February 8, 2013 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Story by Agnes Chick

Nicole Turner, fourth-year student in the School of Social Work, is an inspirational leader with her heart set on making a difference. Not only does she provide motivational speeches on the challenges that people living with disabilities face every day, she has been a dedicated member of the King’s Soph team for the past three years. With her newly appointed role as the Head Soph for 2013-2014, Turner is ready to take on another mission; to create a diverse and inclusive Soph team that is truly representative of the King’s community.

“I believe that diversity within a group can be a strong indicator of success, as long as the members feel welcome to be themselves,” says Turner. “A diverse team offers a greater variety of strengths and perspectives that will support the needs of first-year students coming from different backgrounds.”

As part of her initiatives to improve the orientation program, Turner is aiming for a more unified relationship between Soph teams at main campus and the affiliated university colleges that will foster a cohesive experience for first-year students. She is also eager to hold events that promote the services offered by both the University and the city of London.

Another way Turner hopes to make a difference as King’s Head Soph is to push for a more inclusive orientation program that embraces students living with different disabilities and mental health challenges, as well as oppressed populations or groups and cultural minorities. By hosting “Awareness Training Sessions” that are specific to King’s Soph team, Turner plans to facilitate interactive discussions around these realities.

“One way to improve the program would be to provide more in-depth training to Sophs on the myths of disability and how to assist people who may experience a variety of challenges,” says Turner, noting that the ultimate goal of the orientation program is to make sure every student has a positive transition into university life.

An open-minded and passionate individual with a big heart, Turner’s past experiences as Committee Head of Off-Campus and Committee Head of Awareness make her the ideal leader to head this year’s Soph team at King’s.

Julian Franch, King’s Head Soph for 2012-2013, is very proud to have Turner as his successor.

“Nicole definitely deserves it, especially with the leadership roles she’s already demonstrated at King’s and in the broader community,” says Franch. “She’s really hoping to push for an inclusive team by celebrating everyone’s unique differences and creating a safe place for first-years to explore their new home.”