Meet Alina Zollfrank, Global Campus Virtual Mentor
|Global Campus Virtual Mentor Alina Zollfrank|
A shout out to all you WSU Global Campus students from Alina, one of your Virtual Mentors!
I attended this campus (back then called Distance Degree Programs, or DDP) when my daughter was a toddler and I was pregnant with my son. The flexibility of online learning, together with the amazing support from fellow students, my instructors, and my advisor, made it possible for me to graduate right after a semester on semi-bed rest and an early labor.
While a student, I served as a senator and treasurer for the ASWSU-DDP student government. I know all about the juggling act online students perform in their daily life, and my gratitude for this program led me to become a Virtual Mentor right after obtaining my BA in Social Sciences. I have been happily giving back to WSU and this program’s committed, diverse students ever since 2007. For several years, I have also worked in the capacity of Assistant Lead Virtual Mentor, so you may see my name popping up in course spaces here and there. As a previous exchange student from Germany, I have a particular interest in global education that transcends real borders and perceived barriers.
Virtual Mentors are all about making your online learning experience a smooth one, whether it’s to help you become comfortable in the course space, troubleshoot Blackboard issues, hunt down WSU resources, or—something very dear to our VM hearts—effectively communicate and connect with fellow students to build a healthy, supportive learning community. It’s not unusual for me to come across a student new to online learning who is feeling overwhelmed by all the nooks and crannies of the course space along with the almost immediately urgent deadlines. What do I tell them? Explore. Breathe. Explore some more. Watch the Blackboard tutorials and check out everything on the main menu. Read the tips your Virtual Mentors post in the VM Forum throughout the semester because they can make a difference for your comfort level and overall learning. Then, explore some more. And ask, always ask when confused or concerned because the odds are an experienced classmate who has been in the same boat will step up and lend support. We’re all in this together.