A look into Georgia State’s organizations and resources

Georgia State offers a variety of organizations and programs that range from academic to social. Harry Wyman | The Signal

One major factor of returning to campus includes the influx of students, especially freshmen, who now have to learn how to navigate college life and social activity after experiencing the isolation of a pandemic. 

Georgia State offers various university-led and student-run organizations and programs to help Panthers have fun on campus and reach their highest potential. From mental health services to academic programs, there are many ways to engage with the Panther community. 

BeWellPanthers is an integrated health system consisting of various departments, including but not limited to the Counseling Center, the Student Health Clinic, Student Victim Assistance and Access and Accommodations. 

“Health is multidimensional,” said Assistant Director of Student Wellness Tammy Turner. “The concept of BeWellPanthers is what services and programs can we provide to help students be well, to do well while they’re here at Georgia State University and as they are preparing to graduate.”

Over the last four years, BeWellPanthers has increased its opportunities and has utilized social media to reach students better. 

Currently, BeWellPanthers have weekly events that are live-streamed on Instagram and will be sustained when campuses open back up in the fall. 

For example, Healthy Mondays include a mile walk with health educators or graduate students and peaceful place meditation. 

Outside of weekly events, BeWellPanthers also have special events and resources such as sex education, panels covering important health topics, HIV and STI testing and free condoms for students. 

Students can stay up to date on BeWellPanthers and their events on their Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and upcoming TikTok channel. 

Another way for students to grow as people and professionals and build networks would be through WomenLead. WomenLead is an academic program that students can take for a semester. 

Six faculty members run the program managing six different sections; WomenLead in Business, WomenLead in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, WomenLead in Policy and Politics, WomenLead in Science and WomenLead in Technology. 

According to Nancy Mansfield, Director of WomenLead, the program is a credited elective course created in 2014 as a way to “level the playing field.” The faculty at Georgia State came together to find a way to address the conversation around women, gender disparities and the need for uplifting women’s voices. 

“The students at Georgia State are phenomenal in their commitment to making a difference in the world and their communities,” Mansfield said. “And we (WomenLead) give voice to that, and opportunities for students to gain confidence and make an impact for the future.”

Lauren Gibson, a recent graduate of the course, believes that Georgia state needs WomenLead because it allows women to come together and share experiences that empower one another on their educational and professional journey. 

“It teaches our next generation of women leaders what it means to be a leader, and it connects women to those leaders so that they have the opportunities to grow and to be empowered,” Gibson said. 

The curriculum includes identifying one’s values and vision, diversity, leadership strategy, HBDI testing and in-depth conversations about women’s experiences in the professional world. 

Another recent graduate of WomenLead, Indya Gomes, believes that eligible students should take the course. As a student who started her educational journey with Georgia State in 2015, Gomes says that WomenLead is the most transformative course she has handled. 

“If you find that you’re hesitant (about applying for WomenLead), my advice to you is to take a leap of faith,” Gomes said. “Take a leap of faith on who you are, on who you may become as a result of this course.”

There are still spots available, and it’s straightforward to apply, with only a few requirements,  including a 3.0 GPA. 

The Honors College is a small, supportive academic community for Georgia State University’s highest achieving students. 

It offers its scholars unique and exclusive benefits, including priority class registration and dedicated advising, smaller class sizes, honors housing, paid research and work-study positions, global engagement opportunities and more.

For many students, including junior and Honors College Ambassador Trevor Kosloski, the Honors College provided a feeling of community, especially within a large urban campus and throughout the pandemic. 

“I’m personally grateful to have had the Honors College Ambassador Corps as a lifeline of sorts throughout this,” Kosloski said.  

Kosloski says that his fellow ambassadors helped him stay connected and immersed in what opportunities and events are available. In addition, he says that being a part of the Honors College helped him come out of his shell.

He says that he joined the Honors College Ambassador Corps highly introverted and understands that other students may be similar. Yet, he encourages students to apply and also reaches out to other student organizations. 

“Jumping head-first into student organizations is scary, but I can’t overstate just how rewarding it all is,” Kosloski said. “Find an organization where everyone is there to help you stay connected, grow, learn and do everything you can.” 

Joining student and university organizations can be very rewarding, and many students in their final year at Georgia State can attest to that. 

Senior Ashely Scott strives to be very active at Georgia State and has risen from a member to president of multiple organizations, including the Collegiate Neuroscience Society and Collegiate 100. As a Neuroscience major, almost all of the organizations Scott is a part of are STEM-related, but she also partakes in a lot of community service. 

Because Scott primarily participates in academic organizations, she wants to try to join Spotlight Programs when she returns to campus in the fall. 

According to their website, Spotlight Programs Board is a “university-sponsored, student programming board that coordinates activities to enhance and enrich the quality of student life at Georgia State.” This includes providing social, cultural, educational, and entertainment events on campus and online during the past year. 

“(Spotlight Programs) posted a lot of events, even kind of through COVID to try to keep people active,” Scott said. 

As a senior, Scott has a message to new students and incoming newcomers as they get involved with the Georgia State Community.

“Once I got to college, it was a new experience and it can be very scary,” Scott said. “The clubs are a little bit more different, a little bit more serious, but I would say, join at least one because it allows you to start building a community.”

Scott says that a lot of her community and growth came from joining organizations and getting involved. She still maintains a lot of those connections, even after their graduations, and even now, they are helping her with medical school applications and such. 

“Join (at least one organization), and it doesn’t hurt just to show up to an event,” Scott said. “You might go to an event that could change your perceptions on something, or you learn something or help you build more confidence.”