K-State hosts Strengths Week 2016

Residents and faculty of the Van Zile community practice the strength of executing as they build towers of spaghetti and marshmallows in the Putnam Hall lobby on March 1, 2016, during Strengths Week. (Jessica Robbins | The Collegian)

K-State New Student Services kicked off Strengths Week on Monday. This is the first year in two years Strengths Week has been done on campus, according to Jessica Arnold, assistant coordinator for K-State’s New Student Services.

“Our advocate group had doubled in size since we took over, so it influenced what we have wanted to do on campus,” Arnold said.

Arnold said she took over as the StrengthsQuest coordinator last fall and wanted to implement Strengths Week again.

Strengths Week kicked off on Monday with a Strenghts Debate, where students were challenged to debate different strengths. Strengths Advocates spent Tuesday and Wednesday focusing on helping students in the residence halls understand and develop their strengths through group activities. Thursday, StrenghtsQuest hosted the event “Putting Your Strengths to Work,” an interactive workshop on applying strengths to interviews and careers.

Arnold said StrenghtsQuest has done a good job promoting strengths with K-State’s Career and Employment Services and partnering with fraternities and sororities on campus, but it wanted to reach out to other students as well.

Ronnell DuBose, residence life coordinator at Haymaker Hall, said he was introduced to his individual strengths in graduate school and was sold on how well StrengthsQuest encompasses a variety of strengths and allows users to expand and grow.

“I think Strengths helps students focus on their leadership abilities and helps them utilize their strengths every day with employers and professors,” DuBose said.

Both DuBose and Manprit Kaur, assistant residence life coordinator at Haymaker Hall and graduate student in counseling and student development, said they were impressed with Strengths Week. They said they were glad the week was getting students more aware and engaged with StrenghtsQuest again, especially during midterms when students are overwhelmed.

“StrengthsQuest gives new and incoming students the opportunity to build a foundation on their new independence and see how they change in their independence over time,” Kaur said. “It also helps them build an identity.”

Throughout the week, StrengthsQuest has promoted a social media photo challenge using the tags #strengthsweek2016 and #StrengthsTalk.

“We are able to see strengths through the eyes of the students, and it’s neat to see how they see their strengths,” Arnold said.

Students shared photos of themselves with their strengths, as well as photos of life or objects that model different strengths.

Arnold said in the future, the group is looking to move Strengths Week toward the fall to promote the time when new and incoming students are taking their StrengthsFinder assessment.

Arnold also said the advocate group is looking to produce monthly activities.