Loudoun Hosts 2nd Annual Your Student Success Conference

This fall, the Loudoun Campus held its second annual Your Student Success Conference (YSSC), part of the “Stay Strong” student success initiative co-sponsored by members of Achieving the Dream and Student Services.

Laura Siko, enrollment management director, and Karen Doheney, Loudoun’s Achieving the Dream Committee co-chair, headed up the planning team for the three-day conference that introduced students to resources on Campus, such as the Tutoring Center, Library Services and NOVACard, and made them aware of strategies they could use to navigate life at NOVA comfortably and successfully.

Nearly a dozen faculty members volunteered to lead 45-minute workshops covering diverse topics, from how to read a syllabus and how to communicate with professors, to how to make a good presentation with PowerPoint and study and write effectively in college.

Student Services staff from Counseling, Student Life and Financial Aid also joined in, giving workshops on accessing and understanding advisement reports, transferring to universities, getting involved on campus and making financially sound decisions. Librarians Julie Combs and Chrystie Greges showed students how to make use of the many resources at the library, and NOVA Police shared essential safety tips and strategies for conflict resolution.

All in all, over 225 students learned about the Loudoun Campus and how they could take charge of their learning, degree progress and interactions with professors and fellow students during the conference. There were also fun and quality interactions between the faculty, staff and students. A lunchtime pizza party and Success Fair, complete with games and prizes, made the event entertaining and interactive, too.

One of the highlights of this year’s conference was the presentation on coping with math anxiety, co-presented by Professor Joe Agnich and student Zac Kim, who gave a demonstration of how math and science concepts can be fun and interesting to learn. Kim’s engaging explanation of how not to slip on a banana peel used concepts of calculus and physics, along with a liberal dose of humorous banana puns, to demystify math, perfectly connected to Agnich’s compassionate explanation of why students experience math anxiety and what they could do to overcome it. Students left the session with smiles and relieved looks on their faces.

YSSC organizers are already planning for next fall’s Your Student Success Conference to help Loudoun’s students “Start Strong and Stay Strong.”

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