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Presentations and perseverance pay off for winners of the Purple Shoes Gallery Walk

Two students browse engaged learning posters during Furman Engaged on April 13.

To win a pair of Furman purple Nikes, Abigail Smith ’22 first had to use some shoe leather of her own.

But at the end of Furman Engaged last week, all of the steps paid off when the junior from Greenville, South Carolina, was announced the winner of the Purple Shoes Gallery Walk scavenger hunt. The competition capped off a day of virtual engaged learning presentations, featuring the work of more than 650 students, which included internships, research, service learning, study away, creative projects and capstone experiences.

Abigail Smith ’22.

The scavenger hunt challenged students to roam Furman’s campus during Furman Engaged and examine as many poster presentations as possible. The posters, found among other places in the James B. Duke Library, the Trone Student Center, the Lay Physical Activities Center and Johns Hall, described students’ experiences in various internships and research and capstone projects.

Twenty of those 137 posters were marked with Center for Engaged Learning stickers. Students could email the numbers of the stickered posters to the center, while also voting on their favorite posters. Smith’s name was picked randomly from a group of students who found all 20 posters.

One of the posters Smith found in Hipp Hall was by Caroline Kuhnert ’22, a junior from Athens, Georgia. Kuhnert, a psychology and environmental studies major, wrote about her time interning with the Furman College Advising Corps. She and another Furman student developed a PowerPoint deck informing high school seniors “what to expect when they start their freshman year and how to make the transition easier.” The PowerPoints discussed time management, stress management, relationships and the importance of sleep in college.

One main takeaway for Kuhnert was learning skills to collaborate virtually, using Zoom and other tools. The internship “also showed me that I enjoy creating content that can help other people,” she said. “This helped give me guidance on pursuing a career path in mentoring or counseling.”

Wherever these students decide to go in their senior year and beyond, they’re bound to get there a little faster once they lace up their new Furman purple Nikes.

“I’m just going to wear mine around and show them off,” Smith said.

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