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Eighteen students selected as KU Orientation leaders

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Office of First-Year Experience has announced the selection of 16 orientation assistants and two orientation coordinators for the 2015-2016 year.

KU Orientation assistants are students whose job is to make the transition to KU a positive and engaged experience. These OAs will guide first-year students and their families through their orientation, assist with advising and enrollment, answer questions and offer their perspective on life as a Jayhawk.

Orientation coordinators are former orientation assistants selected to assist the Office of First-Year Experience in helping new students and families through the transition to KU. OCs are selected based on their past contributions to the orientation program, knowledge of the university, and their record of academic success and campus involvement.

The Orientation Assistants:

  • Isaac Bahney is a junior from Terre Haute, Indiana, studying journalism. He is the son of Lee and Marilyn Bahney and is a graduate of Clay City Junior/Senior High School in Clay City, Indiana.
  • Angie Bass is a junior from Swanton, Nebraska, studying elementary education. She is the daughter of Tom and Kathy Bass and is a graduate of Tri County High School.
  • TJ Blake is a sophomore from Hutchinson studying political science and journalism. He is the son of Charles and Sarah Blake and is a graduate of Hutchinson High School.
  • Austin Branch is a sophomore from Norman, Oklahoma, studying finance and supply chain management. He is the son of Doug and Gracie Branch and is a graduate of Norman North High School.
  • Jaclyn Carpenter is junior from Shawnee studying American studies with a minor in sociology. She is the daughter of Jan and Steve Carpenter and is a graduate of Mill Valley High School.
  • Maddi Duncan is a sophomore from Lenexa studying political science. She is the daughter of James and Margaret Duncan and is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.
  • Justin Kim is a freshman from Derby studying biological anthropology and visual art with a minor in business. He is the son of Dong and Paula Kim and is a graduate of Derby High School.
  • Maria Kingfisher is a freshman from Topeka studying journalism and English. She is the daughter of Cheryl and David Kingfisher and is a graduate of Topeka High School.
  • Heather Martin is a sophomore from Lawrence studying accounting with a minor in economics. She is the daughter of Denise and Perry Martin and is a graduate of Lawrence High School.
  • Jarred Morris is a junior from St. Paul, Minnesota, studying journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication and a minor in African-American studies. He is the son of Scott and Sabrina Morris and is a graduate of East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minnesota.
  • Halle Nick is a freshman from Olathe studying music therapy. She is the daughter of Mary Grandaw and Gregg Nick and is a graduate of Olathe South High School.
  • Amber Norris is junior from Wichita studying Spanish with a pre-med focus. She is the daughter of Keith and Ronetta Norris and is a graduate of Wichita High School East.
  • Hannah Rupprecht is a junior from Lawrence studying architecture with a minor in business. She is the daughter of Michele Anderson and James Rupprecht and is a graduate of Lawrence High School.
  • Libby Sanders is a junior from Garden City studying classical antiquity and women, gender, and sexuality studies. She is the daughter of Chris and Sara Sanders and is a graduate of Garden City Senior High School.
  • Alex Welch is a junior from Olathe studying Spanish and history. She is the daughter of Dean and Kala Welch and is a graduate of Olathe East High School.
  • Britney Woody is a junior from Pratt studying psychology. Britney is the daughter of Jayme and Shawn Woody and is a graduate of Pratt Community College.

The Orientation Coordinators:

  • Sam Eastes, a sophomore from Pratt studying global and international studies and journalism. He is the son of Bill and DeeDee Eastes and a graduate of Pratt High School.
  • Annie Matheis, a junior from Overland Park studying journalism and applied behavioral sciences. She is the daughter of Nancy and Ric Matheis and a graduate of Blue Valley High School.

Students beginning KU in the fall 2015 semester will attend orientation and enroll in classes starting in April for transfer students and June for freshmen. Orientation programs continue throughout the summer. OAs and OCs will serve more than 10,000 new students, parents and guests as part of the orientation program.

First-Year Experience works in partnership with new students to create environments that help them discover, engage and belong at KU. Established in 2012, First-Year Experience houses transition programs like Orientation, Hawk Week and Hawk Days as well as academic engagement programs such as the KU Common Book, University 101, First-Year Seminars and Learning Communities.

These programs contribute to the KU’s goal to increase year one to year two retention to 90 percent and the six-year graduation rate to 70 percent. First-Year Experience provides resources to help both freshmen and transfer students to have a successful start at the university and to support their process of earning a degree.


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