New Student Programs Director Katie Murray wins NODA Region 8 Outstanding Orientation Professional award.
When it comes to the beginning of summer, most Towson University staff and students have either graduation or vacation on their mind.
But while June is usually the end of a busy period for most of the campus, the staff at New Student Programs is starting their busiest time of the year.
Over the summer, New Student Programs will host incoming Towson University students for freshmen and transfer orientations. There will be 23 separate full-day orientation programs designed to prepare students for their social and academic journey at TU.
Along with these one-day orientation programs, New Student Programs host “Welcome to TU” during the weekend before classes start. “Welcome to TU” is a comprehensive program that allows new students to get acclimated to campus, meet fellow new students, and have some fun before school starts.
Implementing these and overseeing these programs is Katie Murray, director of New Student Programs. Since her arrival to TU’s campus, Murray has continued to enhance the university’s first-year student experience.
“Katie has done an outstanding job implementing a new comprehensive one-day orientation program for Freshmen as well as an expanded Welcome to TU program for transfer students,” said Matt Lenno, acting associate vice president of Campus Life at TU. From the initial vision, to logistics, to adapting as needed, to working and communicating with campus partners, Katie has been outstanding.
“Feedback from students and their families, as well as campus constituents were very pleased with the experience.”
Students, families and campus constituents weren’t the only ones taking notice of Murray’s work. Earlier this year, Murray was awarded the Region 8 Outstanding Orientation Professional award from NODA — The Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education.
The award recognizes outstanding contributions of a NODA professional to the field of orientation, transition and retention. The award is based on:
For Murray, while it may be award winning, she views it as doing the best job possible to help new students and their families toward this big transition in their life.
“It was surreal to receive the Region 8 Outstanding Orientation Professional award,” Murray said. “I work very hard to make sure that all incoming students and their families have a smooth transition to the University and to be recognized by my peers is quite an honor.”
“Katie is the epitome of what a director/administrator in any department on any campus,” Lenno said. “She is dedicated to helping her fellow staff members so they are successful, while also being a positive role model and leader in the Campus Life Director Cohort. Katie also always conducts herself in a manner that meshes with the goals Towson University and Student Affairs at TU.
“It would only make sense to me that Katie would have been the professional to win the NODA award.”
The first one-day orientation program takes place on June 19, with more happening through August. Incoming students can still apply to participate in a one-day orientation. “Welcome to TU” takes place on August 24. Classes begin August 28.