Student Government Association Leadership Training Summer 2019

Yesterday, each Student Government Association attended a cross-campus leadership training. They shared connections, discussed setting an agenda for the upcoming semester, learned tips and tricks for surveying students, and did some very important self reflection on how to combat holding inherent biases.

You’ll notice some quirky pictures below because there has to be some fun when Student Life is involved! The group completed different team building activities like human charades and a game called “the maze”. 


Overall, we left the day feeling excited and energized for the upcoming semester! 


To learn more about getting involved with any one of the campus Student Government Associations, email onlinestulife@nvcc.edu 
with your name and campus of interest! 

Join the Business Student Interest Group!

Interested in Business Related Topics?

Join the Business Student Interest Group for NOVA Online.  Engage in business related discussions, guest interviews, article sharing, tips, and more- online!

To join or to find out more information contact the group leader, Kaleigh, at  kmw2998@email.vccs.edu.

Amber’s Recap on Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break – Roanoke, VA 

Amber Dunn is an online student working towards a degree in Film Studies. She shares her experience spending Spring break with Student Life in order to volunteer and give back to the community!

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Spring Break. A time to catch up with your friends. Maybe you and your besties hop in the car and go on a road trip. Or, your family might decide to soak up some sun rays on the beach. Whatever you do, you are having fun. Making memories with the people you hold close to your heart. Would you ever consider spending Spring Break with people you didn’t know? I’m talking about complete. Strangers. Would you be willing to spend Spring Break working? How would you feel if part of your Spring Break was spent getting dirty?

I was a little hesitant when the words “Alternative Spring Break” popped up on my screen. I thought, ”spend part of my time doing labor!” My best friend, Heather, convinced me. She exclaimed “Come on! It will be fun!” I decided “More time with my best friend, why not.”

The night before I left for the trip I was contemplating attending. At the time I was enrolled in an online course, and had a ton of work due plus an exam. I was worried I was not going to be able to finish the assignments, and adequately study. Then I reflected on the past month. I spent the entire month writing essays, and applying for what felt like 100 universities! I told myself, “you need this break.” The next morning, I was on my way to Roanoke, VA.

I did not except my life to be impacted within the three days. The first day we helped clean Mt. Zion AME church and settled in. The second day we helped Roanoke Rescue Mission. We helped package and give out food to families in need. It was a life changing experience because the quality of the food was superior. I have helped give back to families in need before, and the food these families typically received was non-perishables. The food Roanoke Rescue Mission gave out to their community in need was perishable and non-perishable. Food that had quality. Plus, they also provided dog or cat food. I was blown away by the food the community received. It was food with love.

Later in the day we went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. While we were there we helped clean the store, rearrange books, and move shelves. The best part was learning about the mission of Habitat for Humanity, and hearing about the lives it has changed through ReStore.

The last day we spent going to church for six hours. You read it correctly. Church, for six hours. Now, now. You are probably thinking, “Church? Six hours?” I know, I know. It was wonderful. The reason we attended Church was to experience a different element. Personally, attending Church spoke to me. Spring Break was at a time, two years ago I applied for nine universities. I was devastated my applications did not turn out the way I envisioned it. I did get accepted into one school, Spelman University, but I couldn’t attend due to a promise I made to myself over eight years ago. I promised myself I would graduate college debt free.

As I sat in Church I reflected upon how I improved since then. I made tremendous progress. I saw how all the rejections came together and led me in a better direction. After Church we went back to the Rescue Mission to help serve food to homeless families. One thing I noticed as I served these families was how polite and thankful they were. It warmed my heart when people looked me in the eyes and said, “Thank you. God Bless.” I could feel the sincerity behind their words.

Once we were done serving Pastor Ziglar took us on a mini-tour of the city. We drove to The Roanoke Star. As we approached the star we witnessed a breath-taking view of the city, and its life.

After we gathered our breaths, we grabbed ice cream and headed back to Mt. Zion. The next morning it was time to depart. By the conclusion of the trip I got to know my trip members better and see a new community. In fact, I was bummed the trip wasn’t an entire week. It felt amazing giving back and meeting new people. If you are ever given the chance between Spring Break or ALTERNATIVE Spring Break, take the latter. You never know how your life might change.

Amber Dunn aed2543@email.vccs.edu

Becoming a Leader in Group Projects

Check out this week’s Student Spotlight blog post  from Monica Lizarazo. Monica is an international student studying English. Group projects are never easy, but stepping up to take a leadership role within your group can be very rewarding. Monica shares three concepts that spark successful group leadership. 

Becoming a Leader in Group Projects

We all want to be a leader at some point in our lives, and it may be more important to want to be a leader while in college. You feel you need to lead group projects, participate a lot in your classes, explain lectures to other classmates or listen to your teacher, hey! Great job. All of these are signs you are loving that course. Thus, do not stop or get frustrated because your group does not work as well as you would like. Remember, leadership could be harder when you share different cultures, ages, and backgrounds. The key is to train your native leader to manage team-work based on three concepts: empathy, problem-solving, and synergistic communication.

If you are already in charge of a group, the first step you should study is empathy. This skill means to approach to the others’ thoughts; colloquially, being in others´ shoes. Consider that a project´s success will not be measured by the number of directions you could give to your classmates. This depends on how understanding you can be with them because they struggle as much as you do, but; you are their leader. Think in some questions such as who is my group? What are their other roles? Do they work or are they only students? Are they Americans or from another country? What are their majors? As much as you know your partners, you will get good ideas about their capacity and interest in the project to do the best team-work.

Besides understanding your team, if something falls on the way, you should never blame someone. You make them work together to figure out possible solutions, you are the problem solver. One more question is, ask yourself in silence to think better, what happened? Why did not we understand our goal? What are our options to fix it? Looking for someone to blame won’t help you, but it will make you waste time. Mohandas Gandhi said, “As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him” (qt Borton). If she or he did not send their part of the assignment; well, you are the leader. Did you have a plan b? For example, if you know who they are, you may have known she or he works and has a family (husband, wife or children). It meant they could not get on time to the presentation. Did you ask him how she or he was doing? Try always to be the problem solver and move on. Sometimes, they just need some support and they will do as much as they can.

Likewise, communication implies different levels and synergy infers to transmit a message from the receiver’s world. You cannot assume they understood your ideas only because you talked or wrote about it. You need to figure out how they communicate to create your own proper ways of communication. For example, if one of them learns by listening, you should verbally explain and call her or him. If the person does not speak English as a first language, you explain and email her or him. The synergistic communication allows you to make the others feel an important part of the group dynamic because you are giving a message in a way they enjoy. You will see you are a synergetic communicator when the project is done. Keep in mind, you are their leader, you need to take the initiative and work with your team.

Identification, solutions and active communication are keys to help you become a respectable leader. Although there are diverse leadership styles, you should choose one that best reflects your personality. However, you would not forget to enjoy the process because you are still in college. While you are studying, you have the right to make many mistakes that in real life may have bigger consequences. Your errors will always make you a better professional and human being. I loved to be the chief in charge when I studied my bachelor’s degree in Colombia. Now, I am starting over, so I am the listener.

Work Cited
Morton, Brian. “Falser Words Were Never Spoken”, published in The New York Times, 29 Aug. 2011. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/falser-words-were-never-spoken.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

Summer e-LEAD Program

Are you looking for an opportunity to identify and develop your overall leadership skills?

Leadership ConceptNOVA Online Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students!The overall goals of this program are to:

-Foster a sense of community among students taking online courses

-Develop more self-awareness of leadership strengths and skills

-Maximize your talents as they relate to academic and professional goals.

Throughout this 4-week a-synchronous program , participants will learn more about personal strengths (via the Clifton StrengthsFinder personality assessment and access to the StrengthsQuest e-book) and discuss how to utilize strengths to maximize leadership skills and potential with their peers. Participants will be expected to participate in weekly discussion posts, readings and journal assignments)  *This is a non-credit program, but a great resume builder!

Dates: June 6th – July 3rd

Time: Work at your pace with weekly deadlines for group discussions and journal reflections.

Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form. Please fill out no later than June 3rdth at 11:59pm.  

 Please reach out to elistulife@nvcc.edu with any questions.

SAAM KICK OFF!

ThinkstockPhotos-180121101April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)! The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities on how to prevent it.  Sexual violence is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue. We need everyone’s help to end it. The NOVA Community can help make a difference!

NOVA Sexual Assault Services (SAS) would like you to get involved during SAAM! NOVA SAS is hosting several events this month:

April 6th – April 10th: Red Flag Campaign Week (Annandale Campus)

April 9th: Red Flag Info Table (Annandale Campus – CF Quad)

April 9th: Walk a Mile in Her Shoes (Annandale Campus – CF Quad)

April 13th – April 17th: Red Flag Campaign Week (Medical Education Campus)

April 14th: Jackson Katz: “Violence Against Women-it’s a men’s issue” Roundtable (Alexandria Campus – Women’s Center)

April 16th: Red Flag Info Table (Medical Education Campus – 1st Floor)

April 16th: Student Government Association (SGA) Benefit Concert   (Annandale Campus – Ernst Theater)

April 20th – April 24th:  Red Flag Campaign Week (Loudoun Campus)

April 21st: Red Flag Info Table (Loudoun Campus – Front of LR)

April 21st: Take Back the Night (Loudoun Campus – Side entrance of LW)

April 28th: Bystander Intervention Roundtable (Alexandria Campus – Women’s Center)

April 29th: Denim Day (Annandale Campus – CF Quad)

If you would like more information regarding these events, please contact Angela Acosta at aacosta@nvcc.edu or 703-323-2406 or like us on Facebook

If you are in need of services, please contact NOVA SAS at nova.sas@nvcc.edu or text/call 703-338-0834 (24 hours / 7 days a week).

-Written by: Angela Acosta, Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Outreach Specialist, NOVACares Office 

Managing the Demands of School through Meditation

College students have a lot on their plates. Students’ have to maintain their jobs outside of school, fulfill the obligations of their personal relationships, and stay on top of the workload of each course! With these demands often conflicting with one another, the need for finding the balance between them is pressing. But how can it be done?

So often people fervently search for peace of mind as if it is the medal you win after making it through the maze of life. But what if the answer to finding balance is already within you and all it takes is for you to retreat within yourself to find it?

Now, the golden question, why should I even try it? I’m so glad you asked! Tons of research has been done on the efficacy of meditation and the benefits are numerous, in particular for the unique population of college students. Studies show that:

  • 30 minutes of meditation 7 days a week increases creativity and elevates mood (you can do this on your lunch break!)
  • Meditation reduced distractive and ruminating thoughts in distressed college students
  • Incorporating meditation into everyday life has shown to increase positive emotions in students
  • Meditation improved academic performance and school behavior, reduced anxiety, heightened self-compassion, and decreased notions of perfectionism and self-criticism in college students (Simply by sitting quietly for 15-20 minutes a day!)

Meditation doesn’t have to be this elaborate process that can only be done when you’re looking out of your third eye while standing on your head on top of a mountain. There are many activities that elicit a meditative, mindful, and relaxed state that you can do every day. Below are some suggestions; just find a quiet spot and try them.

  • Transcendental Meditation: Sit comfortably, breathe deeply, repeat a mantra internally to focus your energy, observe your thoughts and emotions rather than react to them
  • Guided Imagery Meditation: Picture a soothing scene, engage all your senses to make the image as real as possible (do you smell flowers? is there are breeze on your face?), let your mind get lost in the scene
  • Movement Meditation, i.e. walking, yoga, tai chi (and it’s great exercise)
  • Reading/quiet time: creates a great break from the mundane.

***Omvana is a great iPhone/iPad mediation app and it’s FREE!***

Starting your mornings off with a meditation exercise will ready you for the demands that lay ahead throughout your day by giving you a clear head and a more positive disposition. Taking a moment to recharge at work when you feel overwhelmed, doing a focused meditation on a specific topic, i.e. eliminating self-doubt, etc. can make all the difference in increasing productivity in all areas of your life. Remember that peace already resides in you and it is refocusing on that internal happiness that will better equip you to deal with whatever obstacle that comes your way. Namaste!

–Jennifer Reed, Student Success Coach, NOVA Online

Contact me for the list of research articles used to write this post or for more meditation suggestions.

See other related blogs:

A Little Meditation Exercise to Refresh Your Brain

Getting a Good Start to Your Morning

NOVA Online Leadership Common Experience: Week 5 cont..

Social Media Netiquette

Computer Cloud  real image

Earlier this week we stressed the importance of understanding proper “Netiquette” and creating a positive online presence when you are an online student. Have you thought about how you can continue to keep that positive positive presence  outside of that online classroom? That’s right, were talking about Social Media! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and many other sources that you can use to virtually be “social” with other people.

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With so many people using these forms of media, we want to share with you some helpful tips and reminders to maintain that positive presence in the digital social world. Learn more about Social Media Netiquette now.

 

Resources:

http://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/social-media-statistics-2014_b57746

http://www.learnthenet.com/learn-about/social-netiquette/index.php

http://www.digitalsherpa.com/blog/how-social-media-has-changed-in-the-last-few-years/

NOVA Online Leadership Common Experience: Week 5

Netiquette in the Online Classroom

Netiquette title page

As we reach week 5 of our Leadership Common Experience, we want to discuss the very important topic of understanding online etiquette or what it is commonly referred to as Netiquette. As a virtual student, do you know how to properly and professionally address an instructor through email?  Have you struggled with how to write a clear and concise response for your class discussion posts? When almost 100% of your communication with your faculty member(s) and fellow students will be through text format, it is key to know how to make a good “virtual” impression. The below resources provide some great tips and tools to help maintain a positive online presence in the classroom as an online student.

“How To Be a Good Online Learner” -This resource reviews the do’s and don’ts of overall communication virtually and as an online student.

“The Etiquette around Discussion Forums” -Discussion posts are required for a majority of classes offered through NOVA Online. When you compare an online course to one on a campus, this would be equal to your class attendance and participation. This is how an instructor and other students see your thoughts and insight on the course material. With this in mind, this article will give you some great tips on how to contribute to the class professionally and effectively.

What are some challenges that you face when it comes to communicating with staff, faculty and other peers as an online student?

Are there any other Netiquette tips that we missed? Please share them in the comments!

Introducing College Central Network (CCN)

NOVA students now have access to College Central Network (CCN). After registering with CCN, you will be able to:

  • Search for jobs posted exclusively to NOVA students as well as search for positions through Jobs Central® national job board and the Intern Central® national internship board
  • Build a resume with Résumé Builder and/or upload a résumé file to Resume Central®
  • Review your job search history within the system
  • Gain access to announcements, upcoming events, career advice documents, videos, podcasts, and career articles
  • Build an online portfolio in Career Portfolio Central®

Follow the steps below to get started using CCN:

  • Access CCN
  • Select “Students”
  • Select “Sign In”
  • Enter your Access ID and Password (Check your VCCS e-mail account for an e-mail with information about accessing CCN)
  • Click “Go”

What feature of College Central Network did you find most useful? Why?