Third-year Bachelor of Commerce student Sarah Nichols has been named a 2012 3M National Student Fellow by the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The fellowship recognizes 10 undergraduate university and college students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and who embrace a vision where the quality of their educational experience can be enhanced in academia and beyond.
As part of the fellowship, Nichols has been invited to join other award winners at the annual Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) conference in Montreal this summer. She will also have the opportunity to develop a collaborative project that can enhance teaching and learning at the post-secondary level.
Nichols strongly encourages students to take on leadership roles, particularly outside of the classroom. These experiences help students to develop time management social and academic skills, as well as cultural awareness, for a holistic education, she says.
“By being involved outside of the classroom, students are able to build support networks of students like them to help them through a stressful four or five years,” says Nichols. “In my first year of university, I was not involved in anything. All of my attention was focused on school and I really felt by the end that I was missing out on something. By involving myself in more things throughout my second and third year, I actually saw an increase in my CGPA and I attribute this to be being forced to learn how to time manage, and being able to look for support in the groups that I had been involved with.”
Nichols has taken on a variety of student leadership roles at Carleton, including working as a Summer Orientation Leader, Orientation Coordinator, teaching assistant and giving back to the community through numerous volunteer activities. She has also served for the past two years as a mentor for First in Family, a government program to help incoming students who are the first in their family to attend university.