Freshmen at Stephens College today channeled the spirit of alumna Dawn Wells—best known for her role as Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island—during a team building exercise, part of the new Freshmen Year Experience
Faculty members converted the Kimball Ballroom into an ocean complete with various islands and palm trees.
Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut began the exercise by reminding students that Wells attended Stephens and letting them know they'd get their own chance to play Mary Ann, the girl-next-door character Wells portrayed on the beloved show that has aired consistently for 50 years.
After being “shipwrecked,” students were assigned islands where they had to form a government, figure out how to access and share resources and to work together.
The activity continued a study about personality types. Earlier in the week, students took the Myers Briggs personality test to determine their individual strengths.
“This activity reinforces how they fit in and how they can work with other personality types,” said Kogut, who teaches English/creative writing. “One of the main lessons is team building and how they fit into this larger community of castaways.”
Students were given envelopes with resource cards they could eventually trade with those on other islands.
But first, students had to complete a series of academic and creative tasks.
“It’s just a fun way for our freshmen to work with others who aren’t necessarily in their academic fields or close friend groups,” Kogut said. “This really helped get them out of their comfort zones and let them push the envelope a little.”
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