How many years have you been involved with the FIG Program and in what capacity?
This will be my fourth and final year. I was a FIG student my first year and have been the FIG mentor for that same FIG ever since! They must have thought I did something right because this last year, my senior year, they designed UT’s first Athletic Training FIG that I get to mentor.
Why is this program important to you?
This program is important to me because I truly believe in the mission that it has set out to accomplish. As a first-year student, whether from a small town or not, it can be intimidating to walk onto such a large university without any sort of support network. Being a part of a FIG instantly connects first-year students to other students in their college, an upper division peer mentor in their college, as well as a professional at the University. A support network is formed almost instantaneously and the resources that can be accessed through it are limitless. This program is built to help first-year students integrate into college life successfully and it definitely accomplishes that.
How has it helped you or changed your life in any way?
Being a FIG mentor has been a truly rewarding experience for me. It has allowed me to help other students in my college be more prepared to succeed not only in an academic setting but also in a social and personal setting. It has also allowed me to grow personally as well. It created a one hour slot each week where I could leave all of my school worries behind and could go see my students and interact with them in a fun and easy-going environment. FIG created an outlet for me and allowed me to understand the importance of balancing fun and school.
Describe one of your most memorable FIG moments?
My most memorable moments in FIG all stem from running into my former students and hearing about their success here at UT. In particular, I remember one semester when I was working in the FIG office and one of my students came in to turn in paper work for an honor society that operates out of the same office. She was so excited to have the opportunity to participate in this society and told me that FIG had really helped her transition from high school studying into college studying. The look on her face of utter happiness and pride and knowing that I somehow helped her reach that state is a memory that I will never forget.
Describe the program in one word and explain why you chose that word.
Niche. The FIG program is a great resource for students to create or find their own niche at UT.