This spring, a team of 14 Freshman Leaders worked with HPU Libraries on several library outreach initiatives. These students, nominated by HPU Student Success for their promising academic start at HPU, were part of the first Freshman Leadership Team, a new program in which freshmen contribute 1-3 hours of their time per week in departments across campus, including Library Services, Athletics, Tutoring Services, and Community Outreach.
“Students are able to give back to their university, and therefore connect, in their first year,” Freshman Success Coach Akir Khan explains. “These opportunities not only serve as good resume builders for freshmen, but also help them to think about different career paths and interests.”
The Freshman Leadership Library Team met weekly in the Wanek Center Learning Commons to plan outreach efforts for the library, and they completed several successful projects during the spring semester. First, the Freshman Leaders participated in a focus group to discuss what they already knew about the library, and then they brainstormed possible ideas for library marketing.
After discussing different library outreach projects, the team conducted an iPad survey about the library’s communications efforts, gathering responses from students across campus and via email about their interaction with the library’s emails, website, blog, and social media.
“I learned about the services the library provides, and I enjoyed conducting iPad surveys,” says Jenny Nagashima, one of the team leaders.
The Freshman Leaders also designed a flyer to promote the Library Facebook page and shared the flyer with fellow students, resulting in more than 120 new “likes” for HPU Libraries in a few short weeks. Finally, at the end of April, the team promoted and planned a Learning Commons Study Break for students that took place on a Sunday evening during exam week.
“I learned that with teamwork and persistence we can make anything happen,” Freshman Leader Matt McDermott says of working with the library as part of the Freshman Leadership Team. The group worked together on each project and made new connections across campus. The program will continue in the fall with a new group of Freshman Leaders.
“We felt it was important for our students to hone their skills in team building, leadership, integrity, and commitment, which are necessary to be competitive for future professional opportunities,” Khan says.
Pictured above from left to right: Freshman Leaders Frazier Robinson, Zach Bonvallet, Matt McDermott, Jenny Nagashima, Austin Canada, and Librarian Heather Hans. Not pictured: Freshman Leaders Eliana Betzios, Kaitlyn Kall, Kristopher Lancaster, Debbie Mergner, Stephen Pollock, R.G. Sikand, Evelyn Viernes, Garrett Woodward, and Danielle Zombolas, and Librarian Andrew Fair.