Following a two-year hiatus from an in-person Induction Day ceremony, a crowd of first year and transfer students and their parents filled Stem Hall in the Ogle Center on Friday, August 19.
Greeted by Interim Chancellor, Dr. Kelly Ryan, and Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Uric Dufrene, the students were offered advice and support from an alumnus and current student of IU Southeast.
Dr. Abrar Syed, ‘13, spoke to the incoming students about his experience as a freshman, when he started at IU Southeast in 2008. He encouraged the students to explore themselves and their interests to determine what their passion in life would be. Syed told of his first biology test as a student at IU Southeast, when he scored 70 percent, or D on the test. “Never let challenges and obstacles defeat you to say, ‘why me’,” said Syed. “The better response is ‘try me’.”
Syed graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Associates in Chemistry in 2013. He attended the IU School of Optometry in Bloomington, completing internships in Indianapolis, Louisville, and Lexington. After graduating from optometry school in 2018, he immediately started working with National Vision, first in Granger, now in Fort Wayne. In June 2022, Syed was awarded the Optometrist of the Year, out of over 2,000 optometrists within the National Vision company.
Dannon Olsen, senior in political science and current Student Body President of the Student Government Association, offered his advice to the new students. First, he encouraged students to take charge of their schedules by researching their classes and the options for professors. “These decisions mold your academic experience,” said Olsen. “I found the types of courses I excelled at, and to be frank, enjoyed. It can be so easy to allow yourself to be prescribed a simple cookie-cutter schedule but doing this limits your experience.”
Olsen’s second bit of advice was to find your professor. He encouraged students to find a mentor; a professor or staff member to develop meaningful and personal relationships, people who will stand up and help you through a difficult situation.
Last, Olsen advised students to find friends. Friends to help with late night study questions, sharing notes and even textbooks, which can save money. “Reach out to upperclassmen too,” said Olsen. “Often, we have experience to share. If you show us your schedule, we can tell you how a class will go before the semester starts and give tips to prepare.”
Following the affirmation and pinning ceremony, led by Clayton Rose, vice president of the Indiana University Alumni Association of Kentuckiana Region, students processed through a welcome line of faculty and staff to an outdoor lunch, activities, and involvement fair.
Fall classes started on August 22, accompanied by involvement and social activities as part of the annual Week of Welcome.