INDIANOLA, Iowa — Katy Griner, who oversees Simpson Colloquium leaders, is looking for anybody who is interested in helping incoming first-year students transition to Simpson next fall.
SC leaders must be a full-time sophomore, junior or senior with a 3.0 grade point average or higher. Applicants must also have excellent communication and organizational skills.
The goal of an SC Leader is to help new students with their transition to college, Griner said.
Griner looks for a variety of students to fill the position.
“I look for students who are capable of connecting students across campus, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are student leaders already,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be a student who is super involved, as long as they know people who are involved so they can be a bridge.”
A good SC Leader is often one who experienced failure during their first year and learned how to overcome it, Griner said.
SC Leaders are awarded anywhere from two to four credits.
The student decides how many credits they register for. Leaders also earn a collaborative leadership credit and are paid for the work completed before the fall semester including training and orientation days, Griner said.
Those interested are encouraged to speak with a professor with whom they’d like to work with prior to the application process. Although Griner does the hiring, professors have the final say.
Junior Lydia Magalhaes was an SC Leader the past two years. Talking to professors ahead of time will give leaders a better chance of getting their first choice, she said.
“It’s best and you’re encouraged to speak with more than one professor if you really want to be an SC Leader,” Magalhaes said. “It just increases the likelihood that someone else will want you to be their SC Leader.”
There isn’t a big time commitment as an SC Leader, senior leader Allie Karpurk said.
Leaders are required to be present for registration days, training days, welcome week and meetings throughout the semester.
Small group meetings are held with Griner and other leaders once a month to address difficulties that arise. They are also required to meet with the SC leader undergraduate assistant once a month.
On top of meetings, SC Leaders must keep in frequent contact with their students and professor.
The amount of leading each student does is up to the leader and the professor.
Magalhaes and Karpurk said they had opportunities to be active leaders in their courses. Typical weeks for them included attending class each day, giving a few presentations throughout the semester, facilitating discussions and always being an available resource for the students.
When asked about her goals for SC Leaders, Griner said, “My goal is that I see leaders walk out of the position having grown but also having intentionally developed certain skills.”
Magalhaes and Karpurk felt they accomplished that.
Karpurk had several leadership opportunities at Simpson, but being an SC leader taught her something different, she said. Her biggest takeaway was the communication skills she learned. The position challenged her to be in frequent communication with a variety of people.
For Magalhaes, the most influential skills she learned were public speaking, leadership and collaboration, she said. Whether it be with students, professors, faculty, writing fellows or other SC leaders, communication and coordination are a large part of the job.
Karpurk said being an SC leader is a job anyone can handle.
“I think anyone can do it as long as they can be relatable and as long as they can be there for someone,” she said. “If you’re looking for a leadership opportunity with not a ton of time commitment but also still feel like you’re making an impact, this is a great one.”
Not only was this job a good learning opportunity for Magalhaes and Karpurk, but they both admired the relationships they acquired.
“Even though you played a really small part in them becoming acclimated and them finding their home at Simpson, it’s exciting to see that they like it here and exciting to see them succeed,” Karpurk said when describing her past students.
“I really like getting to know my students, and it’s really cool to provide them with advice if they’re struggling with something and then being the person that they can go to,” Magalhaes said.
A link to the application can be found in the Simpson College Daily Events. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. Monday.