IAC’s Shadow Day event welcomes students

Photo by Tyler Parker

For prospective liberal arts students, enrolling at Tech can be intimidating.

Luckily, each year the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts (IAC) hosts a Shadow Day event wherein they extend the opportunity for prospective students to experience the program firsthand. 

The event this year took place on Jan. 28 and more recently, April 8. 

“Shadow Day is one of the best opportunities for students interested in enrolling in the IAC,” said Allie-Grace Mock, a fourth-year LMC major and seasoned volunteer.

Stephen Nash, a fourth-year IAML major, agrees with Mock.

“IAC Shadow Day is the most effective admissions event on campus in terms of the percentage of attendees who go on to submit their admissions deposit,” Nash said. 

Mock explains how there are a plethora of activities for both students and parents.

“We offer panels on international experiences, academic advising and student life, as well as tours of campus, popular athletics spots and freshmen dorms,” Mock said. “High schoolers also get the opportunity to attend real Ivan Allen classes where they can get a glimpse into IAC courses.”

Parents also have the opportunity to learn more about IAC, including financial aid and Q&A sessions.

For many current students, Ivan Allen’s Shadow Day event is what confirmed their interest in liberal arts at Tech. 

“I attended Shadow Day after I got accepted into Georgia Tech. Coming into the day, I was already wondering if I should switch my major,” Mock said. 

“I got to attend an LMC class and knew from there that it was the right path for me. I also got to meet so many other students who were coming to Tech and it made making friends in my very first classes at Tech easier.”

Addison Dascher, a third-year PUBP major, attended Shadow Day as a junior and senior in high school. 

“I was immediately drawn to the school after my first Shadow Day experience, as I got to meet so many incredible students and friendly faculty,” Dascher said. “My senior year Shadow Day is what solidified my decision to come to Tech; I felt comfortable in the environment yet challenged by what it had to offer.” 

Because of their positive experience at the event as incoming students, Mock and Dascher have participated as volunteers since their freshman year of college.

Both Mock and Dascher have acted as panelists for the student life panel and floaters for the parent’s breakfast. However, both noted that they most enjoy the events that enable them to interact closely with the students. 

Mock says that her favorite events are the parent’s Q&A and the campus tour. 

“During last year’s virtual Shadow Day, I gave a tour that was filmed and live-streamed to participants. It was so fun running around campus showing the students what they wanted to see and trying to give them an authentic experience,” Mock said. “The parent’s Q&A is always fun because they ask the questions their kids are scared to ask. They don’t hold back, and it is always a great time.”

Similarly, Dascher likes to take students with her to sit in classes.

“My favorite activity has to be the classes …,” Dascher said. “It’s so much fun walking students to real classes on campus and getting to show them a ‘sneak peak’ of what could be their future school.”

Nash entered Tech as a student in the College of Engineering, but switched to IAC. Since changing his major, Nash has also taken a liking to volunteering for the event.

“My favorite part by far is giving smaller, personalized tours and really getting to connect with students trying to find their best college fit,” Nash said. 

Overall, Shadow Day allows all individuals to recognize IAC’s versatile nature, regardless of whether they are a prospective student, volunteer or both.

For instance, Dascher says that she likes to highlight to prospective students “the STEM underlying current that makes our liberal arts program unique compared to other traditional schools. We do social science research, take CS classes and are required to fulfill math credits.” 

For anyone who is remotely interested in becoming a part of the IAC, Nash would like to convey that it comprises individuals who are genuinely devoted to its members.

“We’re an innovative college focused on leveraging our STEM expertise to improve the human condition, and we’re a great home for students interested in anything relating to humanities, social sciences, arts and STEM,” Nash said. 

“Ivan Allen College is also truly committed to improving the experience of its students, and that’s really why I’m willing to promote it.”