New face on recruitment leaders

By on April 8, 2013

The TrailBlazers, a group of highly motivated students trained to give tours to prospective UAB students, is UAB’s official student recruitment team.


“Our goal is to get the most well-trained, highly involved, and academically sound students that can share the well roundedness of what it means to be a UAB student,” said DeeDee Barns Burns, the Executive Director of New Student Programs.

In an era where potential students and parents can easily go online and ‘tour’ the campus from the comfort of their own home, TrailBlazers share their unique experiences and stories to the students they give tours to.

“It is important to visit the colleges you think you’ll attend. When students look at colleges, they often look at factors, such as how much it costs or the programs offered, but when it comes down to making that final choice, it really matters if you can picture yourself there,” said Deepa Etikala, a member of the TrailBlazers Leadership Team.

Another member of the TrailBlazers Leadership Team, Madhuri Patel, gives tours because “many potential students come to UAB with so many misconceptions. When they come on a tour, most of the students can picture themselves living here.”

Ms. Burns said, “Through personal experience we try to share the really important things that make UAB distinctive. We help people understand how those unique experiences will be beneficial to their college career or academic goals. We try to show how UAB would be a good match for the students.“

Because of the growing demand for tours, the TrailBlazers added the Green Team. The Green Team consists of a group of freshmen that were recommended by guidance counselors, teachers or other faculty members. The Green Team does not have the extensive training that the TrailBlazers do, but they can help with recruitment processes and middle school tours.

They also host UAB day that occurs once a semester and give a chance for high school students to join the TrailBlazers as they talk about the different academic and student life aspects of UAB.
“We want to continue recruiting the best of UAB students to the TrailBlazers Team and by having the Green Team we already have a group of very dedicated students that will most likely apply again in the fall,” said Ms. Burns.

However, it is not all work for the Trailblazers.

“We try to incorporate all different activities for our team. After our meetings we always try to hang out. Especially this year, we know each other so well that we work so well together,” said Alex Edgil, another member of the TrailBlazers Leadership Team,.

Earlier this semester, the TrailBlazers released a video of their team performing the Gangnam Style dance.

“The TrailBlazers Program has given me a sense of purpose that extends beyond the education I’m receiving here. To be able to have an impact on so many students throughout the course of the year is a great feeling” said Ms. Etikala.

For more information regarding the TrailBlazers program, contact the Office of New Student Programs.

Anjali Wagle
Staff Writer

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