Online Orientation welcomes Class of 2023

Sept. 2021

Solving cryptograms. Creating a Daft Punk-inspired album in less than 50 minutes. Testing reaction times and accurately determining the winner of an Olympic 100-meter freestyle event. Wrestling with questions of critical thinking, context, and objectivity. Using cleverness and computational skills to identify a missing card. Learning to recenter and reconnect with ourselves. Practicing new techniques for becoming an effective public speaker. Using wordplay, poetry, and imagination to translate the unfamiliar. Brainstorming new clubs and extracurriculars for NCSSM students.

These activities and many more marked this year’s Online Orientation, held Thursday and Friday, July 29-30, and attended by more than 175 incoming NCSSM Online juniors.

Hosted virtually via the “Hopin” conference platform—with Thursday evening social events held on Discord by Online Resource Coordinators (ORCs) J.J. Watts, Sue Anne Lewis, and Mat Trn—the event featured a welcome by Chancellor Todd Roberts and an address by Online Alumni Speaker Tanis Priddle, Class of 2021, who is now a first-year student at Stanford University. (You may hear Tanis’s speech here; the introduction and speech start at 7:48.)

Friday’s day-long event featured a wide variety of concurrent sessions led by faculty, counselors, Admissions staff, Student Ambassadors, and Student Government representatives. Sessions ranged from “Crash Course: How to Survive NCSSM” and “Do You Want to be an Online Ambassador?” to “The Ubiquity of Artificial Intelligence,” “Intro to Synthesizers: Electricity + You = Music,” “Engineering an Olympic Swimmer,” “What’s Lost and Gained in Translation,” and “Are We There Yet?” Sessions on college planning and how to build community at NCSSM were especially well attended. A virtual club fair was attended by more than half of the student participants.

Already our new Unis are building the bonds of community that will make their two years at NCSSM an exciting and rewarding learning experience.

Online Orientation was organized by Taylor Gibson, Dean of Mathematics, Elizabeth Moose, Dean of Humanities, and Online Resource Coordinators J.J. Watts, Sue Anne Lewis, and Mat Trn.

Faculty and staff who led sessions were Rob Andrews, Tamar Avineri, James Blackwell, Cheryl Chamblee, Chad Cygan, Jon Davis, Bob Gotwals, Keethan Kleiner, Nina Kornegay, Ormand Moore, Shannon Namboodri, Lori Newnam, and Scott Schwartz.

Student Government representatives Habin Hwang and Bonnie Zhang, as well as Student Ambassadors Lydia Ruth Mansfield, Sean Nguyen, Meera Patel, and Tanis Priddle also led sessions.