Getting acclimated with a new school is often deemed an overwhelming task, but with the help of Kennesaw State’s Ignition program, newly-admitted students are welcomed with open arms and thoughtfully guided through the process.
By means of small group facilitation, Ignition leaders take students on campus tours, assist with registration, help students make connections and answer any questions they may have along the way.
Before becoming an Ignition leader, sophomore entrepreneurship major Ryan Bebber was a member of Freshman Parliament, Engaged Owl Leaders and the Barbell Club Team.
Knowing he was once a quiet student, the job of Ignition leader seemed interesting to Bebber as it offered the opportunity of escaping his comfort zone and working on his leadership abilities.
“Yes and no,” Bebber said, when asked if being a leader aligned with his initial expectations of the job. “I knew it would be rewarding, but I expected it to be personal growth. However, the best part has been making a difference for the students and guests.”
Bebber feels comfortable in his role of being a resource for students.
“Being a leader aligns pretty well with who I am,” he said. “Not because I was born this way, but because I accepted the responsibility.”
Senior criminal justice major Anthony Cooper recently transferred from the University of West Georgia to KSU during fall semester 2018. He worked as a community assistant for his apartment complex before becoming an Ignition leader.
Similar to Bebber, Cooper believes the job of Ignition leader is truly meant for a people person.
“Yes, the clichés about always having to be hype is true, but it is, in fact, more than just that. It’s a very fulfilling opportunity in that it allows me to meet and interact with many different kinds of people and situations,” Cooper said.
With the recent racial incidents KSU has faced, parents have questioned Bebber about the campus climate.
“I address the concern and share what the university and students are doing to solve any issues,” Bebber said.
Furthermore, Bebber assures students that KSU is the right school to attend.
“I share my story,” Bebber said. “I make sure they know all the opportunities there are at Kennesaw State. From exploring a hobby, to gaining leadership skills, to conducting research, I show them that Kennesaw State is an incredible place to be. I make sure they know how to further explore their resources on campus.”
Cooper expressed a similar sentiment.
“If a question about race was to ever arise, I feel the best way to dilute the situation would be to explain my personal experience here at Kennesaw and describe how diverse our school is, as well as how safe I feel,” Cooper said. “All of the opportunities that KSU has to offer, from networking, job opportunities and over 300 plus student organizations speaks to why our school is the school to attend.”
The invaluable trait of being comfortable in uncomfortable situations is one thing Bebber has learned during his time as an Ignition Leader. For Cooper, it is to just go for things without a fear of trying just because it may seem unreachable.
“I prepared myself for this role by becoming knowledgeable of the school and having a sense of pride in what I am doing,” Cooper said. “I come to work every day with a smile, and ready to take on any new challenges that come my way.”
For more information, the Orientation and Transition Programs office can be reached at 470-578-6219 or by email at email@example.com.