conversation has been an ongoing conversation in different parts of SNU’s campus for about the past 15 years.  We made the decision to incorporate strengths this past year after Dr. Gresham committed to providing the funds for each new student to take the strengths assessment.  We felt like that was too important of an opportunity to pass up.”


The Echo: What is the value of incorporating strengths?

Jaggers: “The whole strengths philosophy is that we are more productive and successful when we are living in to our strengths, we are doing what we naturally do best in ways that are natural to us.  The strengths tool and philosophy are so beneficial in helping students navigate the transition to college life.  It also provides a common, positive language to describe our unique differences and begin to value those differences.”


The Echo: What is your favorite part of NSI?

Jaggers: “One of my favorite parts of NSI is getting to sit back and watch the new relationships that are formed and watch new students become a valued part of our SNU community.  I also love getting to work with our incredible student mentors and getting to watch the relationships between faculty and student mentors develop.  Student and Faculty Mentors are really some of my favorite people on campus!”


The Echo: What is your least favorite part?

Jaggers: “There sure isn’t a least favorite part!”


The Echo: What is the funniest thing that has happened as a part of NSI this year?

Jaggers: “I don’t have an answer to this one yet… I have a feeling it might involve students trying to learn our cultural ‘line dances’ at Southern Supper on Monday night.”


Brittany Taylor, Athletic Training, Freshman

Kibo Grant, Kinesiology, Freshman

The Echo:  What is the value in NSI?

Taylor: “The 5 day experience really helps everyone get to know everyone else. I like getting to know people outside the classroom.”


Grant: “I really enjoyed getting to know more about MSN, SGA, and CCC. I want to be involved if it works with my schedule”


The Echo: What is the best thing your mentor did for you?

Taylor: “Shelby [Wilson], from group 10, was really inclusive which was important for me coming to a new place.”


Grant: “I appreciate that Serena [Del Campo] and Bobby [Cranston] blow up my phone all the time to help me remember when events are. This shows me that they care. They also really try hard to get to know me as a family.”


The Echo: What was your favorite part of NSI?


Taylor: “I liked the games during the siren because it gave me a chance to know people outside my family group, which I’ve been with the majority of the time.”


Grant: “I really enjoyed the Bracken lawn party, the impromptu two stepping party in the science building and the tradition of  the candle lighting ceremony at the President’s welcome.”


Dion Word, Sophomore, iCaptain

The Echo: What are the iCaptain responsibilities at NSI?

Word: “We were in charge of the games at the Siren, speaking at Get Involved, helping with the set up and tear down of events and making relationships with new students so we can draft them in the future [for intramurals].”


The Echo: How did you become an iCaptain?

Word: “Matt Shellenberger [intramural director] asked me to be one because he said I was well liked around campus.”


The Echo: What is NSI like for you?

Word: “I feel old and I miss the participation. I wish I was a freshman again.”