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Sarah Thornberg

What is your major/minor?

Communication, Organizational Leadership

What year in school are you?


Interesting fact?

Just one interesting fact? 

  • I was once called "The Princess of Death" due to my unnatural ability to kill a house plant in record time. This includes cactus. I have a black thumb. 
  • I love creative endeavors of all types--drawing, painting, decorating cakes, building things, writing poetry, etc. Except for technological creativity--I like paper (and why wouldn't I? It's made from trees, which I can kill with a watering can.) 
  • I'm a pretty sufficient home improvement do-it-yourself-er. I've installed more ceiling fans than Bob Vila.

What do you do outside of being a busy student?

Most of my life outside of school is dedicated to being "mom," my kids school work and activities, and household duties. 
I'm a dedicated weightlifter. If I'm not in class or doing something SI related, I'm most likely in the gym.
Aside from that, I really enjoy sleeping. And summer, when I actually have time to be me.

How many semesters have you been facilitating?


Which courses do you facilitate for now, or have in the past?

HIST 2111 & HIST 2112

What are your short-term and long-term goals, and how does SI (Supplemental Instruction) relate to those?

Short term: Most obviously, I would like to graduate with a stellar GPA. Between now and then, I want to continue gaining valuable life and work experience. 
Long term: I would love to get a job as a Volunteer Coordinator or a similar position with a non-profit. A career that allows me to get out into the community, present, and get people to enthusiastically support a cause, most preferably one involving animals. A crusader, of sorts. 
SI has and continues to provide me valuable job experience. It's a resume builder, a network builder, and an overall great opportunity. I am proud to put SI on my resume and all of the ways it has prepared me for my future goals.

What is your favorite SI moment?

I love making people laugh, so I really enjoy being able to take a subject and make it interactive and fun for the students. My favorite moment has to be the time I attempted to play Taboo in a session. I say "attempted" because it didn't go exactly as I had planned--it was awkward and hilarious and everyone left session in a really great mood.


What have you gained from being an SI facilitator?

SI has been the most invaluable experience in the whole of my college career. I came back to school at 27 years old, three small children, and no clue about what I wanted to be--I just knew I had to be something. When Dr. Ouzts asked me about being a facilitator, I was really hesitant. Could I balance another responsibility? Would I be any good at it? Would I like it? 
Being a facilitator exposed something in me and then helped me to develop it--this passion for communicating, for listening, for guiding, for play. SI has helped me figure out what I want to be when I grow up, where my niche is, what I am capable of, and that I can and should try new things, even if they scare me.

What study tips/techniques do you have for students?

Figure out what works for you and then develop it. I've read and seen hundreds of way to study but for each way, there is a student it doesn't work for. 
SI is wonderful because it provides dedicated group study time utilizing techniques that one can't use individually. It also helps because you're trying a variety of techniques and you can take home the ones that do work for you and utilize them in other classes.

What do you like/what excites you about the material you SI for?

I love that History is a narrative. In High School, I felt that History was just a time line, a calendar, but I've learned that the dates aren't the really important part--History is about real people and their lives. It's about the collective lives of people living in a certain time. History is much more than dates--it is full of fascinating stories.

What has been your favorite collaborative learning technique (CLT) that you have done in your sessions?

My two most frequented CLTs are Jeopardy and Super Tic-Tac-Toe. They get the students really involved--competition brings out the best in students.

What is your favorite aspect of the mentor role?


Everything about SI, to me, is about growth and development. As facilitators, we are helping students grow and develop study skills, relationships, and academic confidence. As facilitators, we grow and develop our own confidence in our leadership abilities, public speaking, creativity, and deeper knowledge of the subject material.

As a mentor, I continue to grow my own abilities in interacting with others but, more importantly, I get to witness and encourage growth in others and offer support in that sometimes difficult process.

I get to see so many incredible facilitators and listen to them brainstorm, see their amazing ideas play out in session, see how they've changed and developed their own unique style throughout the semester or semesters.

It's really a privilege to be in such a position and I look forward to passing on the torch when I leave UNG.

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