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Catawba offers students a taste of campus life

SALISBURY — Almost 50 Catawba College first-year students participated in one of two Catawba Advantage Workshops held recently on campus. For these students, it was an early opportunity to ease their transition from high school senior to first-year college student.
Participating students had a chance to stay overnight on campus in a residence hall, interact with faculty, staff and upperclass students, learn about academic requirements, expectations and surviving the social scene on campus. Fun activities for the two groups of participants included attending a Kannapolis Intimidators game, bowling, an ice cream social and a popsicle party.
Upperclass mentor-led team building activities included water balloon toss; egg relay/toss; gumdrop towers; name association games and iPhone charades.
Participant Jonathan Ruiz of Salisbury attended West Rowan High School and will enter Catawba in August. He said, “The workshop was very engaging. Meeting with some professors made it feel like we were already in class. It was amazing!”
Participant Alysha Shaver of Salisbury, who attended Carson High School, said, “The workshop was fun and informative. I can’t wait to start school in August!”
The workshops were coordinated by Andie Lynch ’06, Catawba’s director of retention and academic support services. “This workshop was designed to help these students be able to confidently walk on campus in August with the knowledge and ability to be a successful student,” Lynch said.
Additional faculty and staff who assisted with the planning and execution of sessions for the students included Dr. Sheila Brownlow, professor of psychology and director of the first-year experience, and Dr. J. Michael Bitzer, provost and associate professor of political science, both of whom led a session on understanding academic requirements and expectations;
Dr. Kenneth Clapp, chaplain and senior vice president, who led a session on values;
Student affairs staff included Ben Smith, dean of students; Kelly Heinemann, area coordinator for R.A. programing and assistant to the director of housing; Emily Schneider, assistant director of housing and residential life and wellness director; Kara Ostlund, associate dean of students and director of residence life; Dr. Nan Zimmerman, director of counseling and disability services; and Thomas Giles, assistant director of admissions and transfer and student affairs coordinator. The staff collaborated to lead multiple sessions on diversity and inclusion on campus, being part of the Catawba family, surviving the social scene, living on campus, understanding the academic calendar, getting involved on campus and helpful tips and tricks for college.
Incoming freshmen Zack Tellier, who attended Central Cabarrus in Concord, said, “The workshop was such a great experience and I loved all the people I met. It proved to me why I chose Catawba.”

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