"First Year Power" Day 2 of Iowa Edge

August 17, 2016

August 15, 2016         

Bright and early (9:45 is early to some, mind you), I had the opportunity to navigate and attempt to scribe the first of many events lined up for the Iowa Edgers of 2016! 

Valerie Garr, a founding member of the Iowa Edge program as well as Diversity Coordinator at the College of Nursing, began by setting the mood.  Valerie first addressed the group by stating a truth that these students as well as others will come to find, that in reality, all the faculty and University of Iowa professors are present to help you succeed in your endeavors at the college.  Following that, she implored them to play a series of games, that in truth opened the Edgers to speak to their experiences and their fears about the University of Iowa. 

First, Valerie asked them to stand if they agreed with certain statements, varying from whether or not they were new to the area or if they had siblings. The varying amounts of people that stood up, only reiterated Valerie’s statement at the end, that “Talented people come from all types of areas”. 

And just like last year, she introduced the edgers to the great U of I tradition of singing Iowa’s Fight Song! It was wonderful to see the students taking initiative to learn the anthem, as well as cracking smiles here and there.

Edgers watching presentation on college success
Students were also allowed to throw questions out to their Peer Leaders.  One edger (Dallas from Waterloo) asked “What was the first wall you remember hitting at Iowa?”, to which the peer leaders weighed in in a variety of ways, mostly in the sense of the transition to newer expectations and handling stress.  Valerie spoke of the idea of interdependence, and the different events and places, such as the Cultural Houses, of the Volunteer fair, or the Diversity Networking Night, that were present for students to take advantage of!

In conclusion?  There are quite a many resources on campus that the Edgers have realized that they can take advantage of, but just as importantly, the path to becoming a successful graduate of the University of Iowa is paved with growth, change, experience that are will be self-designed. And with a rousing final chant “First Year Power” Valerie congratulated the students on their work so far, but only to remind them of so much more to come!

Written by Sandra Amouzou