A new program for freshman students at Point Park University plans to get student leaders involved on campus.
by Andrew W. Henderson
Make Your Mark at Point Park! (MYMaPP!) is a new program for freshmen at Point Park which will connect 30 new students with leadership opportunities on campus.
According to Bradley Kovalcik, coordinator of Student Activities, a survey of incoming Point Park freshmen showed that new students are most worried about club involvement, making new friends and receiving advice from more experienced students.
It is these concerns that led Kovalcik, as well as the rest of the Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership (SAIL) office to tailor-make MYMaPP! to address the issues that freshmen students are concerned about.
The program will provide involvement and networking opportunities along with discussions of leadership topics with Point Park staff and older students, small groups and community service, as well as a mentorship program involving upperclassmen according to MYMaPP!’s website.
Freshman Amber Gordon said that being able to connect with older students who can answer questions that were not addressed during orientation is essential.
“I still don’t really understand how the buses work,” Gordon said.
Alex Bright, one of the MYMaPP! mentors, said that the students she works with are excited about having the opportunity to network and better themselves.
“It is this passion that will create more aware leaders for Point Park’s future,” Bright said in a telephone interview on Sept. 4. Bright expects the students she will mentor to have a positive effect on her own experience as a senior as well.
“I really hope that I can learn from them, too,” she said.
Kovalcik has similar goals for the new leadership program.
“I’m hoping that student organizations are going to see a lot more involvement – and a lot more active involvement,” Kovalcik said in an interview in his office on Sept. 4.
United Student Government (USG) President Julian Singleton said that he is excited to see a program where young students can learn leadership skills and connect with groups on campus in one all-inclusive space. That was not an opportunity that was available to him when he was an underclassman.
“Over the years, I picked up bits and pieces to get me where I am now,” he said in an interview on Sept. 3 in the USG offices.
With the MYMaPP! program in place, the goal is to have a coordinated network of campus leaders who will go on to strengthen the campus clubs and organizations throughout the coming years with their own unique vision.
“The best leaders, I feel, are people with their own voice,” Singleton said.
MYMaPP! aims to create an impact on more than students the next four years, though. The leadership training students will receive with MYMaPP! will help them to successfully enter the workforce as adults said Community Director Caleb Rodgers.
“Teaching leadership skills goes hand-in-hand with being a contributing, productive member of society,” he said in his office on Sept. 4.
While only time will show the effectiveness of the new program, Singleton is optimistic about the leaders who will soon be following in his footsteps. The MYMaPP! program provides what he considers to be the most important thing when developing new leaders.
“It all comes back to mentoring,” Singleton said.
Published by The Globe Newspaper at Point Park University on September 16, 2014