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Grace Nixon and Alexa Schoubert Help Bring Amplify to Life at UNC Charlotte

Grace Nixon and Alexa Schoubert
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By Wyatt Crosher, Communications Coordinator for Student Affairs

When Grace Nixon and Alexa Schoubert arrived on UNC Charlotte’s campus in 2018 and 2019, respectively, they did not expect to be a part of something that would leave a lasting impact on the University. In fact, the now friends didn’t even know each other yet.

The two met as University Recreation (UREC) employees in 2019, and from there, they both joined the University Professional Internship Program (UPIP). That is where Nixon and Schoubert were part of a group of five students behind Amplify, a campaign implemented at the University to promote multi-dimensional wellbeing to enhance community and individual wellbeing.

Amplify was created to increase knowledge of the four departments that make up Charlotte’s wellbeing resources: UREC, the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Center for Wellness Promotion (CWP) and the Student Health Center (SHC).

With Amplify launching this spring, Nixon and Schoubert, a fourth- and third-year, are the only two left at Charlotte from the initial group of students to see all of their efforts come to fruition.

“We saw the need that we have on campus for a comprehensive wellbeing campaign. We have these four different awesome health and wellbeing services and they all have such great resources and workshops and things that you can have access to for free, but a lot of people just don't know about them,” Nixon said. “Having a one-stop shop for everything that you'll need in your four years of college, we thought there was definitely a need for that, and a student-created campaign is the best way to reach students. What resonates with us will probably resonate with other college kids as well.”

Before Amplify, Nixon came to Charlotte from Mocksville, North Carolina, a small town about 30 minutes outside of Winston-Salem. She said her love of the campus was almost immediate.

“The second that I toured here, I felt like I needed to go here,” Nixon said. “I really felt included, but I was also out of my comfort zone learning about new things and meeting new people.”

Schoubert is a Charlotte native and shared those feelings about Charlotte’s campus, but had her first experience with the University at an earlier age.

“When I was about 12, I came to a soccer game here and I was like 'OK, this place is really cool. This is what college is.' and so whenever I thought about college growing up, I thought about UNC Charlotte,” Schoubert said. “It's close to home, about 30-40 minutes from my house and I'm a homebody, but it's kind of far so I get that independence, and I'm in the city. All of the cards kind of fell and I ended up here.”

The origins of Amplify began with a wall and some sticky notes. Once Nixon and Schoubert joined with the other students — Kristen Campbell, Carolina Campos and Reagan LaBor, along with supervisor AJ Kirby, UREC’s Assistant Director for Outreach and Engagement — Schoubert said they began combining all of their ideas and spread them across a wall.

The sticky note wall led to the creation of what ultimately became the eight pillars of Amplify: foundation, growth, community, balance, routine, identities, heart and future.

“We were just brainstorming wellness ideas and initiatives trying to figure out what we wanted it to look like,” Schoubert said. “We wrote down answers, stuck them on the wall, and then we identified eight main concepts from all of those sticky notes, which ended up being the eight pillars. It was really cool to be able to see how a bunch of words could come together to be eight things, but that's where it all started.”

Photos courtesy of Alexa Schoubert

The roots of Amplify started on that wall in October 2020, and over the past 15 months, it has grown into having its own place on Charlotte’s new Wellbeing website. Throughout the entire process, it has been the students that have led the charge.

That has been shown through not only the development of the pillars, but through, among other things, finding test groups to make sure their ideas worked for a student audience and creating the logo. The logo, which uses Charlotte’s Star Quad as a way to display all eight pillars, was designed by Campbell.

“All of us were like, 'It's perfect.' It's literally everything that we wanted to exemplify. But everything was done by us,” Nixon said. “We thought about this from every single aspect of your college career. If you’re a freshman or you're a senior graduating from high school, you want to go to a place where you feel like all your needs are heard and you have good resources to help with those needs. 


“We could walk into CAPS right now and say 'I need XYZ, help me with this.' But a lot of times, students are scared to take that big of a step first. Walking into the doctor's office is intimidating, so we want to take that barrier away and say 'Here's other students that you can ask,' or 'Here's other people who are from campus who aren't necessarily plugged into the office' to answer those needs, wants or questions that you have.”

Amplify doesn’t tell the whole story of Nixon or Schoubert. Nixon is a marketing major, with minors in journalism and American studies. She still works at UREC as a project manager for the marketing department, and does work in social media on the side. Nixon is also a big movie fan and bookworm. 

She wants her fellow students to know that, above all, they should find enjoyment in the little things however they can.

“In every aspect of your life, try to find something that brings you joy, whatever that means. If academics don't necessarily bring you joy, maybe finding out a way to color your notes in a way that brings you joy or setting aside time before or after class to sit there on your phone, or something like that,” Nixon said. “I think a lot of what we try to do with Amplify is give people, if nothing else, something positive that you can do. You can come and at least have a community of people to join who really care about your wellness in general.”

Schoubert is a communications studies major with a public relations track, and also has an American studies minor. She works at UREC as a group fitness instructor, and does work in graphic design. She has recently been elected to serve as the Vice President of Scholarship and New Member Education for the Panhellenic executive board and is a sister of Alpha Chi Omega. She also loves movies, painting, exercising and hanging out with friends.

Her message to fellow students is simple: You won’t know how you feel about something until you try it.

“You don't know unless you give it a shot. We have interest meetings all the time for different things around the gym. I'm a big advocate that you could meet your best friend, your future bridesmaid or your spouse in these classes. Just go try it out and see what happens,” Schoubert said. “The worst thing that could happen is that you don't do well and you go back and try again. I think that reframing the mindset instead of being scared of something, looking at the positive aspect of it and thinking 'Well what could go right in these situations?' And 'How can this help me in the future?'

“That's one thing that Amplify has been able to do. It shows people the wellbeing resources that we have on campus that can help you become a better person, become a better student, friend or significant other. I just think that reframing that mindset to the positives and thinking about what could go right instead of what could go wrong is something that I've worked really hard on with myself, and I think it's something a lot of students struggle with.”

Nixon and Schoubert came to Charlotte in different years, from different hometowns, with different majors and both will soon graduate and move on with their lives. But together, they have been the driving force behind a campaign set to enhance how wellbeing is achieved on campus for years to come. 

Neither of them could have anticipated leaving a lasting impact like that in their time here.

“I can't even express into words how awesome it is that I'm going to see something like this come to fruition and be strongly implemented on campus before I graduate,” Nixon said. “It's so awesome, not even just because I'm involved with it, just that it is being established, but I love that we were part of the people who helped create it. Our only intention was to help students out. I think it's really cool to be able to say that I made a difference at my University.”