Sabrina Nunn ’21 makes people smile. Her boundless energy and contagious joy are two of the distinguishing qualities helping her succeed and lead in this extraordinary year — as a senior majoring in business analytics through the Johnston Center for Integrative Studies and as president of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR).
A native of Redwood City, California, Nunn began her Redlands journey for practical reasons but stayed for personal ones. "The University gave me a generous financial aid package, which was one of the major considerations during my college selection process. But what really kept me at this school was the close-knit community and small classes that allowed me to build meaningful and supportive relationships with my professors and peers.”
She transferred into the Johnston program during her sophomore year. "I knew that I wanted to blend the disciplines of business, computer science, and math together. Johnston’s program has allowed me the creativity and flexibility in getting the most of my education here at Redlands.”
Between classes, homework, and presidential duties, Nunn found time for a Q & A with the Bulldog Blog.
Bulldog Blog: When did you first become involved with ASUR? Why?
Sabrina Nunn: During my freshman year, I thought about running for ASUR senate. After a bit of hype from my friends around how I knew a lot of people, we thought it would be funny if I tried to run for ASUR president instead, as a freshman. I did. I surprisingly captured about 25 percent of the vote as a freshman who had only been on campus for about five months, but I did not make it into the runoffs. One of the SIS (Student Involvement and Success) directors thought my energy would be well suited for ASUR Social Affairs. In my sophomore and junior years, I worked as an event director which was an absolutely rewarding experience providing fun social opportunities such as Fall Fest, Bingo, and Casino Night for students and was then motivated to pursue the ASUR presidency.
BB: What is your vision for your presidency?
SN: One of our key goals is to understand what students are going through during this pandemic, in terms of adjusting to online classes and taking care of their mental health. I'm working with the ASUR team to find innovative ways to keep students engaged with the Bulldog community and supported with the resources they need to work through COVID-19.
Another goal is to focus on building relationships with the administration so that communication channels are open between both parties to make working together during these unprecedented times more seamless.
BB: How is ASUR meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic?
SN: ASUR is adapting to online models, where needed, for running events, hosting meetings, and staying in constant communication with those in the various areas in which we work. We are also challenging ourselves to be innovative by exploring ways we can keep our students involved and make our students feel supported — despite not being on campus.
To get students engaged, social media has been our strongest platform by far for either polling students on topics that are important to them, encouraging them to attend social events and our upcoming speaker series, and boosting other organization accounts through our own platform.
BB: Why is ASUR important to the student experience?
SN: Our students are the heart of this campus community and all of the events, interactions, projects and so much more that goes on at Redlands. ASUR is run by students, for students. So every event, project, survey, and meeting is done with our students’ best interest in mind because, at the end of the day, we are here to ensure that each Bulldog’s time here at Redlands is one that is memorable.
BB: How do you plan to work with University leadership, and what goals might you hope to achieve through building those relationships?
SN: Our cabinet is looking to meet with University leadership on a more regular basis to discuss updates from both parties, initiatives that we can collaborate on, and what’s going on with the Redlands community. I believe that sharing ideas and information with one another through these meetings will bridge any gaps between the two groups. I also hope that our work here will set a positive precedent for the way ASUR and administration can work together after my term is through.
BB: Are students engaging in clubs and organizations even though they aren't on campus? If so, how?
SN: Indeed! Our representative for Student Clubs and Organizations facilitated a fantastic online club fair for our students to come and meet the many clubs still gathering this semester. ASUR highly encourages students to refer to Presence to see all of the groups we have available, and students can still join clubs by contacting leaders through that platform. Our Social Affairs branch has already hosted a successful bingo night and Bulldog Bakeoff to kick off the semester. Their team received positive reviews from members who participated in the events and some raving “thank yous” for the prizes distributed. There are many more events like trivia and bingo in store for the rest of the semester, and we would love to have our students follow ASUR and Social Affairs on Instagram.
BB: Bulldogs are resilient! What advice/tips do you have for students, and how are you keeping yourself motivated?
SN: Staying motivated and practicing self-care daily are really what dealing with COVID and quarantine has been about for me, taking things day by day. Everybody has their own way of taking care of themselves. Something that keeps me motivated (and sane) is something I refer to as “serotonin shifters.” You can change your mood in a matter of minutes by focusing on the things that center you and make you happy. This can be anything from listening to your favorite playlist, taking a walk around the block, or FaceTiming a friend. Take a moment to identity your personal shifters. Mine are rollerblading, journaling, playing the ukulele, making a cup of tea, and cleaning the kitchen. If you’re feeling stressed or are going through a bout of “screen fatigue” — which is 100% real — take 5 to 15 minutes and delve into one of your own shifters, and block out everything else for a little while. This has been a game-changer for me.