An Open Doors, Open Hearts Moment at Orientation- A Student Leader Spotlight

An Open Doors, Open Hearts Moment at Orientation- A Student Leader Spotlight

We are always meeting student leaders who are going the extra mile to make others feel welcome and build community culture on their campuses. We realized that one great way to learn from each other is to spotlight different students who have made an impact on the lives of their fellow students.

Meet Keren Bakke, a student at Adams State University. She’s a Psychology and Business Administration major, the Vice President of the Residence Hall Association, an Orientation Leader and a Student Support Services Member on campus. We asked her about when she first felt most involved and how she involves new students. 

Have you ever had a difficult time connecting with a student, but eventually got them engaged in the community? 

Many times. My most memorable one was the one time I had a very defiant student in my group. He was rebellious and profane, and he was not about being part of the community. So after the group activities were over, I walked him back to his dorm and simply just asked him if he was okay, which he was not. He opened up to me and explained what was going on with him and from then on he was much more willing to be a part of the group.

What’s one time on your campus that you went from meh to hmm? 

When it came to being a campus leader, in fact. At the beginning of my freshmen year, I was very lost and would mozy on my way without paying any attention. But then I noticed the community of leaders on my campus and I instantly wanted in.

What was the first moment you felt like you belonged at your school? 

When school had started and I already had experience from doing a 3 week long Student Scholars program and I found myself already helping out my peers and helping them become successful.


It’s awesome to get new students to open up and find out what is really going on! Have you ever had a moment like Keren’s?


Nicole Wood

Nicole is an intern at Swift Kick and a junior communication arts student at the New York Institute of Technology. She's been involved as an orientation leader, a first year mentor and a peer advisor. She also is a part of the LGBTQ task force at NYIT.