Orientation & New Student Programs Staff

Meet your First-Year Mentors! 

The First-Year Mentor (FY Mentor) provides an opportunity for upper-level students to help new students experience a positive transition to college. The FY Mentors will be assigned to one First-Year Interest Group (FIG) Group and act as a guide through new student orientation and throughout the first year of college. Mentors offer peer insight into academic and social life at college, as well as help introduce students to activities and events on campus. 


Alexa Bell

Hometown: Latrobe, PA
Major: International Business & Management
Activities on campus: Lifeguard at the Dickinson pool, member of the Liberty Cap Society (Tour Guide), executive committee for the Liberty Cap Society, Tritons, treasurer for Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, Financial Team for the Idea fund

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I hope to gain exactly what I gained when I was an Orientation Assistant last year. Through that experience, I learned to come out of my shell and be more involved and active at Dickinson. I never felt like I was "watching over" my first-year group. I felt as if we were all friends. The atmosphere and attitude was very friendly and inviting.

Ali Bennett

Alexandra Bennett

Hometown: Carlisle, PA
Major: Psychology
Activities on campus: Liberty Cap Society (Tour Guide), CommServ (tutor at Wilson Middle School), student employee (Dickinson College Children's Center), Greek organization (Pi Beta Phi)

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I would like to share my experience with new Dickinsonians while providing them with the support, advice, laughs, shoulder to cry on, helping hand, and whatever guidance I can through the first year of their campus lives. The transition to college is an exciting, but scary, experience. It is okay and completely normal to be anxious and uneasy about starting such a new chapter of life, one so full of new challenges and uncertainties. I believe with the supportive environment that Dickinson offers, first year students can weather the new challenges, cope with the ups and downs of living away from home for the first time, and succeed greatly.

Amber McGarvey

Amber McGarvey

Hometown: Perrineville, NJ
Major: Environmental Studies and History
Activities on campus: Jive Turkeys ultimate frisbee club team and Girls' Team President, served as Student Senator for the Class of 2015, Eco-Rep for the Center for Sustainability Education, member of History Majors Committee and the Feminist Collective, previously worked as a Peer Academic Advisor in the Office for Academic Advising and Disability Services and as a Teaching Assistant for the Environmental Studies Department.

Why did you want to be a First Year Mentor? I have always admired the work that Orientation Assistants have done but once I found out that the position has become a First-Year Mentor Program, I knew I had to apply for my senior year because I’ve always wished that this program existed at Dickinson. Now that I am about to begin my senior year, I believe that I am in the position where I can be that mentor and guide for someone else. It took me a long time during my freshman year to figure out all the opportunities available at Dickinson and how to access them, and I want to help incoming freshman find their footing faster.


Anastasia Putri

Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Major: Anthropology and Dance
Activities on campus: House Manager at The Site, events coordinator for Dance Theater Group, student worker at The Costume Shop, moderator for Sustained Dialogue, Assistant Art Director for Belle Lettres

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Getting the Orientation Assistant position last year gave me a place in the community where I could be seen as a mentor, a friend, a guide. I discovered that I could change how First-Years see Dickinson. After all, Orientation Assistants (and now, First-Year Mentors) are the ones who introduce them to Dickinson life. This upcoming year, especially with the changes made to the Orientation Assistant position, I can be even more connected with the First-Years than before. I want to make their experience as First-Years a really exciting one. In turn, I get their electric optimism and their faith in this school.


Andrew Dietz

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: International Business and Management and French
Activities on campus: Liberty Cap Society/Student Stories Blogger, Student Senate- Finance and Planning/Budget Committees, Multi-Organizational Board (MOB) Executive Board, President of the Asian American Alliance, Dickinson Mock Trial, Kappa Sigma Fraternity, Student Investment Group, Dean's Office-Student intern

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? As a First-Year Mentor, I want my mentees to know that they have a support system not only in the mentor/mentee relationship but also in the peer-to-peer relationship, raising an awareness that the peer-to-peer relationship extends to the entire student body. For me, this opportunity to be a mentor would be a culminating experience as I engage with students as they begin their journey walking into Old West as I prepare to that the next step walking out as a graduate.


Betsy Vuchinich

Hometown: Gibsonia, PA
Major: Mathematics
Activities on campus: Mixxer Intern, Liberty Cap Society, Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternity

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I wanted to be a First-Year Mentor because I believe that I will be a supportive and encouraging mentor to first year students. I will do all that I can to make the students' transitions to college as seamless as possible. I will be a resource for them throughout their first year at Dickinson. I think I will gain a connection to the class of 2018 through this experience. The strength of the community is just one quality that makes Dickinson the outstanding school that it is; my connection with these students will create a bond across class years and interests.


Brooke Serra

Hometown: Richmond, RI
Major: English
Activities on campus: Transition team on L.E.A.D, contributing writer for the Dickinsonian, Community Service

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? As an upcoming senior, I want to give back to the community that has shaped and molded me into the student and person that I am. I relied heavily on the upperclassmen when I was a First-Year, and I know that their influence is incredible. I also want to help students get involved on campus because Dickinson prides itself on the involvement of its students. As a student at Dickinson, it has been important to me to be as involved as possible during my time here. I hope to help the first year students become just as involved because I believe that the more of our student body that is involved, the greater the impact we will have on making Dickinson everything that we want it to be. 

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Bryce Feibel

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: International Studies/Security Studies
Activities on campus: Tour Guide- Liberty Cap Society, active member of Pi Beta Phi fraternity for women, Student Assistant- Office of the Registrar

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? As a First-Year Mentor, I want to not only help students acclimate to Dickinson, but be someone that they can look up to and trust. My upperclassmen friends were vital resources during my first year. Their advice greatly impacted my academics and social life. If I am able to help and guide new students the way my friends did for me, I would consider the position to be a success. I look forward to getting to know new students and acting as an approachable resource for their first year and hopefully years to come.

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Caitlin Simpson

Hometown: Great Falls, VA
Major: Latin American/Latino/Caribbean Studies

Activities on campus: Member of Syrens (all-female a cappella group) and has served as VP and President, Delta Nu sorority, CommServ Co-Leader, L.E.A.D. (mentor & leadership program for at-risk youth), Day of Service, Spanish Club, led campus-wide Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort, Carlisle Cub Scouts (Student Leader)

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I'm really intrigued to try and make every first-year experience a good one. I believe that being a senior and having experience in different social, academic, and community service groups on campus will allow me to help First-Years navigate through not only their orientation, but also their first year at Dickinson. I'd like to be not only their role model but their friend as well. I hope to be someone the First-Years can feel very comfortable coming to with questions and concerns of any kind.


Carson Koser

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Major: Environmental Studies
Activities on campus: Dickinson College Farm employee, Eco-Rep, CSE, Delta Nu - Recruitment Chair, Tour Guide - Liberty Cap Society, Student Blogger for Admissions, Web Advisory Committee, Dance Theater Group, Dickinson Magazine

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I have been truly fortunate over my three years at Dickinson to have many mentors. Professors who pushed me to become a better writer and always kept their office doors open for my questions. Admissions counselors who went above and beyond to truly fulfill the role of guidance counselors, even though this is nowhere within their job description. Upperclassmen friends who inspired me to consider different majors, encouraged me to apply for a job at the farm, and were always more than willing to lend me a helping hand. I want every student at Dickinson to have this kind of mentorship.


Celeste Hippolyte

Hometown: New York, NY
Major: American Studies
Activities on campus: Student writer for Dickinson Magazine, All College Committee Senator (Planning and Budget) Student Senate, Co-Founder of Multicultural Ambassadors for Office of Admissions, Served as President of Hypnotic, Served as Multicultural Recruitment Intern, Member of African American Society, served as secretary of PALS

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I have always viewed mentoring a civil duty. I mentor high school students back home in Brooklyn, and have seen the wonders it can do. Now that Dickinson has turned the Orientation Assistant position into a First-Year Mentor position, I recognize that Dickinson recognizes the importance of the First-Year Experience and want to help in any way that I can. I hope to gain better insight on how to be a better mentor, and hope to help Dickinson create a community that encourages dialogue, mentoring, and communal interaction throughout the class years.


Charlotte Taylor

Hometown: Rumson, NJ
Major: Psychology
Activities on campus: Member of Pi Beta Phi and served as the Vice President of Event Planning, member of the Idea Fund and the College Republicans

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Getting students excited about being at Dickinson and teaching them all that it has to offer them for the new four years is a responsibility that I am thrilled to be gaining. Nothing would pride me more than being able to be an integral part in first year students' epiphanic moments that they are where they are meant to be. Being a First-Year Mentor will allow me to give back to Dickinson what it has given me thus far by being able to watch my mentees come into their own throughout the year at Dickinson and find their home within the limestone. 


Christopher Brokus

Hometown: Elysburg, PA
Major: Anthropology and French
Activities on campus: Diversity Assistant in the Office of Diversity Initiatives, Moderator for Sustained Dialogue, Orientation Assistant, Vice President and member of French Club, and Volunteer for the L.E.A.D. program

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I want to be able to facilitate the sort of connectedness and community-building I sought my first year on campus. Together with the other mentors and especially our mentee groups, I hope to lessen the distance between students and create the campus community I know our school is capable of cultivating. This position as First-Year Mentor centers on relating to our incoming students, and it is relationships I hope to gain most from this opportunity - with my mentees, with other mentors, with administration and faculty. A connected campus is an inspired one; its benefits reach all its members.

Chris Guy

Christopher Guy

Hometown: Binghamton, NY
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: Liberty Caps, Octals, Spanish Club

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I find it so rewarding to be able to help acclimate students to the Dickinson community and having such a close, personal relationship with the new students would give me that opportunity. I love talking about our school because I think it is such a great learning environment where all of the students are passionate about something and involved.


Daniel Day
Haddam, CT
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: Member of Dickinson College Ultimate Frisbee Team (the "Jive Turkeys"), intramural basketball, Dickinson College Outing Club
Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Taking the position of a First-Year Mentor brings on the responsibility of providing a smooth introduction and transition for new students to become comfortable within the Dickinson community. This includes interaction between classes and among fellow classmates, familiarization with Dickinson's facilities, and an understanding of the way college life is. I hope to dedicate myself for the entirety of the next school year to continuing my Orientation Assistant's approach for expectations concerning Dickinson's academics, and bringing together a group of young students to better prepare them for the social experience here at Dickinson College.


Emily Blau

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: International Studies: Globalization and Sustainability
Activities on campus: One of the co-founders and served as manager of the Peddler (the sustainable coffee shop on campus), Team Project Manager for Idea Fund projects such as Pints for Profs, mail package renewal system, and the Peddler, served as Idea Fund Creative Director, served on the President's Commission for Environmental Sustainability, Eco-rep, team leader for Relay for Life

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? My Orientation Assistants talked me through the experience of coming to college, sat with me at lunch, and one even became my lab partner in Chemistry. I want to be that lunch buddy and lab partner for a fellow lost first-year. I think that every first-year has something to bring to the already vibrant Dickinson community. I have learned a lot inside the classroom at Dickinson, but as a true liberal arts school should encourage, I have learned more outside the classroom from my friends and fellow classmates.

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Grace Tuscano

Hometown: Ligonier, PA
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: Liberty Caps Society, Tritons, Writing Center Tutor, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Outing Club, Relay for Life/Colleges Against Cancer

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Being a part of the First-Year Mentor program matters to me because I want to help incoming students form lasting relationships within the first couple of weeks of school. In addition to forming relationships with peers, I want them to know they have one person who knows what they are going through an dis available to talk to them about any concerns or questions they may have. By participating in the First-Year Mentor program, I hope to strengthen my sense of the Dickinson community, gain a sense of giving back, and make new friends along the way.


Gregory Horne

Hometown: Denville, NJ
Major: Policy Management
Activities on campus: ROTC Squad Leader, Club Tennis Captain/VP, French Club, Montgomery Service Leaders: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, Mermaid Players, Dickinson College Conduct Panelist

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Orientation shaped my first semester at Dickinson. I owe a lot to my Orientation Assistant for helping me to feel comfortable in a new and intimidating environment. I hope to build a relationship with my group and act as a resource to them through their first year and beyond. This is a unique and powerful opportunity that I know both the first-years and I will benefit from.

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Hara Connell

Hometown: Beijing, China
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: Outing Club, Ultimate Frisbee, Mermaid Players - assistant stage manager for fall mainstage, deck crew for Dance Theater Group, Prop Mistress for senior projects, and volunteer in the Costume Shop

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I love Dickinson. I love the climate and culture of our school: how everyone is friendly and inclusive, how there is always so much going on and so many things to participate in. I really want an opportunity to get new students as excited ans passionate about Dickinson, and all it has to offer, as I am. I want to encourage new students to become involved in our campus right from the start but also to make them feel comfortable in their new environment.


Ikram Rabbani

Hometown: Flushing, NY
Major: History
Activities on campus: Dining Hall employee

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I believe that the first year of a college student is stressful, hectic and can be very overwhelming, and because of this, first-year students need a guide to help them navigate through the uncharted territory of college. In addition to preparing them for life at Dickinson, I want to facilitate and engage in intellectually stimulating conversations with these students throughout the year and gain perspectives that I may never have or will come across. But most importantly, I hope to gain the satisfaction of guiding first year students to academic and social success at Dickinson, and thereby influence these students to do the same with future Dickinsonians.


Ilana Unger

Hometown: Boulder, CO
Major: Environmental Studies
Activities on campus: Library employee, member of Delta Nu sorority, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, member of Idea Fund, women's tennis, Eco-Rep, volunteer at Dickinson College Farm

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? The transition into college needs to be dealt with understanding, caring and patience. As a First-Year Mentor, I want to help make transitioning easier. I want to be able to be there for my mentees and help assist with any challenges or concerns they might have. I want to be able to be a role model and create a positive environment for my mentees. Through this position I hope to gain more leadership experience, time management, new friends, and the ability to help younger students feel more comfortable on campus.


Isabel Lang

Hometown: Meadville, PA
American Studies
Activities on campus:
Phoenix, Hypnotic Dance Team, Neighbor to Neighbor, and College Democrats

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? When I first met my Orientation Assistant, I immediately felt like I had made a connection at college that helped me to transition well into my new environment. As a First-Year Mentor, I hope to do the same for incoming first year students. I understand the difficulties and struggles that come with transitioning to college and hope to help other first year students make their experience at Dickinson as good as mine.


James Abrahamsen

Hometown: Vienna, VA
Major: Political Science with an Economics minor and a Security Studies Certificate
Activities on campus: Secretary of the Paintball Club, Treasurer for the College Republicans, Dickinson College Safety Shuttle driver

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I want to be able to do something this coming year that will challenge me in a way outside the classroom. I look forward to being able to work with and learn from the students whom I will mentor. To be able to make a positive impression on younger students would be the best outcome for me. Incoming students are all anxious one way or another; I want to be a source of calming and of guidance for them not just during orientation, but also throughout the school year. That would be something very rewarding for me that would leave me with a sense of accomplishment as I prepare to graduate.


Jamie Leidwinger

Hometown: Long Valley, NJ
Music Composition with a minor in Political Science
Activities on campus:
Music Theory TA, Isomer Project research assistant, Music Director for Dickinson Infernos (co-ed a cappella), Collegium, Dickinson College Choir, Teach for America: Lead Now Initiative participant, Service Trip Coordinator

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Some of the impactful experiences I've had during my time at Dickinson College came from interacting with students older and younger than myself. Interacting with upperclassmen who have a passion and vision for their lives and are willing to engage with others through their passion has really inspired me over the past three years. Now that I am an upperclassman, I would love to pas son one of the most special things about my Dickinson experience to new students and help them grow.

Jess Klimoff

Jessica Klimoff

Hometown: Princeton, NJ
Major: Sociology and English
Activities on campus: Co-founder and Co-president of J Street U Dickinson, Board Member and Committee Leader of Hillel, Writing Center Tutor, Writing Teaching Associate, Public Affairs Committee, Women's Retreat Planning Team, Feminist Collective Member

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I love facilitating discussions about meaningful topics. I see the First-Year Mentor position as a means to help me hone this interest and skill. I think it is amazing to be part of communities that are centered around meaningful conversations and opening up members' minds, and I look forward to creating this type of community within my FIG. I have also appreciated the opportunities I have had to act as a mentor-friend to my friends who are First-Years, and have found it so fulfilling to be an open ear for them when they have had struggles adjusting to college life, and help give advice to them when they needed it. I would really like to act in this capacity for a larger group of First-Years.

Lam Phu

Lam Phu Nguyen

Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam
Major: Computer Science and Mathematics
Activities on campus: member of Dickinson Club Soccer, member of Dickinson Astronomy Club, member of Dickinson Mathematics and Computer Science Club, employee in the Union Station, employee in the Quarry

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I love the sense of community that my service trip and my new friends brought to me. I want to grab this opportunity to become a First-Year Mentor to engage more in the Dickinson community, I want to get to know more people, both freshmen and upperclassmen. As a First-Year Mentor, I hope to welcome the class of 2018 to their new home and plant, nurture and grow this sense of community in the first year students.

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Laura Hart

Hometown: Catonsville, MD

Major: English and Biology
Activities on campus: Writing Center Peer Tutor, Writing Associate, Secretary of the Belles Lettres Literary Society, member of the English Department Student Advisory Committee, member of the Outing Club, contributing writer and editor for both the Dickinson Review and the Dickinson Science Magazine

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? My previous group of first-years is a phenomenal group, and I've been able to keep up with them fairly well over the year as they have been published in the Square, needed help finding dance class, been selected as Writing Center tutors, joined fraternities, had pre-med crises, and just wanted to have lunch and catch up. I would love to build upon my past experience with a new group of students, learning about them, creating a supportive community, and helping them find their niche at Dickinson. I think that the restructuring of the First-Year Mentor position would give me a lot more opportunity to keep up with students in a structured way, and make sure that even those students with different schedules and paths to class felt supported and valued long after Orientation.


Matthew Wenz
New Hope, PA
Major: History
Activities on campus: Montgomery Service Leaders- intern at Salvation Army, Jazz Band, Tritons, MOB

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? My Orientation Assistant last year was awesome, and I still keep in contact with him regularly. He really helped me transition well and gave everyone in our mentor group a great person to turn to if we had a question about anything related to Dickinson. I want to have the opportunity to help someone else in that way and give back for the experiences that were given to me.


Meghan Reynolds

Hometown: Bethesda, MD
Major: International Studies
Activities on campus: Alpha Phi Omega, Kappa Alpha Theta, L.E.A.D., internship with the Carlisle Police, and previous Orientation Assistant

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I was an Orientation Assistant last year and I loved it. I enjoyed being a mentor figure to my first year group, and I learned a lot about being a mentor. Being a First-Year Mentor, I hope to gain stronger leadership and communication skills. Being able to speak concisely and effectively is important especially when dealing with first-years who may be overwhelmed by college. I also hope to gain better leadership skills, especially when leading a small group.


Melissa Pesantes
Dumont, NJ
Anthropology and Italian Studies
Activities on campus:
member and previous Treasurer of Spanish Club, member of Italian Club, participated in Sustained Dialogue, Bookstore and Devil's Den cashier, Peer Tutor in Italian, Proctor, Time Management Advisor, Carlisle Middle School tutor

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I wanted to be a First-Year Mentor because of the grand potential I believe every student has to be an active listener as well as a well-informed participant on and off campus. I want to be a part of this because I want to be a part of the support system for our incoming students, and encourage them to think critically about being citizens of the world, and finding out what this means to them as individuals. This is why I am going to be a First-Year Mentor; I will make sure that the students know I am not only a great resource for information, and a pillar of support, but someone to help them host dialogues that could start at Dickinson and expand wherever they wanted it to.


Michal Burgunder

Hometown: Rheinfelden, Switzerland
Major: Mathematics and Physics
Activities on campus: German Club, Mermaid Players, HUB supervisor

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? Last year, I worked as an Orientation Assistant, and I found that it was enjoyable, challenging, and also a character-building experience. When I was an Orientation Assistant, I was responsible for Orientation for the Teaching Assistants from around the world. This was a great experience for me, as I could learn from different cultures.


Nick Rejebian

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: employee in the Dickinson College cafeteria, member of Alpha Phi Omega, Mock Trial, Liberty Cap Society

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I wanted to be a First-Year Mentor because I want to inspire people around me and help their adjustment to college. By being a First-Year Mentor, I want to be able to help the Frist-Years understand that they are special and assist them in setting/reaching their goals. I hope to gain the ability to be a leader 24/7, and practice what it means to be a leader. It is one thing to study leadership by going to conferences and reading a book, but it is another thing to actually practice leadership; and being a First-Year Mentor will allow me to practice what it means to be a leader.


Nicole Wasson

Hometown: Easton, PA
Major: International Studies and Spanish; Security Studies Certificate; Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Minor
Activities on campus: served as various positions in Student Senate, member and previous Secretary of Swing Dance Club, previous Orientation Assistant, member of Pi Beta Phi, HUB Info Desk student worker, member of Alpha Lambda Delta, member of Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honors Society, Representative for the Class of 2015 to the Spanish Majors Committee

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I'm excited to be a resource for First-Years, and to help ease them into life at Dickinson. Any student, no matter how prepared he or she is for college life, would benefit from having an older peer in their corner to help them with this transition throughout their first year. I'm hoping that working as a First-Year Mentor will allow me to help provide a space where my group of First-Years feels like they belong.


Noah Thompson

Hometown: West Point, NY
Major: English
Activities on campus: Belles Lettres Society, German Club, the Square, Mermaid Players, Idea Fund

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? With the new position of First-Year Mentor lasting all academic year, first year students will have the opportunity to experience a strong community of peers in their class based on common interests, which will hopefully last through the rest of their college careers. As mentor I will strive to provide a meaningful college experience that isn't fleeting, but will form a strong bond between peers.


Olivia Harper Wilkins

Hometown: New Oxford, PA
Major: Chemistry and Mathematics
Activities on campus: member and served as Chair of Event Advisory Board, Peer Advisor, Web Assistant, Peer Tutor, Exam Proctor, Writing Associate, Chemistry Teaching Assistant, Chemistry Exam Review Session Tutor, student representative to Chemistry Faculty meetings, member of the Chemistry Club, Mathematics Teaching Assistant, Evening Consultant in Calculus Help Room, Major's committee member

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I wanted to be a First-Year Mentor because I want to inspire students. Through my experiences as a peer advisor and writing associate, I have encountered many first-years who feel lost and unsure of which majors to pursue, which classes to take, and how to approach the problem of finding what they want to do after college. I love giving students the tools to answer these questions by offering new questions to ask and reflect upon, like what are their passions and what makes them happy. College is hard enough when you know what you are doing, but having someone to encourage you to do what gives you fulfillment and support you when you don't know where to turn makes the adventure so much better. I want to be that someone.


Olivia Migliori

Hometown: Nazareth, PA
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: employee in the Dickinson cafeteria, member of the Outing Club, Dickinson Christian Fellowship, Circle K

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I wanted the opportunity to help ease the transition for incoming students to college life. I want to foster the same excitement that I had experienced as a new student for the incoming class of 2018 and to help diminish their anxiety about coming to college. I became interested in the position when I learned that it will be throughout the entire year, which will make it easier to form relationships with students that extend beyond orientation. I hope to further develop my leadership skills and to get to know members of the incoming freshman class.


Olivia Poulin

Hometown: Newfields, NH
Major: English
Activities on campus: member of Synergy dance team, the Dance Theater Group, Phoenix community service group, Italian Club, writer/copy editor for the Square, communications intern for the Center for Sustainability Education

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? As a first-year, my adjustment to life at Dickinson was positively influenced by my Orientation Assistant, who communicated with me as an advisor, a resource for information, a connection to other groups on campus, and a genuine friend. For this reason, I would like to have the opportunity to introduce all that the Dickinson community has to offer to a new group of mentees. I would like to facilitate mentees' adjustments to college life by acting as a resource to which they can come for information and advice, whether they need help academically, socially, or personally.


Philip Morabito

Hometown: Wayne, PA
Major: International Business and Management 
Activities on campus: member of Tritons, Mermaid Players, College Democrats, Food Advisory Council

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? The biggest thing I hope to gain from this position is new relationships with the incoming students. I want to be a person that the incoming class can come to at any time of the day and feel comfortable coming to me for any reason. I want to be a mentor so that I can help the incoming first-years with the same issues I dealt with throughout my first year of college. I often felt that there was no one I could talk to about issues that came up or troubles I was having adjusting to college life. I hope to be the person that I had wished for to the incoming class.


Saaya Imura

Hometown: Tokyo, Japan
Major: Political Science
Activities on campus: Dickinson Friends, America Reads, Habitat for Humanity, Delta Nu, previous Orientation Assistant

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I have had an incredible experience here for far and I hope to share this with the incoming class. I hope to give them all the help I can and I hope to be there to make sure that they not only enjoy orientation week as much as I did but the rest of their exciting lives at Dickinson. Another reason I want to be a First Year Mentor is because personally orientation week is one of my favorite times of the year and I would love to be part of the first-years' first arrival at Dickinson. Every year has been a different experience; the connections I make and things I learn are highlights of my Dickinson experience.


Sabiha Madraswalla

Hometown: Storrs, CT
Major: Spanish
Activities on campus: member of Alpha Lambda Delta, member of Sigma Delta, Pi, member of Kappa Delta, previous Orientation Assistant, Tour Guide, Muslim Student Association, member of Relay for Life/Colleges against Cancer

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I want to help the new students feel as comfortable as possible in an unfamiliar and occasionally intimidating environment. Not only do I want to help them during the orientation process before their first year actually starts, but I want to be there to answer questions, talk to them, and just generally help them throughout the course of their first year as well as their next three years (I'll always stay in touch!). I will be the person that first-years ask for advice, and I need to lead them in the right direction so they take full advantage of, and enjoy, their entire time at Dickinson.


Sam Gillespie

Hometown: Holliston, MA
Major: International Studies and French
Activities on campus: Jive Turkeys ultimate Frisbee, Liberty Cap Society/Tour Guide, and Dickinsonian sports writer

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I want to be amongst those who guide this future generation and teach them what it means to be a Dickinsonian. This means sharing my phenomenal Dickinson experience and contributing to the growth of a place that has literally changed my life. Thanks to this school's investment in me as a student and a global citizen, I have found unbelievable fulfillment and success both on and off campus during my three years at Dickinson. The best possible way I can think to give back is through a program like First-Year Mentor so that my future classmates might learn from my triumphs and mistakes. I want to invest in the class of 2018 like Dickinson invested in me.


Savanna Rain Riley

Hometown: San Juan Capistrano California via Sydney Australia
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: Montgomery Service Leader Program, First Year Senator (also on Student Life and Finance Subcommittees), Writing Center Tutor, Liberty Cap Society

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? It wasn't until I gave my first solo tour as a new Liberty Cap member that I realized why I chose Dickinson and why I don't want to leave. The students and parents on my tour were asking me questions and I realized that I was answering them honestly. Afterwards, a parent said that they had no doubt that my answers were genuine and they appreciated that I love my school. After that tour I walked around campus by myself and realized that while I had lost sight of my place for a moment, I already had a feeling of home here and the roots that I am growing here are only getting stronger. My wish to be a mentor stemmed from the want to help plant those roots with the incoming class.


Sophie Miller

Hometown: Greensboro, NC
Major: Undecided
Activities on campus: member of Alpha Lambda Delta, involved in Senior Companions volunteer group, employee in the Quarry

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? During this transitional time, new students are bound to feel isolated, confused, and anxious, but I remember the huge positive impact MY Orientation Assistant had on me. Every time we were scheduled to meet with our Orientation Assistant, she never failed to make each experience as inviting, exciting, and interesting as possible, and it is my hope that I will be able to do the same for my mentees.


Tracy Wolf
 Woodbury, NY 
Major: Religion and Judaic Studies
Activities on campus: Student Senate - Class Senator, Relay for Life/Colleges against Caner Committee - Advocacy Chair Fall 2013, Team Development Chair Fall 2012-Spring 2013, Kappa Alpha Theta Women's Fraternity - Chief Recruiting Officer 2013, Earth Now - Secretary Fall 2012-Spring 2013, Dickinson College Religion Department Office Assistant, Asbell Center for Jewish Life Engagement Intern, Member of Dickinson College Hillel, Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Fraternity, Member of Career Center Advisory Board

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? As a Frist-Year Mentor, I want to help create and contribute to communities that make first-years love our school as much as I do, and help improve upon their first year to set a great precedent for their entire college experience. I think that the orientation process is integral in shaping the way that first-years feel about Dickinson, and it is important to me that their first impressions of our school and its students are as phenomenal as possible. I also look forward to the possibility of being able to work and interact with a great group of students and administrators from all over campus that I may not have the opportunity to otherwise meet.


Trevor Diamond

Hometown: Providence, RI
Major: History
Activities on campus: member of the Liberty Cap Society, Tritons, Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity, broadcaster for Red Devil Sports Network

Why did you want to be a First-Year Mentor? I want to spread the word about all that Dickinson can offer. I love being involved on campus and I think more people can be involved if they have all the information. I also love meeting new people and I really appreciate the ability to be someone that the first-years can look to for help during their first year at Dickinson.

Meet your First-Year Experience Coordinators!

The First-Year Experience Coordinators are a group of students who meet weekly throughout the school year to make improvements on the current orientation program. They interview and hire new First Year Experience Coordinators as well as First-Year Mentors and conduct First-Year Mentor training prior to orientation. Each First-Year Experience Coordinator works closely with a small group of First-Year Mentors to make sure that each First Year student is getting the time and attention that he or she deserves.

Asir Saeed

Asir is a rising junior from Dhaka, Bangladesh, who is majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Japanese. As well as being a First-Year Experience Coordinator, he is a student leader in the Office of Religious Life, service trip leader in the Office of Community Service, student interviewer for Admissions, research assistant in the Department of Computer Science, mentor in L.E.A.D., treasurer for the Dickinson College Muslim Student Association (MSA), and a Writing Center Tutor.

Something Cool: He has seen Mt. Everest (and yes, it's bigger than you can imagine) and he can speak 6 languages.


Danielle Melnick
Danielle is from Dallas, PA (not Texas!) and is majoring in American Studies. In addition to helping coordinate orientation at Dickinson, she does peer education work on sexual assault and dating violence with Yes Please! and helps manage the Social Justice House. She really digs yoga, art, and binge-watching That 70's Show and Scandal.


Jenn Azarow
Jenn is a rising senior who is majoring in Math and has a serious Starbucks addiction. She enjoys cuddling with (and talking about) her cat Boris and riding around in her blue car (aptly named Papa Smurf). Recently, she was quite excited to discover that her spirit animal is an ewok. 


Katie Swade

Katie is a rising senior from New Freedom, PA who is studying Biology in order to graduate with a Health Studies Certificate. In addition to working on orientation, she is involved in Student Senate as the Junior Class President, member of the Varsity Softball Team, Biology Department research student, Social Justice House resident, UTurn Program Chair, and HUB info desk worker. Random fact: she has a bet with her sister for who can go the longest without meat - so far, it's been 7 years.


Landen Taflinger

Landen is a rising sophomore International Studies major with a focus in Security Studies. He is originally from Claremont, CA, but recently moved to Carlisle, PA. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, playing video games, shooting, acting, and working out. He firmly believes that the Green Tea Bubble Tea in the Quarry is the best drink in the world.


Sara Tyberg

Sara is a junior Sociology major from outside of Pittsburgh, PA. Besides being a First-Year Experience Coordinator, she is also involved in Spectrum, PALS, and Yes Please! on campus. In her free time, she enjoys reading and watching movies. One fun fact about her is that she also loves to travel, but she has only been outside of the United States once before!


Stacey Sigal

Stacey is a rising senior majoring in Law and Policy with a minor in Religion. This is her first year with the Orientation staff as a First-Year Experience Coordinator. She is involved with MOB (Multi-Organizational Board) and Alpha Phi Omega, but has also worked with Dickinson CARES and Event Advisory Board. She was abroad all last year, spending a semester in Washington, D.C., and a semester in Bologna, Italy. 


Will Morisseau
Will is a rising senior from Houston, TX, although he currently lives in San Diego, CA. He is an English and classical studies double major and also the president of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at Dickinson. His interests include swing dancing, slam poetry, and martial arts.

Fun fact: He studied at Trinity College at Oxford last fall.