Thursday, August 22, 2013

New activities coordinator brings experience in helping students succeed

Nick Spicer admits that his transition to college was bumpier than it should have been, and as a freshman at Hood College in Maryland, his grades dipped so low he had to sit out a season of lacrosse. Once he mastered time management skills and secured a solid GPA, he set out to help other new students do the same.

“I helped start a peer mentoring program for student-athletes to bridge the transition between high school and college,” said Spicer. “That program was wildly successful. It drastically cut down on the number of ineligible athletes and students who were on academic probation.”

Seeing the success of that program helped Spicer decide to pursue a career that focuses on helping college students be successful. This summer, he became Randolph’s new coordinator of student activities. He will advise the Macon Activities Council, manage the Student Center, coordinate some aspects of the intramural sports program, and help organize and promote activities that keep campus life fun and exciting.

Spicer majored in law and society at Hood. At first he considered going to law school, but his experience working with other students helped him realize he would find a student affairs career more fulfilling. In addition to starting the peer mentoring program, he served as an orientation leader and a member of the campus activities board at Hood.

He went on to earn a master of education degree in student affairs at the University of Virginia, where he also served in the office of orientation and new student programs. Working in a transfer student advisory program, a peer theatre program in which continuing students used skits to welcome new students, and with other aspects of orientation confirmed Spicer’s career direction.

Shortly after completing his degree, Spicer learned about an opening at Randolph created when Amanda Denny was promoted to director of leadership and engagement. “It didn’t take long for me to like the surroundings on campus and the students,” Spicer said.

Since joining Randolph this summer, Spicer has been preparing for events on the fall schedule, which include tubing on Sept. 14, a Great Gatsby-themed dance party on Oct. 12, the comedian Adam Grabowski on Oct. 16, and “Randolph Idol” on Nov. 18.

“I hope to provide a forum for students to get involved somehow,” he said. “Even if they just show up to a dance or a party, that’s one way they can become involved. The more involved you are, the more likely you are to feel a connection to other students and to Randolph.”