Sunshine Gambill

Check out Sunshine Gambill, our February featured student employee. She is also a mentor and the program assistant for THRIVE. 

Meet Sunshine

Description of the video:

[MUSIC PLAYING] SUNSHINE GAMBILL: So, my name is Sunshine Gambill. My major is ceramics. I'm getting a minor at art history. And what was the last question? My position. Oh, I am the Program Assistant with THRIVE. 

Well, I think that this whole experience with THRIVE has, first, given the community of people that I relate to. And so in the future, I know that this is going to be-- it's going to have transferable skills because we learn life skills, you know?

But I think that THRIVE is most helpful because I've learned that I would advocate for students in higher education or independent students. And so it's led me to this whole spiral of realizations that I really enjoy advocating for people and being there for them.

MICHAEL KENDALL: All right. I'm Michael Kendall. I'm the Assistant Director of Scholar Support Program here at IUPUI, and I lead the THRIVE program for independent students.

I think Sunshine-- both Sunshine's commitment to THRIVE through the program but also that they would experienced a mentor with THRIVE and with other programs that we've done here at IUPUI. And so it was kind of a clear connection to the work of the program assistant role which interfaces with our mentoring team and also, in a way, mentors prospective students, students who are interested in coming to IUPUI.

I value Sunshine's insight. After years with the program, Sunshine really understands what we're about with THRIVE but also adds a unique way of applying their lived experience to the values of the program. And I think that helps students feel more comfortable understanding what THRIVE's about and more comfortable joining us, ultimately, when they come to IUPUI.

SUNSHINE GAMBILL: I'm really, really proud of getting-- we have an organization for-- so we're a first year program only, but we've started an organization for our alumni students or our alums. And so we-- I tried, last year, to get that up and running, and only one person attended.

And this year, I really pushed hard to make it happen. And we've had two meetings so far and have 10 people show up, which is awesome to see our community coming back together and just getting to connect again.

SPEAKER 1: And so with the position when you first saw it, what interested you?

SUNSHINE GAMBILL: What interested me was that it was with THRIVE. I was a student in the program my freshman year and then a mentor for two years. And I just honestly wanted to finish out college with this program because I believe in it and I believe in its values. And it's helped me and many other students to get through college, to realize our own strengths and just grow and heal.

Honestly, I just never really saw myself being super connected to IUPUI. A lot of independent students start off not feeling connected to the university. And so being with THRIVE in my freshman year gave me connections to other students. It also led me to take numerous, different jobs here at IUPUI. And through that, I was able to make like a ton of connections and connections to that really meant something and then that mean, like, consistent support.

And so, yeah, I've been connected to lots of different people in the community and different organizations. And it helps me too to see that there might be even like a future here at IUPUI beyond school.

MICHAEL KENDALL: I've been supervising student employees for a very long time now. So, I think Sunshine's openness to share their experience, both as a student, but also currently in the role has really reminded me, and in some cases, taught me about the perspective of someone doing the work, in a way that not everyone in the world does.

And so going back to that unique insight, I think I appreciate that, and that helps me to be a better supervisor, not just for this role but for the rest of our student team.

- Awesome. OK.

SUNSHINE GAMBILL: I love the collor yellow. It used to be a lifestyle for me. That's my fun fact.

- And I like that you're wearing yellow.

SUNSHINE GAMBILL: Every day. Yes.

- I love it.

Meet Academic and Career Development

University College is the academic home and advising resource for most first-year students at IUPUI. We also work with students beyond the first year as they prepare for admission to a degree-granting program. Academic and Career Development offers you a team of student success advisors and career consultants to help you explore your interests, choose a major, and create a plan to achieve your academic and personal goals. Once you transition to your degree-granting school, you could work with advisors, career professionals, and even faculty to prepare for a successful career.