NCSSM Online kicks off a new year with orientation

NCSSM Online kicks off a new year with orientation

Sept. 2022

Inspiring speeches from alumni, a warm welcome from Chancellor Todd Roberts, a lively and informative Q&A session with Online Ambassadors, “Meet your Instructor” sessions, a picnic and hanging-out time with fellow students on the Bryan Lawn—all wrapped up with a late-afternoon treat of New Orleans style snow cones—marked this year’s Online Orientation, held on NCSSM’s Durham campus on Friday, Aug. 5.

For the first time in three years due to the pandemic, incoming Online juniors were able to meet in person to kick off the new school year. Nearly 140 proud members of the NCSSM-Online Class of 2024—the largest Online class in NCSSM’s history, with 242 students from 53 counties and 121 high schools across North Carolina—joined teachers, staff, administrators, and Online Ambassadors to pick up textbooks and materials for their fall classes and begin building the bonds so important to the success of each student and to the Online program as a whole. All Online students who attended Orientation received a complimentary Online t-shirt.

Alumni speakers Afzaa Rahman ’22 and Chase Maddox ’22 welcomed the incoming class and shared highlights from their own NCSSM journeys, along with inspiring words of advice.

“Let yourself wander,” Afzaa encouraged students. “You’ll often find that your heart plays just as important a role as your brain. You’ll find yourself gravitating towards certain things—whether it be courses of study, people, hobbies, or places. Don’t hold yourself back from these tugs, and don’t stop yourself from exploring new things. Use the amazing opportunities in NCSSM-Online to traverse all the unique subjects that catch your eye.”

Online Ambassadors Carly Hester, Riya Kannan, Aditi Koratpallikar, Laci Lucas, Hannah Ramsey, Keshav Saxena, Rathi Seenivasan, and Kiara Smith fielded questions on topics ranging from achieving balance between academics and extracurriculars and seeking academic support to exploring research opportunities, joining clubs, and making connections with NCSSM residential students. Tamar Avineri, Interim Dean of Mathematics and former Lead Advisor for NCSSM’s Center for Advising and Academic Success, held an information session about the services CAAS offers to Online students.

Online Resource Coordinator Sue Anne Lewis led icebreaker and enrichment activities (including the “Handshake Game” and “This or That:) and organized dorm accommodations on Thursday night for the 16 students who traveled to the Durham campus from more than 3 hours away.

Fine Arts Chair Scott Laird provided music for the event, and Auditorium Technical Director Evan Rowe provided technical support. Administrative Program Associates Michelle Rutowski and Kate Axelrod, in collaboration with Deans Taylor Gibson and Elizabeth Moose, planned and coordinated the event.

All of us in NCSSM Online look forward to a wonderful year of learning and growing!