Reputation, Relationships and Resources: How CN is Building on Three R’s of Higher Ed

Marilyn Mangin, IUPUI
Meet Marilyn Mangin, Director of Student Services and Recruitment for the IUPUI School of Engineering and Technology. Marilyn is a leader, mentor, and instructor for a handful of transfer students who need access to important resources, such as how to access the University Library database or what campus life events students might be interested in, whether it’s their first or fourth year as a college student. She even offers her students opportunities to earn cash for being involved in what she has coined, “Transfer2Success,” the name of the course she conducts. With expertise in international activities and cultural exchange, her professional role and decision to use CN to reach this group of students who are new to IUPUI has not only helped them build relationships and connections with each other, but allowed her to use her own personal interests to remain involved with students of all different backgrounds.

The motive of Marilyn’s “Transfer2Success” course is to remain a tool for transfer students and guide them into their new surroundings while building friendships along the way. Posts from her and her students include, but are not limited to: campus life events, career services, community-based happenings, sporting events, etc. The incentive is to get students involved on campus and share their experiences with others who might have similar interests in an effort to build relationships. 
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Once a student attends an event, they reflect on where they went and explain their purpose for going in the form of a post on the CN. Other CN members who have joined the course see these posts and can reflect on them. Once a student reaches 600 Anar seeds, they receive a hundred dollars in the form of scholarship money for their activity on the site offered by the department.

Marilyn’s background as a graduate from exceptional programs at both Indiana and Butler University not only confirms her expertise in the field of education, but also her perspective on the importance of professionalism in society post-graduation. She foresees higher education technology tools like CN as being a resource for the real world. A site like CN can offer insight on career development by linking learners to potential employers, companies, and informational sessions that will allow anyone to benefit from long term. For example, Marilyn has used the network in the past to post information on a technology session for how to use the campus library’s database, where students could speak with the leader of the session and use what they learned to help them find scholar articles or references for citations in their academic papers. In the future, with more time and volunteers, the site may also be used for other self-help sessions for all students for how to conduct research or build resumes. Employers could use the network to notify members of job openings in their area. 

Photo Credit: Huffington Post
Marilyn enjoyed that her role on the CN was more of a moderator than an instructor to the learners of her course. She liked the idea that the posts and discussions were student led and she could glance and see them communicating with one another. Based on her interview, the student feedback has been strong. One of the students of her course voiced that it made the transition to IUPUI a lot smoother, as he was able to connect with a faculty member who could link him to people and opportunities relevant to his major. As a result, he’s really grown to like where he goes to school. 

CN is building a reputation in the real world, opportunities for new relationships, and access to resources. Its presence has also created an environment for students to feel more comfortable coming to a new school they can take pride in. How does your university support an enjoyable atmosphere for students, while still enforcing values critical to lifelong learning?

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