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Emmanuel Demonstrates its Leadership in Student Engagement at Higher Education Conference on Orientation, Transition and Retention

March 2, 2017

Ash Uss ’17 selected as winner of the prestigious “Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader” award; two students present on orientation leadership.

Ash Uss '17 Selected as Winner of the Prestigious "Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader" Award; Two Students Present on Orientation Leadership.

Emmanuel College Sociology major Ash Uss '17 was selected as the winner of the Region IX Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader award at the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education (NODA) Region IX Conference, which took place in Danvers, Massachusetts, the weekend of February 24-26, 2017. NODA provides education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention.

The award is designed to give special recognition to students for their creativity, energy, enthusiasm and outstanding abilities, which are the backbone of successful and dynamic orientation programs. Uss served as an Orientation Leader in 2014 and 2015, and then as an Administrative Orientation Leader in 2016. She also serves as the office assistant for New Student Engagement & Transition and was involved with the SAGE program for two years as Logistics Coordinator. Uss was an instrumental part of the staff and student team that transitioned the SAGE program into the ACE Guide program and she served as one of two ACE Student Coordinators in the program's inaugural year.

Beyond her work with new students, Uss is involved on campus as a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee, Dance Team and Four-Year Service Program. In addition, she has served as an Alternative Spring Break Student Leader for three years. 

More than 20 current students and alumni contributed to Uss's nomination, overwhelmingly demonstrating that she is universally respected, admired and valued in the Emmanuel community. 

Marie O'Neil '18, Alexa Simeone Trainor and Savannah Cardoso '18
Marie O'Neil '18, Alexa Simeone Trainor
and Savannah Cardoso '18

Alexa Simeone Trainor, director of New Student Engagement and Transition at Emmanuel, and Administrative Orientation Leaders Savannah Cardoso '18 and Marie O'Neil '18 were present at the conference, joining orientation leaders, graduate students and professionals from other colleges and universities in the region to share experiences, exchange ideas and explore important and relevant issues in the field of orientation, transition and retention. 

Trainor served on the conference committee, coordinating on-site logistics. Cardoso and O'Neil  participated in the highly selective Regional Orientation Leaders Institute (ROLI), an interactive program designed to give second- and third-year student orientation leaders who hold senior positions an opportunity to focus on increasing their competency levels in a variety of skill areas.

Cardoso and O'Neil also presented an educational session called 'We Are Family; I Got All My OLs With Me," which discussed the importance of team bonding for not only Orientation Leaders, but also new students and the orientation program itself. Cardoso and O'Neil utilized Tuckman's Model of Team Development as a context for their session and shared the various techniques and activities they use to promote and facilitate orientation team bonding at Emmanuel College. The session was well attended and received positive feedback from participants, who gained knowledge and new ideas to bring back to their own institutions.

NODA was chartered in 1976 and continues the tradition of orientation, retention and transition professionals who have met annually for over 40 years. Today, NODA is an international association comprised of professional administrators, students, faculty and related organizations.