IAC Shadow Day opens doors for future students

Prospective students and their families sit in on a panel designed to provide information about different majors within the Ivan Allen College. The event attracts many students interested in Tech. // Photo by Tyler Parker Student Publications

The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts (IAC) at Tech recently hosted its event for prospective and incoming undergraduate students, Shadow Day, on Thursday, Jan. 26. Orchestrated by Elizabeth Miller, Director of Enrollment and Student Affairs, Cameron Huggins, Program Support Coordinator and the Ivan Allen Student Ambassadors, the event provided an opportunity for attendees to experience the life of a liberal arts student at an institute renowned for its emphasis on technology.

To gain further insight into the event, the Technique interviewed Kaeli Lawrence,  first-year PUBP and IAC ambassador. In her capacity at the campus, Lawrence played a key role as a volunteer coordinator under the guidance of Kimberly Kassis,  fourth-year International Affairs and Modern Languages (IAML) ambassador. 

“The preparation process was very meticulous since we aimed to make this experience as organized and impactful as possible. Though it demanded a lot of time and effort, the end result was incredibly rewarding, especially seeing prospective students genuinely enjoying their exploration of the campus,” Lawrence shared.

She recounted a particularly gratifying outcome from the event, saying, “I had two separate students tell me at the end of Shadow Day that they decided to pay their deposit for Georgia Tech as soon as they returned home. This speaks volumes about the effectiveness of the day. It allows students and parents to gain a deeper understanding of campus life, student dynamics and the multifaceted opportunities available at Tech, in a way that closely mirrors the real
college experience.”

Lawrence further emphasized the uniqueness of Shadow Day compared to other recruitment programs. 

“What sets Shadow Day apart is its highly personalized approach. We ensure that most activities host no more than 10 students at a time. This small group setting is possible because we simultaneously organize multiple events, each tailored to different student interests. This attention to detail and commitment to providing a bespoke experience for every attendee is truly remarkable. It’s these aspects that distinguish Shadow Day from other programs and make it an invaluable tool in showcasing the Georgia Tech experience for prospective liberal arts students,” she said. 

Throughout the day, students experienced a personalized journey through the life of a Tech student, thanks to schedules crafted based on their interests and the information they provided upon registration. Current student volunteers guided each attendee through the campus and participated alongside them
in various activities. 

Students had the opportunity to attend real classroom sessions, giving them a sample of the academic rigor and environment at Tech. Personalized tours led by current students offered an intimate look at the campus, including insights into major-specific areas of interest. The major interest luncheon and interactions during breakfast with deans, students and faculty provided valuable networking opportunities and deeper insights into the college community.

Parents and guests were not left out of the event. They participated in their own set of activities, including panels on academic advising, financial aid and Q&A sessions with the admissions team and college deans. These sessions provided them with a comprehensive understanding of the support systems and resources available at Tech.

Reagan Lengefeld, third-year PUBP, reflected on the diversity of experiences offered during Shadow Day, from student-hosted panels to attending actual classes. 

“Shadow Day was a significant reason I chose Tech. It’s amazing to now help others in the same position I was,” Reagan said, emphasizing the event’s impact on her decision to attend Tech.

James Connor, third-year CS/PUBP student volunteer at Shadow Day, recounted his experience leading small group tours and interacting with attendees. “Shadow Day stands out as an exceptionally creative approach to experiencing what it’s like to study at the Ivan Allen College,” Connor said.

The event’s success was attributed to the Ivan Allen Student Ambassadors and the college’s commitment to providing a comprehensive, realistic view of campus life for prospective students and their families. 

Shadow Day continues to be a pivotal experience, influencing the decisions of future students and shaping the community at Tech’s IAC. This is especially important given the growth of non-STEM majors at Tech.