The last weeks of the semester may have been a busy time, but that didn’t stop many at Iowa State from taking a minute to send a thank you to someone who deserved it.
The effort to have students send CyThx to people who make them feel like a valued member of the Iowa State community succeeded in its first campaign. A total of 337 CyThx were submitted and directed to seven colleges and other areas, and 100 departments and units were represented.
“Extremely pleased,” said Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) director Sara Marcketti. “We targeted this for students — undergraduate and graduate students — but what we have been somewhat surprised by is there are a number of people who thanked colleagues or other people in their units, making it more peer-to-peer at the faculty or staff level.”
Students were able to offer their CyThx, anonymously if they chose, through a short online form. The thanks were directed toward instructors, mentors, staff members, advisers and peer leaders.
“What made me happiest is that we were able to touch all of the colleges and so many areas around campus, and we have room to grow,” CELT program coordinator Laura Bestler said. “We are proud that there are a number of people on campus that want to send thanks to someone.”
CyThx is a collaborative effort between CELT, the learning communities program, office of multicultural student affairs and Student Government.
“In the first year we were hoping to work out the logistics of it, and we wanted to make sure there was student support for it,” Marcketti said. “When Student Government came on board and said ‘absolutely, we want to support this’ that was a really good win for us. (Graduate and Professional Student Senate) had us out to their meeting and were very enthusiastic about it as well.”
Members of the campus community receiving a CyThx were notified through an email. The messages are displayed on the CELT website. A list of CyThx recipients also was sent to the department chair or unit head and senior administration in the area that individual works. For example, if thanks was given to someone at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the department chair and dean were notified.
The campaign ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 14, and the decision already has been made to bring it back again in November.
“We started it in November in conjunction with the idea of being thankful for all that is done by so many,” director of learning communities Jen Leptien said. “Students in learning communities tend to be first-year, full-time students, and this is a good time because they know who their mentors are and have made some good connections.
“I think (CyThx) is a wonderful indication of how many people are spending that extra time to reach out and share their appreciation for other people.”
Originally posted on Inside Iowa State’s, “CyThx successful in first campaign” webpage (January 3, 2019).