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Fys Application

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Submitted By rpatone
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1.) First-year students have many important experiences during their first semester. Describe a meaningful personal experience from your college career. What did you gain from this experience? How could what you have learned be useful to first-year students?

I reluctantly chose to take a Theater course as part of fulfilling AXLE. I expected it to be pretty awful, as I had no interest whatsoever in learning about acting, stage design, reading plays, etc. Fortunately my expectations were wrong. The class was a blast for the most part. I met some great people, opened myself up (had to act a piece in front of people), and became (I guess you could say) more cultured. Heck, I even got to write my own play and have it performed on stage. It was great experience in which I learned to have an open mind about things. I feel I’m a better person because of this experience, as I now try my best to prevent myself from forming an opinion on something I have yet to try. I’m glad I learned this lesson when I did, because I have found myself trying more things that I normally would have never thought to try before coming to Vanderbilt. In my view, the lesson that I learned is a valuable one – one that all first-year students might find useful. As a VUceptor I would make sure to convey this experience to all of my first-years, and let them know how beneficial it was to me in terms of my personal growth at Vanderbilt.

2.) VUceptors must balance many responsibilities regarding VUceptees, Faculty VUceptors, Vanderbilt administration, and the Vanderbilt community. How do you envision the VUceptor role and what personal characteristics qualify you to be a VUceptor?

I envision the VUceptor role as one that I can take pride in. I understand this is an important job. My freshman year experience would have been quite different were it not for VUcept and my VUceptor. The program gave me a great opportunity to meet some of my peers and interact with faculty and upperclassmen on a more personal level. I’m a hard worker who is determined to succeed in integrating first-years smoothly into the Vanderbilt community. I’m great with people and I enjoy leading and facilitating activities. More importantly, perhaps, is that I like to listen. Hearing people’s stories and experiences is fascinating to me. VUcept would give me a chance to make the transition from high school to college a little easier (or, at least, a little more interesting/fun) for first-years and would also allow me to interact with the new students and learn more about them. As a group we could share experiences, create memories/friendships, and have a good time. I’m confident that I could successfully lead my group while dealing with other things, including school work, extra-curriculars, faculty VUceptors, the administration, and my peers. I’m a driven guy and would strive to make VUcept meetings something that first-years look forward to rather than groan about. You can’t please everyone all the time, but I bet most of my group would give a positive review of the experience once all is said and done.
3.) Create your own Vanderbilt Visions session to be held in a seminar room while using minimal funds. Select a topic of your choice, describe why you chose the topic, and explain how you would engage first-year students throughout the session.

Here’s an idea for a session early on in the year. At a prior meeting, I would ask the students where they would like a meal from. If funds allowed, I would order in some food from a location that people could agree on. This could be pizza, sandwiches, Chinese food, etc. The faculty VUceptor and I would serve the food. Then, as a group, we would play three truths and a lie. This would help the students learn a little more about each other and it’s an activity that everyone can enjoy. Once people are done eating and all the truths and lies have been told, I would split the group up into partners and tell each student to choose a partner (as best they can) that he/she has had little interaction with. Then I would have the partners interview each other and find out more about one another. I feel as if this would be a good icebreaker-type of activity, especially for those students who may be a little shy at the beginning of the year. To wrap things up I would have each student tell the group about the person they interviewed. The activities outlined above engage the first-years quite well. They interact on a group level as well as a personal level. It would give students a chance to start developing friendships. The mood, of course, would be relaxed for the entire session. It would be a fun time.

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