Drew University’s National Transfer Student Week made a comeback this year, but with a plethora of new initiatives and a greater sense of passion for the students.
From Oct. 16 to Oct. 20, transfer students embraced opportunities that are usually only offered to first-year students. Monday, Oct. 16 saw students receiving T-shirts in the Ehinger Center lobby, similar to the ones that first-years receive in the mail prior to their start at Drew. They also signed a poster commemorating their unique status on campus.
“We really tried to think of what transfer students didn’t get to experience when they were coming to Drew,” says Kathleen Frazier (‘24), one of the transfer orientation leaders. Along with Frazier, Sophie Dixon (‘24), also a transfer orientation leader, and Terrance Somesla-McCornell, the Student Engagement Coordinator, made these events possible.
According to Frazier, the most challenging aspect of planning this week was “getting the word out.”
Although she and Dixon went to great lengths to spread the word about the events, such as posting flyers on the doors of Haselton Hall, only about 30 to 50 students attended each day.
Coming to Drew primarily as second- and third-year students, transfers are inherently closer to graduating. As such, Tuesday, Oct. 17 was all about navigating career tracks: students met with Kimberly Giorgio, the director of Drew’s Center for Career Development. On top of that, this event included a tasty popcorn bar, a feature which regular first-year students experience on Admitted Students Day.
When asked about their opinion on the career event, one transfer student, Dominique Cobb (‘25), said, “The event was very fun and informational. Kim gave everyone a chance to practice their pitches with feedback at the end. We were also able to learn about some positions that are available on Handshake to apply for within the Drew campus.”
Wednesday, Oct. 18 brought the transfer community together in the place where it all started for the majority of them: Haselton Hall lounge. Here they enjoyed Chipotle and chatted with the new Transfer Services Coordinator, Katie Murray, who provides transfer students with another on-campus resource. Murray shared her excitement about being a part of the transfer community, saying, “Kathleen and Sophie did a tremendous job.”
Bringing a fun fall season twist to transfer week, the event on Thursday, Oct. 19 consisted of the students decorating pumpkins while enjoying pizza in The Space in the Ehinger Center.
Last, but certainly not least, Friday, Oct. 20 presented the opportunity for transfer students to get professional headshots taken in front of the library. “All the first-years get headshots during their first-year seminars,” said Dixon. Headshots can typically cost anywhere from $100 to $300, so this was an excellent way to end the week.
This week had countless benefits to offer for transfer students, and it gave them lots of fun opportunities to connect with one another. Sometimes, transfers feel overlooked and unseen, entering campus after first-years, who get much attention and advice on adjusting to college. Here, Drew made sure transfers were seen, heard and taken care of.
Transfer student Jack Morgan (‘26) succinctly encapsulated the feelings of Drew’s transfer community: “Transfer week has made me feel more welcome in the Drew community.”
Robin Gindhart is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in writing and communications.