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Marshall to debut 'Sophomore Surge'

Aug. 18, 2012 @ 11:07 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Marshall University is gearing up to welcome back its sophomore students in a big way by hosting its inaugural "Sophomore Surge" in the Don Morris room in the student center Thursday, Aug. 30.

The event will start at 4 p.m. and is expected to last until around 6:30 p.m.

"Many universities give a great deal of attention to students making the transition from high school to college. Freshmen get a lot of attention and special activities like Marshall's own 'Week of Welcome,'" said Maurice Cooley, co-chair of the Student Success Committee at Marshall. "That's all well and good, but sometimes when students transition to the sophomore year they don't get the same kind of attention that they did their freshmen year. Many universities find that sophomores become isolated and lose attention. The sophomore year is a vital one as it is often the one when the student focuses more seriously on his or her career and academic development."

Marshall has started a new sophomore initiative this year, and the Sophomore Surge will be the first event of its type. The event will feature a keynote speech from returning graduate student Matt James, who works in the student resource center. It will also include a video featuring interviews with students of different backgrounds. There will also be display tables featuring representatives from various community organization, student organizations and programs such as Marshall's Study Aboard program.

Cooley said that a considerable amount of planning has gone into organizing the event.

"It is experimental, but we are strongly supportive of the concept," he said. "I am confident we will continue to hold events like the Sophomore Surge in subsequent years, though it may take some modification.

"The full title of the event is 'Sophomore Surge, Your Passport to Sophomore Success.' It's a success-oriented initiative that is focused on not just helping students be successful in the classroom, but other elements of student development. Matt James will talk about the importance of becoming connected to community programs, service learning experiences, volunteer programs and study abroad. We want this to have an inspirational message."

The initiative has been in the works for a couple of years, according to Cooley, and is to help with student enrollment, retention and success.

"Several committees were established to help reach these goals," he said. "Consequently, a great deal has been developed including the Week of Welcome and the Student Resource Center, which opened two years ago. We are now focusing on other things we can do to help students succeed. Marshall University is firmly committed to helping all of the students who enroll here.

"Marshall is focused and serious about all we can do for our students to have maximum success," Cooley added. "From our president's office down to our colleges and academic structures, Marshall University is firmly and seriously dedicated to the highest level of personal character and academic success as possible. Our dedication is backed up by the hard work we are doing and by new initiatives that are in place as well as ones in the future."



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