NIU’s Adam White recently was named “Outstanding New Professional” by NODA, the national association for professionals who work in the fields of orientation, transition and retention in higher education.
“I was completely shocked,” said White, NIU’s associate director of Orientation and Family Connections. “There are so many great new professionals out there in the world of orientation, and I was honored to even be in the running with them.”
White was recognized not only for his exceptional contributions to NIU’s revamped orientation program, but for his service and contribution to the NODA association.
“Adam is really involved on campus and in helping us be successful with our program, but he’s also really involved in this professional organization,” said Abbey Wolfman, NIU’s director of Orientation. “He is pretty remarkable and we are very lucky to have him.”
White began working for the university in 2013 and was named associate director of Orientation and Family Connections the following year.
“Our office has gone through tremendous change over the past year,” White said. “I am grateful that NIU’s administration has been so supportive of allowing us to make some pretty big changes to the way we do things.”
One of those changes, White said, was to completely restructure the summer orientation experience for incoming freshman. New in 2015 was a two-day orientation that included an overnight stay on campus, designed to acclimate incoming Huskies with their future home.
“Having the opportunity to work alongside Abbey and the people in our office and start from scratch was really exciting,” White said. “As a new professional, getting that opportunity is pretty rare and I think it showcases that NIU is OK with making some big changes in order to attract and retain students.”
The change was important, he said: Orientation is NIU’s opportunity to make a great first impression.
“We need to start from the beginning, and that is at orientation,” White said. “We want students to be amazed from the first night they stay on campus, and realize that they made the right decision when they chose NIU.”
Along with his efforts on campus, White is active in NODA as the co-chair of the 2016 regional conference, the Illinois state coordinator and a member on the committee for the 2017 national conference.
by Jane Donahue