CSU, Chico News

Student Staff Members For Summer Orientation Program Win Awards

Date: 03-14-2008

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Student staff representing California State University, Chico’s Summer Orientation program won two awards at the 2008 National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) Region II conference in Anaheim Feb. 29 through March 2.

The 2008 NODA conference theme was “Oceans of Opportunity” and drew more than 1,500 professional and student attendees from colleges and universities in California, Nevada, Arizona and Hawaii. Twelve students from CSU, Chico attended the conference.

Travis Sluys, a senior history major and student co-director for CSU, Chico’s 2008 Summer Orientation program, led a three-person multicampus group to victory in the Undergraduate Case Study Competition, a contest which tests students’ problem-solving and presentational skills.

Sluys, along with Bob Reynolds, a junior communication major, also earned the Best Student-Led Presentation award for a workshop entitled “Smooth Sailing: Navigating Your Campus Tour.”

Another team of students also submitted a workshop proposal and was selected to present at the conference. That team included Cody Caudill, a junior English major; Monique Narvaez, a senior kinesiology major; and Jennifer Ponder, a senior liberal studies major and student Summer Orientation co-director. The workshop was entitled, “Go Fish: How Do You ‘Catch’ the Best Orientation Staff?”

“This is an exceptionally motivated, committed, talented and influential group of student leaders,” said Rebecca Berner, orientation coordinator and academic adviser. “These students play a pivotal role in the continued success of Chico State’s Orientation program and, most importantly, in the success of our new students.”

Berner said CSU, Chico student staff for Summer Orientation had submitted NODA conference proposals in the past, but this was the first year they had won awards.

“We are very pleased by the recognition of our talented Summer Orientation student staff,” said Meredith Kelley, interim vice provost for Enrollment Management. “These awards underscore the best attributes of our students: creative problem-solving, professional presentation skills and teamwork. Summer Orientation is a critical piece of our first-year efforts and student success, and the energy and enthusiasm of our student advisors contribute greatly.”

CSU, Chico’s Summer Orientation has been assisting new students to become familiar with campus and college life for approximately 30 years. The Summer Orientation program received a High Quality Learning Environments award from CSU, Chico’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2004.

In 2007, 6,067 incoming students and their parents attended one- or two-day Summer Orientation sessions. Summer Orientation program attendance by students and parents has increased 82 percent over the past 10 years.

CSU, Chico students have been part of the Summer Orientation staff throughout its history. Twenty-seven students will be on Summer Orientation staff in 2008.