Welcome to the first edition (for 2017) of #ThursdayThoughts!

As Director of New Student Orientation, my goal through these Thursday posts is to share my own personal reflection on the “NEW BENGAL” experience at Idaho State University.

Perhaps the best place to begin this series is with my own personal story. It is indeed my own story of college transition which led me to the career I have established for myself within New Student Orientation!

I will never forget the moment I arrived to my undergraduate alma mater on a humid August day in 1998. The warmth and friendliness of the orientation leaders at that university truly transformed my new student experience. My family and I still talk about the “students in the yellow shirts” who greeted us, encouraged me, and facilitated my move-in day and orientation weekend. At the end of four days, rather than being overly focused on my homesickness and fears, I felt comfortable entering that fall semester both academically and socially. As a sophomore, I enjoyed taking part in the experience as an orientation leader. It was a joy to lead a small group of students and to assist in making their transition one that was positive and encouraging.

Move-In Day, 1998, in Winston-Salem, NC

I have now had the privilege of overseeing New Student Orientation as a staff member at various institutions of higher education for nearly a decade.

There is truly a sense of “magic” in the air surrounding New Student Orientation, as it is the kick-off to the new academic year. It is poignant to watch the fearful/excited expressions of students and proud/joyous/bittersweet expressions of family members on that day.

There is a high-level of responsibility we feel as the event organizers to ensure that we provide students with high-impact programs. We do not take this lightly. Every student we hire as an Orientation Leader has demonstrated their love of Idaho State and their dedication to welcoming new students. Every activity is designed to assist the new student transition, whether it is Slip N Slide at Bartz Field (designed for new students to develop friendships) or Lunch with the Colleges (designed to introduce new students to their academic dean and faculty members).

We hope that you and your family will save the dates, now, for August 2017. Our “team of students in black shirts” are eager and excited to meet you!


Brooke Barber

Director of Orientation, Leadership and Service