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Award Recognizes Outstanding Achievement

Jun 23, 2017


award given to student Olivia McGuckinOlivia McGuckin '11, assistant director of Admissions at Randolph-Macon College, was recognized by CiVSA (The Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Association) with its inaugural Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. This award was presented at CiVSA's 24th annual conference, which was held in Philadelphia on June 2, 2017. The award acknowledged McGuckin's extensive work with the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jacket Tour Guide program.

The Outstanding Individual Achievement Award recognizes a significant achievement by an individual in the collegiate information and visitor services field. It may be based on a single program, event or a more long-term development/process that represents an outstanding milestone in information or visitor services management.

"When I began my work at the college in 2012, I never could have imagined that this is where it would take me," says McGuckin. "One of my greatest joys in the work that I do is mentoring R-MC students in their roles as Yellow Jacket Tour Guides. However, gaining the skills to do this in a thoughtful and creative way was not done on my own. I have continued to be mentored as a professional within the R-MC community by my colleagues. This award recognized my individual accomplishments within the Yellow Jacket Tour Guide program, but it has taken many people to foster and encourage the evolution of the program into what it is today."

McGuckin, who has attended three CiVSA conferences, was selected to present an educational session at this year's conference.

The Yellow Jacket Tour Guide Program
Each year, approximately 40 R-MC students serve as Yellow Jacket Tour Guides. Advised by three peers known as Lead Jacket Guides, and McGuckin, the staff learns skills that aid them in their immediate duties of assisting the Admissions Office. These same skills encourage leadership growth and help build interpersonal skills.

The Yellow Jacket Tour Guide program has seen a steady increase in the number of students interested in joining the ranks of the program, which kicks off the hiring process in early spring each year with the annual Nomination Night.

McGuckin credits R-MC President Robert R. Lindgren for his strong support and encouragement of the Yellow Jacket Tour Guide program.

"It's been instrumental, especially in the success of Nomination Night," she says. "Each Yellow Jacket Tour Guide attends a brief training immediately after hiring, and then attends five days of training with the entire staff during the last week of July. Yellow Jacket Tour Guides are pivotal to the visit experience admissions guests have when they are on campus."

Guests can visit for daily tours, or attend a large-scale open house or admitted student event.

"Yellow Jacket Tour Guides are able to be the 'window' into the current student experience," says McGuckin. "Families and prospective students appreciate the opportunity to ask questions of a current R-MC student and receive a genuine response. Our tour guides help us share the true culture and community of R-MC."

McGuckin, who earned her B.A. in studio arts and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at R-MC in 2011, received the 2015 Yellow Jacket Excellence Behind the Scenes Award. This award is given to an R-MC staff member who provides excellent service behind the scenes, showing initiative and drive, and making Randolph-Macon a better place for work and study.