Making a Difference at Dal: Mike Sornberger

- April 24, 2007

Mark Sornberger
Mike Sornberger (Abriel photo)

At Dalhousie, learning extends beyond the classroom. Many students are making a significant difference in the wider community while achieving success within the classroom.  This year, the department of Student Services began an initiative called "Making a Difference at Dal," recognizing outstanding student achievements within the Dalhousie community and beyond.

For many Dalhousie students, residence life is an integral part of their university experience. It takes a number of hard-working and dedicated individuals to make residence life memorable. Mike Sornberger is a great example of one of those people.

Now in his fourth year of university and graduating with a degree in psychology this May, Mike has been active in residence life since his first year. Originally a resident of Eliza Ritchie, Sornberger went on to serve as president of the hall for two consecutive years, before moving into Risley Hall to where he is a residence assistant. This year, Sornberger's efforts and commitment were recognized by being honoured with the Governor General's award. 

Sornberger's commitment to residence life has extended beyond the campus of Dalhousie to reach a broader audience, namely the Atlantic residence network. Last year, Sornberger acted as a co-chair of ARC, the Atlantic Residence Conference, which was hosted by Dalhousie. The conference, which was established by Dalhousie a number of years ago, is an opportunity to bring together student leaders from all across the Maritimes who are involved in residence life. The conference acts as a venue for these student leaders to share ideas and initiatives regarding the improvement and progression of residence life. "One of the areas we focus on is to ensure that residence remains an active and respectful community," remarks Sornberger.  

The person that students can talk to

Having been both president and a residence assistant has given Sornberger the opportunity to see both sides of residence life.

"I have had the chance to be a social director for the residences, and now I get to be more of a role model and a source of support for the students," says Sornberger. "Even if it just means being the person that the students can come and talk to, it makes a big difference."
Sornberger says his active involvement goes back to high school. "I've always been involved in many different areas," admits Sornberger. "If there was one message I could pass on to the students of Dalhousie it would be to try something new and see what happens. Even if you hate it, at least you have learned that about yourself and you can go from there."


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