In this post, National Transfer Student Ambassador Michael Morgan reflects on his experience attending the NISTS 2021 virtual annual conference in February. You can read more about Michael's transfer story on the NISTS Blog.
1. What were your original thoughts on transfer professionals/initiatives, and how did they change with your conference exposure?
I was lucky enough to attend the 2020-2021 conference, so I had a general idea of what to expect. I was also hired as Oglethorpe University’s first Transfer Student Ambassador before attending the 2020-2021 conference, so I was familiar with implementing transfer initiatives. After attending my first conference, I felt empowered as a transfer student and invigorated as a change agent.
2. The overarching theme of the conference was, “Not So Secret Transfer Agents.” What would you say to professionals who aren’t familiar with the ‘transfer agent’ concept and/or to encourage them to lean into that role?
I would encourage them to be empowering and uplifting to their transfer community. I would encourage transfer agents to let their presence be known so their transfer community can know where to go for any questions or concerns they may have throughout their journey. I would ask transfer agents to build a transfer culture that encourages its students to invest in their university and for the university to invest in their transfer students.
3. What did you learn from the other Transfer Student Ambassadors?
I learned a great deal from the other Transfer Student Ambassadors. One thing that stuck with me was, there is more than one way, avenue, or path to success as a student. We all have unique identities and circumstances, and we all found different ways to be successful and accomplish our academic goals.
4. What was your biggest conference takeaway?
My biggest conference takeaway was that there are dedicated professionals in place to ensure that transfer students not only survive their collegiate experience but thrive throughout their collegiate experience. I was and still am very thankful to be a minor contributor to the greater good.
5. What are you going to do next in regard to transfer based on something you learned at the Conference.
I am currently working on an interview series; as the Oglethorpe Transfer Student Ambassador, I will interview faculty and staff in the hope of breaking the barrier between transfer students and their resources on campus. I want our students to be knowledgeable of where to go for assistance and empowered enough to go and seek the help they may need. I will leave this project for my predecessor to continue when I move on. I hope that we can continue to build a tight-knit community where the success of our students is always priority number one.
Do you know an outstanding transfer student?
Then please let us know! The Transfer Student Ambassador program invites up to four outstanding transfer students to add their voices to the national transfer conversation. In addition to registration and attendance for the NISTS annual conference, ambassadors receive a $500 scholarship plus a $500 transfer program grant to be used in collaboration with a faculty or staff member at the student's previous or current institution. More information about the award and application process is available on the TSA webpage.