Sweating in the 80 degree weather, students lined Volunteer Boulevard on Thursday as scents wafting from industrial-sized grills promised a free meal at the 7th Annual Kick Off Cookout hosted by Career Services. Along with food, the event provided students with comprehensive information on Career Services resources, door prizes and games.
Allison Lynch, a junior in child and family studies pursuing a master's degree in education, was pleased to learn that the event provided more than just a good burger.
"I was impressed at the turnout," Lynch said. "[Career Services] truly knows how to draw in students and you can tell that they want students to enjoy their experience here because they work really hard to help you be successful and reach out to the student body with events like today."
Beside the line of students was a row of tents where representatives from Enterprise, Clayton Homes and Target were on location handing out free prizes and answering student's questions. Other sponsors included Aramark, Pepsi Co. and 21st Mortgage, who provided food, drinks and other materials for the event.
Staff members and volunteers from WUTK 90.3 FM "The Rock," an independent non-commercial radio station produced by students, provided a live broadcast of the event as well as free posters, bumper stickers, coupons and more. For Tony Farina, the underwriting and digital media sales director of WUTK, the event was a great opportunity for the station to provide entertainment.
"[The cookout] has been going on for years [and] is a good thing to make people aware of our station and expose them to unfamiliar music that they now can access anywhere on their phones," Farina said. Working the event also allowed WUTK to help their sponsors, such as McDonalds and Hardees, reach the student body.
Career Services, a division of Student Life, featured their various resources, like career counseling, career exploration classes and personality assessments to guide students in their choice of major and career decisions.Pam Crutsinger, a senior in nutrition and a Peer Career Advisor in the Student Success Center, was excited about the turnout as well."Career Services is welcoming back students at the beginning of the year, and we're really excited," Crutsinger said. "We are promoting what we do and are hoping people come now and come to us throughout their time here."
Also on Thursday, the Student Success Center hosted an open house providing students with an opportunity to tour the new facility on the third floor of Greve Hall and meet staff members of the center. Visitors were offered complimentary cookies, beverages and goody bags along with the tour. Since moving their location from across the street last August, SSC has settled into Greve Hall where their space consists of multiple rooms filled with space for students to receive academic assistance, converse with staff members or use one the available computers. The SSC gives students a place to receive academic coaching, tutoring and supplemental instruction.
"Having this much space is really huge for us," said Anton Reece, director of the SSC. "We can actually offer services on site. Between those two initiatives and this new location students find it accessible and convenient for them."
Two other locations have also been implemented to increase convenience for all students. SSC help can be found inside the newly-remodeled Commons area in Hodges Library and in South Carrick residence building in Presidential Court.
Staff members work as trained tutors and academic coaches, and undergraduate students also provide supplemental instruction. Students who are interested in working at the SSC may apply at the beginning of the semester to assist fellow students in a course that they have taken in a previous semester.
The SSC hosted the SophoMORE Fest for the first time during Welcome Week. The event gave sophomores a chance to hear about opportunities that have opened up to them since becoming upperclassmen.
“We had over 300 sophomores come out and participate,” Reece said. “It was like an informational and resource fair.”
The SSC aims to provide an easy way for students to receive quality tutoring and academic help in all areas, officials said.
“We do not turn anyone down,” said Joyce Benson, the front office manager in the SSC.
Students of all years and majors may contact the SSC for extra help with any class.
For more information on the Student Success Center click here.
For more information on Career Services, visit their offices located at 100 Dunford Hall. They can also be followed on Twitter at @VolCareers or liked on Facebook.