Corey Burgess of University College is the recipient of a Living Our Values Award.
The Living Our Values (LOV) awards recognize individuals and groups that exemplify Illinois State’s core values of Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement, and Integrity, as spelled out in Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State – The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018-2023. The awards celebrate the commitment to live the University’s values every day, and strengthen the campus community by sharing those values.
Burgess is the first of our LOV recipients to be nominated by two students. Aaliyah Gladney and Frank Murray nominated Burgess separately, praising her dedication to the values of Individualized Attention, Diversity and Inclusion, and Collaboration.
A 2011 alumna of Illinois State, Burgess started working that same year at University College as an academic advisor. She moved to her current role as coordinator of orientation and transition services in 2014.
Each school year, Burgess has the task of organizing and preparing for Preview, the orientation program that impacts thousands of incoming students, their families, and guests. Coordinating with departments across campus, she prepares Preview Guides to create a welcoming environment for incoming Redbirds. Burgess also trains Preview Guides and is known for her support. “She takes the time to meet with every guide to make sure they are comfortable in their role,” said Murray.
Gladney praised Burgess for implementing the “Preview Partner” program last summer, which pairs students going through Preview on their own with a University College staff member. “Thousands of students come through the Preview Program each summer. Many come with parents and guests, but some come alone, which can be a daunting experience for a student,” said Gladney.
Burgess said she has witnessed the relationships between the partners continue past Preview. “Partners can help ease some of the anxieties about starting college, and help answer questions that students may not even know to ask,” she said. “We’re thrilled students already have a trusted mentor and friend at ISU before they officially begin.”
Self-awareness and an understanding of true diversity is central to training Preview Guides, noted Burgess. “We spend time exploring and reflecting on identities,” she said. “As our staff feels more comfortable discussing their identities, they are better able to facilitate small group activities with the incoming freshmen related to diversity and inclusion.”
Burgess considers the work of University College vital to preserving the core values of the institution, and views Preview as a strong step in making the University a home. “We have the ability to positively impact every single freshman student and shape their expectations for what life is like for students at ISU, and we take that very seriously,” she said.
Nominees for the Living Our Values awards can be any current Illinois State student, faculty, or staff member, or a group of people at Illinois State working toward a program or initiative that reflects the core values.
Nomination forms can be found on the Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State website.