Orientation Leader Staff

Meet the 2017 UMW Orientation Leader TeamOrientation-13

Melissa Jones
Assistant Dean for Student Involvement

Sam Kasner
Graduate Assistant for Orientation

Contact Us

Meet the Orientation Leaders

Each year, students apply to represent the University of Mary Washington during New Student Orientation. These students then train during the spring semester and before orientation begins so they are experts on transitioning to college and assisting the incoming Eagles.  These students are leaders on campus and are ready to welcome the incoming students to Eagle Nation. 

Orientation Coordinators

Shannon Becker

Hi, I’m Shannon! I’m a rising senior double majoring in Biology and Latin. I’m involved on campus as Campus Programming Board’s Vice President and Event Coordinator of Chi Beta Phi (the STEM Honor Society). I also spend a lot of time listening to music, hanging out with my friends, and laughing.


Sophia Hamdan

My name is Sophia Hamdan, and I’m a senior English major with a minor in Practical Ethics. I am from Leesburg, VA, and I hold various leadership positions around campus. I served as the Legislative Action Committee Chairperson on the Student Government Association Executive Cabinet, I have been an Orientation Leader for two years and am now an Orientation Coordinator, I have been Vice President and Captain of the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, and am an active member of Women of Color.  I also work as a Concierge at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center, and am a member of both the Mortar Board and Sigma Tau Delta Honor Societies.  I am graduating early in the Fall of 2017 and plan to attend graduate school in pursuit of a degree in Student Affairs starting the Fall of 2018. I am an avid reader and enjoy spending time with my family.


Courtney Hardy

My name is Courtney Hardy and I am a rising senior Psychology major here at UMW. On campus, I am involved with SAVE, CCI and am the Luminaria Chair on the Relay for Life Committee. Outside of school, I like to color, watch Netflix, take long strolls through Target, and hang out with my friends.


Harper James

Hello, my name is Harper James. I am a rising Junior Business Administration major with a Sports Management minor. Outside of Orientation, I am Captain of the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Club Team, a member of the Men’s Volleyball Club Team, and an employee of SAE.


Lindsey Kowaki

Hello! My name is Lindsey Kowaki and I am a rising junior from Virginia Beach, Virginia! I am majoring in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and I am involved as one of the Orientation Coordinators, the Academic Affairs Committee Chairperson for our SGA, a member of CPB and Women of Color, and I work in the UC with Student Activities and Engagement. In my free time I like to explore Fredericksburg’s food scene with my friends, binge-watch Netflix, and read a good book. I am so excited for you all to begin your first year at UMW!



Orientation Leaders

Emma Baumgardner
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

My name is Emma and I am a rising Junior from Roanoke, Virginia majoring in Communications and Digital Studies. I work in the Office of Admissions as a Washington Tour Guide and I am chair of the Big Events cabinet for Campus Programming Board. When I’m not working or studying for my classes, I love being with my friends, being outside and playing with puppies.



Cameron Bierkan
Session 1, 3, and 5

Hey there, I’m Cameron Bierkan. I’m a rising senior majoring in Communication and Digital Studies. I’m originally from Vienna, VA, but I have loved living in Fredericksburg for the past few years. I play on the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, and I volunteer in the study abroad office. In my free time I like hammocking, listening to music, and just spending time with my pals.


Megan Cataldi
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey everyone! I’m Megan Cataldi, I’m a rising sophomore from Flemington, NJ and double majoring in History and Psychology. I’m currently involved in Studio 115, UMW’s Blackbox Theatre, as well as SAE’s sound crew. My hobbies include theatre, writing fiction novels, listening to music and traveling to new places. The latest place I’ve traveled to is the Dominican Republic this past winter with my family. Can’t wait to see you all on campus!


Matthew Crawford
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi! My name is Matthew Crawford and I am from Charlottesville, Virginia. I am a proud member of the UMW community. I am currently a rising sophomore and have not yet decided on my major, but I am considering majoring in Psychology. I’m involved in several clubs here at UMW, including SAVE, Habitat for Humanity, and IRO.  In my spare time I love to sing, hang out with friends, and laugh a lot.


Madison Doehler
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

My name is Madison and I am a rising senior Geography major. I am originally from Fredericksburg, VA, and I am a returning Orientation Leader, a Volunteer Washington Guide and am involved with Catholic Campus Ministries at Mary Washington.


Lily Eghtessad
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi! I’m Lily Eghtessad and I am a rising sophomore here at UMW. I’m from Woodbridge, VA, and I’m a Historic Preservation major involved in CPB Productions and a (casual) member of COAR. I love The Office, frisbee, and social media dog accounts. #takingflight


 Shannon Finney
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hi, my name is Shannon Finney and I am a rising senior English major in the Secondary Education program. I am the Class of 2018 President and Class Council Executive Board President. This will be my third year as an Orientation Leader and I could not be more excited!! I love dogs, tacos, and eating tacos with my dog.

Shannon Finnley 2-min

 Zoë Fox
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey, my name is Zoë Fox and I am a rising Sophomore. I am majoring in Mathematics and am a  hopeful secondary education program student. I am on the Women’s Rugby team, am a member of Alpha Mu Sigma, the Association of Student Veterans, and the Association of Residence Halls. I love watching Netflix and reading books when I have time.


 Elayna Gladstone
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hi, I’m Elayna! I am from Marlton, New Jersey and am a rising Junior, German and Art History double major. I work at the HCC and I’m an officer in the Cult Classic Movie Club! I like to crochet, watch netflix and I eat a lot of oreos.


 Mollie Green
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey guys!  My name is Mollie Green.  I am a rising Sophomore from Altavista, VA and am a potential double-major in Theatre and Psychology.  I am an active member of Symfonics A Capella, Alpha Mu Sigma, and the UMW Theatre department.  In my free time I enjoy playing frisbee and volleyball with friends, chillin’ out on Ball Circle, exploring downtown Fredericksburg, and eating LOTS of ice cream.


Rachel Heisner
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi, I’m Rachel and I’m a rising junior here at Mary Washington. I am from Jacksonville, Florida and I have a hamster named Gus. I am a Mathematics major and am in the secondary education program. Outside of school I enjoy running, hiking and volunteering at the children’s museum.


Richelle Holnick
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

My name is Richelle Holnick, and I am a rising junior here at UMW! I am a Marketing major with a Digital Studies minor. On campus I am involved in Alpha Mu Sigma, and also work for SAE. I spent my Spring 2017 Semester in Milan, Italy studying business and fashion.


Maria Ingea
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

My name is Maria Ingea and I am a rising senior at UMW, Marketing major with a minor in Digital Studies. I work for Student Activities and Engagement and I am the President of Campus Programming Board. In my free time, I like to think about my future and watch Tasty videos.


Kate Jolly
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi everyone, my name is Kate Jolly! I am a rising sophomore and I will be declaring a double major in International Business and Pre-Law. I am involved in the Photography club and the Love Your Melon club on campus. In my free time I love to go to the UMW basketball games and bingo nights, hang in my hammock, cook, and eat really good food.


Stacy Judge
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi! My name is Stacy Judge and I am a rising sophomore! I am currently undeclared but am hopefully going to be a Communications and Digital Studies Major! I enjoy reading, Netflix, eating delicious food, and playing rugby! I also enjoy spending time with my dog, Happy. If you see me on campus, I’m usually wearing a SnapBack of some sort, but you’re always welcome to say “Hi!”


Ellie Kilmon
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hello Eagles! I’m Ellie Kilmon. I am a rising sophomore from Easton, Maryland. As a biology major and an honors student, you can often find me in the Jepson Science building during the school year. Also as a part of Class Council, I plan traditional events on campus such as devil goat day, “Can you say GO GOATS?”. When I’m not doing work, I love to spend time outside and can often be found “benching” on campus walk, reading the news, journaling, or catching up with friends. I can’t wait to meet you all!


Lilly Lester
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey guys, my name is Lilly Lester! I’m a rising Sophomore from Caroline County, VA, with a double major in Geography and Math. I am a cheerleader, member of Alpha Mu Sigma, waitress at Chili’s, and am in the honors program. I spend most of my time outside doing homework, people watching, bird watching, and longboarding. I’m super excited to meet everyone, I can’t wait to see you on campus!


Zafrullah Malik
Session 1, 3, and 5

My name is Zafrullah Malik. I am from Stafford, VA, and am a rising junior majoring in Psychology. I work in the hospital as a scribe and volunteer in my free time. I enjoy being active and playing tennis.


Emery Matta
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hey, I am Emery Matta, and I am a rising sophomore. My major is Biology, and I am on the Women’s Club Soccer Team. My hobbies are reading, hanging out with friends, watching Netflix, working out and hanging outside. I also have a sweet tooth, so if you ever want to get something sweet you know who to call.


Tom Meldrum
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hey, my name is Tom Meldrum and I am a rising sophomore Economics and Math double major. I competed for the debate team and played in the the UMW Philharmonic last year. I love listening to music, watching TV, cooking, and hanging out with friends. Looking forward to next year!


Ronic Ngambwe
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

My name is Ronic Ngambwe and I am a rising sophomore from Fairfax, VA with an intended major in Business Management. I’m on the Judicial Review Board and I work at the Fitness Center here at UMW. I speak French well enough to hold a conversation because I was raised in a French-speaking country. I meditate, pray or exercise to relax and de-stress. My hobbies include writing and eating. Yes, eating; in fact, one of my goals is to try every flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!


Jasmine Pope
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

My name is Jasmine Pope and I am from Dinwiddie County, Virginia. I’m a rising sophomore and I am double majoring in Spanish and Sociology. I am a member of Students Helping Honduras (SHH), the Fundraiser Chair for the Habitat for Humanity club, and I also volunteer with the James Multicultural Center and COAR. You can catch me any day with a book in my hands or hanging out with my friends!


Tirzah Rao
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hi, my name is Tirzah Rao! I’m from Fredericksburg, Virginia and I am a rising sophomore here at UMW. I’m planning on double majoring in biology and sociology and am a part of both the pre-dental program as well as the Honors Program. I’m involved with a number of clubs including the Association of Residence Halls (ARH), Young Dems, the American Chemical Society (ACS) as well as Feminists United, and in my free time I enjoy playing soccer, making puns, knitting and hanging out in downtown Fredericksburg.


Alyssa Ruhlen
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

My name is Alyssa Ruhlen, and I am a rising junior at the University of Mary Washington. I am a History major and am in the Education Masters program. On campus, I am a member of the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Mu Sigma, Campus Productions Board, Finance Committee, and am employed by Student Activities and Engagement. My hobbies include watching Netflix and planning for my future.


Kyair Smith
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey everyone! My name is Kyair Smith and I am a rising Sophomore. I am currently a Biology Major with a Spanish and Neuroscience Minor. I love helping people, reading, watching TV, and online shopping, and puppies. If you see me on campus make sure to say “Hi” because I love making new friends.


Sam Taylor
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

My name is Sam Taylor and I am a rising sophomore. I am a Psychology major with a minor in Business. I am a member of the swing dance club, and in my free time I like to listen to music and watch Netflix.


Haley Turczynski
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hi! I’m Haley Turczynski, and I am a rising sophomore from Newport News, VA. I’m double majoring in Biology and Psychology. I’m very involved in Students Helping Honduras, a nonprofit organization, and I am also a Washington Guide. In my free time I manage the Track and Cross Country teams, run, and regularly attend Bingo Night!


Andy Unger
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

My name is Andy Unger, I’m a rising junior Classics major, and I’m part of the UMW Honors Program and PRISM. I also work for the Writing Center. In my free time, I play video games, read sci-fi, and do as much other nerdy stuff as I can cram into my schedule.


Gabrielle Walkey
Sessions 1, 3, and 5

Hi everyone, my name is Gabrielle Walkey and I am a rising sophomore. I am an English major in the 5-Year Elementary Education Program. I am a member of the oldest A Capella group here on campus called Symfonics, so you will always catch me singing. I love adventure, spending time outside and making people laugh. I enjoy relaxing while reading a good book as well as playing guitar.


Jake Waterman
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hey, my name is Jake Waterman and I am a rising junior Accounting Major with a minor in Finance. I am a student leader on the Honor Council and Finance Committee. I am also a member of the co-service fraternity Alpha Mu and the Men’s Rugby Team. I love video games, the New York Giants, and pugs!


Theodosius Zotos
Sessions 2, 4, and 6

Hello Eagles, the name is Theodosius Zotos! I am a rising junior Political Science major and an Economics minor. I was originally born in Baltimore, MD, but I have lived in the Fredericksburg area for most of my life. If you couldn’t already tell by my name, I am Greek and also Korean! Here at Mary Washington, I am the current Class of 2019 President, the UMW Phi Eta Sigma (ΦΗΣ) Honor Society Chapter President, and the elected Vice President of Student Government Association. In the spare time that I have, I like to listen to music, go thrifting, and aimlessly waste time on Twitter and Snapchat. Some things that I am interested in include hip-hop culture, anime, art, sneakers and fashion, US politics, and environmental science. After I graduate, I hope to become an elected VA representative and work in Congress.