First-year students “dare to be great” in new First Year Experience Seminar


New students learned about library resources and time management in the first of many weekly First Year Experience Seminars on Friday, Sept. 7 in the Gentile Gallery.

Dan Kramer, director of Student Success and Austrian Enrollment, created the seminar to help first-year students thrive during their transition to life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. “We have been developing the seminar over the past few years,” said Kramer, “but this fall is the first year we have opened it up to such a large number of students.”

This week’s seminar was titled “Dare to be Great” because it was designed to help students succeed in their classes through effective research and time management.

Amy Leoni, director of the St. John Paul II Library, showed a packed Gallery of first-year students how to access the online library resources and talked about the resources the librarians can offer on sight. The library’s entire catalog is available online, including thousands of e-books. Even if the library does not have a certain book, a student can access it through interlibrary loans. “We are networked into almost every library in the state,” Leoni said.

Kramer said this went particularly well and that “even some of the junior and senior mentors were surprised to hear about the extent of the library’s resources.”

Senior Shannon Wohlfert, the student lead in the Student Success and Austrian Enrollment office, presented on the importance of time management as part of her Center for Leadership capstone project. She said that using a few minutes in the morning to plan out the day will prevent hours of wasted time, leading to more productivity.

Waking up a little early to plan leads to more time to finish homework, study, hang out with friends or do something else enjoyable, she explained. Freshman Abby Pitones especially appreciated this part, saying, “today, it was really good to learn how to time manage.”

Wohlfert then sent the students to small groups, where 10-15 mentors, herself included, showed them how to map out a calendar and shared personal experiences with scheduling.

Students found the First Year Experience Seminar beneficial. Freshman Tara Mostero said, “It’s cool. It’s helpful. I’m glad to have it!” The seminar will continue once per week throughout the fall semester, meeting regularly on Fridays at 11 a.m.

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