Third Annual Elevator Speech Competition

The Third Annual Elevator Speech Competition was held on April 7, 2015. Twenty-three contestants participated, an increase from 17 last year. Contestants ranged from first-year students to seniors. There were four judges: Patrick Holland ’88 a member of the CHK Group of Wells Fargo Advisors; Patrick Mullane, Vice President & General Manager of Technetics, Inc., who has also served as an Air Force officer and managed an intelligence-gathering satellite constellation for the CIA; Mackenzie Walsh ’12, staffing manager at Robert Half for the OfficeTeam division; and President Engelkemeyer, the seventh and current president of Nichols College. Professor Luanne Westerling coordinated and supervised the event with the help of Senior Class President, Andrew Haas who served as the student moderator/emcee.

In this case, an elevator speech is a one-minute pitch about you and your best qualities and skills that set you apart from the crowd. The name originates from the concept that a speech should be delivered in the time it takes for an elevator ride, which is generally 30 seconds to a minute. Nichols Elevator Speech Competition consists of a panel of judges that comment and rate contestants’ performances after the speech is delivered.  Each contestant is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. Also, if one goes over the time limit of one minute, points are deducted, so contestants must practice!

This year all three winners were freshmen! It is so exciting to see the immense participation by the freshman class. Tori Wolter, the winner, gave a riveting speech about herself and her younger sister who has Bipolar Depression. Her speech was so inspiring that I actually cried after her speech; she really did a tremendous job capturing the audience’s attention. She ended her first ever Elevator Speech Competition with a perfect score of 40 and the grand prize of $300. Second place was Martin Fletcher with $200 and third place, Devyn Goncalves with $100. Both Martin and Devyn did an exceptional job. Congratulations to all three winners!

For my effective speaking class, I had to attend the event, listen, rate, and comment on each of the students’ speeches. All of the contestants had remarkable speeches, and everyone conducted themselves confidently on stage. I thought everyone who spoke did an outstanding job and simply the fact that they could stand up in front of a filled Daniels Auditorium really showcased their character. The turnout for the event was so great that I and many others had to sit on the floor. I think next year I will sign up and compete in the Fourth Annual Elevator Speech Competition! I thoroughly enjoyed this event!

Chad Weeks as President for a Day

Tuesday, March 31st was no ordinary day at Nichols College. I walked into the President’s Office, on time for my meeting. “President Weeks is ready for you,” Lynn Looby, the President’s assistant told me. I walked into the office, smiling, happy to see my friend and classmate, Chad Weeks, sitting behind the president’s desk.

The “President for a Day” contest was started by Lynn Looby, to give a student the opportunity to experience a day as the President of Nichols. In turn, President Susan Engelkemeyer would attend the student’s classes and daily activities. The day was jam-packed for Chad, starting with a presentation at a meeting with the President’s Council at 8:00a.m. He made sure to make time to hold office hours to meet with students from 10:30-11:30 a.m., then continued on to meet with various faculty, staff and vice presidents.

When I met with Chad that morning, he was excited to take on the day, to see what went on behind the scenes at Nichols and to learn the reasons why decisions are made. He was surprised at the amount of transparency the college displayed, being completely honest about the state of affairs and inner workings.

When asked about his experience, Chad said:

“My favorite part was meeting and speaking with different                       Nichols faculty throughout the day. I learned who they were,                 what they did, and why what they do is so important to our                       campus. I learned the structure in which Nichols College                           works and operates. I have a tremendous improvement in my                 understanding of how a business and our school operates. I                     would definitely do it again if I could. It was a lot of work but I                 had a great experience. I would recommend it to anyone who                 was interested on campus to apply and do it. Not only do you                 get to sit at a cool desk, but you get to work with great people.               My practical knowledge has greatly increased. I would not                       trade the experience for anything else.”

This was a great experience for Chad, and probably President Engelkemeyer as well! I’ve heard that a day in the life of a student is not complete without a round of Madden NFL, which is exactly what she did! Hopefully this will become an annual contest at Nichols College, as a way to connect with the student body and experience both undergraduate life and a day in the role of the president.

chad weeks

Nichols Students Travel to New Orleans for Alternative Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break is an experience like no other. A group of students travel to New Orleans, Louisiana over spring break to help rebuild houses that were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Selection is rigorous; students have to fill out an application and go through an interview to take part. Once they have been chosen, they can start all the fundraising activities.

The trip is funded by donations. Throughout the year, students get together and brainstorm ways to fundraise. This year the students held events such as a pasta dinner, where ticket sales went to their fund.

When the group gets to New Orleans, they work with Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, Inc. and St. Bernard’s Project. The trip is full of opportunities for these Nichols students to learn about the different culture, themselves, and gain a new appreciation for community service and helping those in need.

A couple of my friends went on Alternative Spring Break this year. They talked very highly about the experience. I followed their entire trip by constantly looking at their Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Sean, my brother, went last year and he said it was hard work, but he enjoyed the trip. The part that was very hard to manage was waking up at 7 a.m. and not going to bed until at least midnight, sometimes 1 a.m. Sean said, “But once you realize the difference you are making in someone’s life, there is nothing to complain about.”  He also reflected on all of the friendships he made and still maintains from the trip. Another thing to look forward to is the food; everyone I talked to raved about how great it was. If you weren’t thinking about Alternative Spring Break before, you should really consider it for next year because I know I am!

Produced by Nichols College Students for the Nichols Community.