Lyon faculty, staff, and students welcomed the next class of freshmen and transfer students to their new home on campus Thursday.
By 8 a.m. fresh faces and eager families had arrived from points near and far, ready for check-in at Becknell Gymnasium. Approximately 90 students moved in, assisted by Student Life, sports teams, fraternities and sororities, and many more.
“The weather here is so much better than in Texas,” said Haley Karns, laughing. “It’s been summer there for the past seven years.”
“I’m excited to be at such a fantastic and prestigious school,” said Joe Hutchison. “Plus, I only live 30 minutes away, so it’s right in my backyard.”
Michael Uecker said he took concurrent college courses in high school to prepare for Lyon.
“I’m ready for the real thing now.”
Move-In Day was also a great opportunity for transfer students to check out their new environment. Junior Kassidy Robinson said she is excited for “the whole college experience at Lyon.”
“I’m thrilled about finally getting to live on campus! I’m on the softball team, and I’m excited for new beginnings, new teammates, and new competitors.”
“I’m looking forward to everything Lyon has to offer,” said junior Jasmine Carlos. “I was in Kansas before, and it was all flatlands. This is a whole new environment. ”
Arturo Rodriguez, Jasmine’s grandfather, said he and his wife drove up from Houston, Texas, to help their granddaughter move in.
“Her parents are coming tomorrow, so they volunteered us,” he said, smiling. “When parents are busy, grandparents are the next best thing to help you move in!”
“We’ve been a big part of her life since she was born, so we were happy to be here as she starts this new chapter.”
Diane Ellis and Dr. Helen Robbins were recognized for 30 years of service Wednesday at Lyon’s All Campus Awards Luncheon.
Ellis, director of counseling, was commended for her focus on students, serving them “with her full heart and attention.”
“Diane is an example of the heart of Lyon,” said Jennifer Hidy Pitts, administrative assistant for Student Life. “When you talk with her about her work at Lyon, she’ll say how much she has learned from students and how impressed she is that people at their age are willing to start to work on some difficult issues.”
“That really sums up not only the dedication that Diane has to Lyon and our wonderful students but also why she is so good at what she does.”
Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Dr. Patrick Mulick said Ellis has been “an invaluable member of the Lyon family for three decades.”
“Her dedication to her student clients and the entire Lyon student body is a shining example of someone who truly lives her work.”
“Many college counselors intentionally avoid their campus after work hours, but Diane has done the opposite. She is consistently seen at choir concerts, band performances, art shows, theater productions, athletic events, and more. Her presence at these events is cherished by the Lyon students. Lyon is lucky to have Diane as a member of our community.”
Robbins, associate professor of English, was lauded for her volunteer spirit.
“Helen has always been willing to take on any task that benefits Lyon’s students and faculty,” said Dr. Terrell Tebbetts. “She was a great help to both, for example, by running the writing center for many years, finding tutors and supervising their work.”
“Helen is a model colleague: always generous with her time and ready to share wise insights,” said Dr. Wesley Beal. “My life at Lyon is better for her company.”
Megan Bryant, administrative assistant for the athletic department, received the 2019 Staff Service Award.
“This year’s winner works diligently alongside our staff and faculty to ensure our students have what they need to make their experience at Lyon great,” said Director of Athletics Kevin Jenkins.
“[Bryant] quietly goes about helping students on a daily basis, dispensing love and caring while assisting with insurance and eligibility needs. Her tireless work behind the scenes supporting Lyon College helps our students achieve great things.”
“I can’t explain how much it means to have been selected for this award by the Lyon College staff,” said Bryant. “I have enjoyed being part of the Athletic Department and Lyon College for the last five years, and I look forward to many more!”
The following staff members were also recognized for their years of service during the ceremony:
Dr. Bradley Gitz
Dr. Russell Stinson
Dr. Frank Winfrey
Dr. Mahbubul Kabir
Dr. David Thomas
Dr. John Herda
Dr. Irosha Nawarathne
Dr. Jaeyun Sung
A Lyon senior’s visit to the bank is adding up to accounting experience.
Brandon Giribaldie, of Willemstad, Curacao, is interning in the accounting department of Citizens Bank this summer. He assists with outgoing wire transfers and manages vendor payments among other duties.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Giribaldie said. “Luckily, I’m used to covering a broad spectrum at Lyon. You’re always learning something new and getting a wide range of skills to help you out in the real world.”
He learned about the internship opportunity from International Student Advisor Joni Bube.
“I applied for it online and went in for an interview just like with a real job,” Giribaldie said. “It all worked out, and now I’m getting professional experience I’ve never had before.”
Bube said summer internships are a great way for students to satisfy the requirements of their curriculum while gaining work experience in their field of study.
“We are always grateful to local businesses who invest in Lyon College students through internship opportunities,” she said. “We are glad Brandon has this on-the-job learning opportunity at Citizens Bank, connecting the classroom to the real world and discovering that accounting is more than spreadsheets and financial statements.”
Director of Career Services Annette Castleberry said research has shown that participation in internships during undergrad helps students secure employment or enrollment in graduate programs within six months of graduation.
“Brandon and other students who pursue these opportunities will significantly increase their chance for success after college,” she said.
“International students who engage in internships through Curricular Practical Training during college increase their chance for success in finding employment in the United States.”
A double major in economics and business administration, Giribaldie said his bank internship will also make understanding new classes, such as money and banking, easier next school year.
“The classes and internship work together so well. I can use the experiences from one to build on my success in the other.”
Adillet Lindsey, accounting manager at Citizens Bank, said it was a pleasure getting to know and work with Giribaldie.
"He was always ready to learn and willing to complete each task assigned to him with a great attitude. We look forward to keeping up with Brandon after graduation and seeing what this young man will accomplish in the future."
Giribaldie said he is grateful to get an inside look at the world of banking.
“This is my first time working in an office environment,” he said. “The best part is that my coworkers are very nice and willing to help whenever I ask. I’m glad I got to have this opportunity!”
Anna Leinweber has started a new chapter with the Mabee-Simpson Library.
Public Services Librarian Anna Leinweber will manage the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) department, connecting faculty and students with a catalogue of resources.
“If we don’t have an article or book on-site in the stacks around the library, I can request it from other libraries across the country,” she said. “Large research institutions usually have them and will send us a copy by mail or electronically.”
“We have databases everybody can access through the Lyon library page, but sometimes you will be researching and site will tell you we don’t have access to the full text. That’s the perfect time to email me about an interlibrary loan.”
Leinweber obtained her B.S. in education and B.A. in history from Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth and worked as a high school social studies teacher before pursuing library science.
“I’ve always been more on the introverted side. I love gathering information and researching topics, always wanting to learn more about things I don’t know about,” she said.
“I had a cousin pursuing a library degree, and that’s when I discovered it was something that even existed.”
Leinweber recently completed her M.S. in library science at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge and is now looking forward to helping others further their education at Lyon.
“That’s why I wanted to work in an academic library specifically. I love the idea of supporting professors and students with their studies.”
She has spent the past few weeks preparing for the arrival of students for the fall semester.
“I’m glad I came at the end of the summer. I feel like I got to do some trial and error and figure stuff out,” Leinweber said. “I’m really happy to be at Lyon. Everyone I’ve met so far is really friendly and welcome.”
“I’m excited for students to be here. I’m looking forward to building relationships with them, faculty, and staff as they come around the library.”
A Lyon senior catered to the needs of those in crisis this summer at a short-term mental health facility in Little Rock.
Emma Gillaspy, of Conway, worked with Dr. Melissa Zielinski at the Psychiatric Research Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Most of her work was with the crisis stabilization unit (CSU). Clients were brought to the CSU by one of the many mental health centers around the state or by a police department in the area, and Gillaspy was responsible for making follow-up calls to clients after they left the facility.
“We did follow-ups at 7 days, 30 days, and 90 days to check on their mental and physical health, along with any medical procedures or criminal activity since they were released from the CSU.”
Gillaspy worked with research project programs and helped make the follow-up process an online option for clients who wouldn’t answer the phone calls.
“Though I wasn’t able to talk face to face with those clients, I got to talk to a good amount of clients on the phone. Being able to see how they are doing and how they have progressed was super interesting to me. My favorite part was just being able to talk with them.”
Gillaspy came across Zielinski’s lab while researching potential internships.
“I would like to work in a hospital setting, and I thought this would be a good fit for the summer.”
She applied lessons from her psychology research methods class while doing online research at the institute. The follow-ups are based off surveys, said Gillaspy, and her courses provided background knowledge about what kind of survey she was inputting and why she was asking clients those types of questions.
She credits Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Rose Danek’s biopsychology class and Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Robert Miller’s abnormal psychology class with equipping her for the internship.
“It was helpful to have a basis on what mental health disorders were and the symptoms of those disorders. That way, I could have an idea before I called of what the clients were feeling and why the drugs they had taken affected the diagnosed disorder.”
Her experience will go hand-in-hand with the psychology internship class she will take this fall. Gillaspy said she used to think she would hate doing research as a career, but the internship has made her reconsider.
“It gave me a little glance at what research looks like and how it’s set up. It really got me thinking about doing my own research here at Lyon!”
The experience also showed her how much income can affect regular contact with mental healthcare, and tapped into a passion for helping those with limited access to it.
“It is so needed, and, without places like the CSU, they may never get the help or resources they need to get better,” she said.
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