Orientation Leader Staff

Meet the 2018 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. 

Meet the Orientation Coordinators:

Orientation Coordinators are student leaders selected with at least one year of Orientation Leader experience. You’ll see them more working behind the scenes, but they are still knowledgable about UMW and available to answer any questions!

Ellie Kilmon


Hello Eagles! My name is Ellie Kilmon. I am a rising junior from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. On campus, along with my studies, I am a member of class council and women’s club basketball. In my free time, I love to paint, watch Netflix or spend time outside on Ball Circle with my friends. I’m so excited to be a part of your orientation experience this summer. Welcome to the UMW family.

Lilly Lester


Hi everyone! I’m Lilly Lester and I’m a rising junior with a Geography major and minors in Social Justice and Climate Science. I am co-captain of UMW Club Cheerleading, Vice President of Internal Affairs for Alpha Mu Sigma (a community service based fraternity), Zumba instructor, and I work for the University Center front desk as a Service Concierge. UMW is my home, and orientation is my favorite time of year! I cannot wait to welcome you all, see you there!

Tom Meldrum


Hello! My name is Tom Meldrum and I’m a rising junior from Vienna, VA. I am an Economics and Math double major with a minor in Actuarial Science. I play viola in the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra and am a consultant at the Speaking Center. I’m very excited to participate in the orientation process and welcome the class of 2022 to the University of Mary Washington!

Jasmine Pope


Hello everyone! My name is Jasmine Pope, I am a junior and am majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish. I’m from Petersburg, Virginia. My interests includes reading, writing poetry, hiking, and watching Netflix. I’m involved with Alternative Service Break, I am the President of the Habitat for Humanity Club, and also work at the Language Lab in Combs Hall. I’m super excited about Orientation, and can’t wait to welcome you all to campus!

Sam Taylor


Hi everybody! I am Sam Taylor, a rising junior from Fairfax, Virginia. I am a psychology major with a minor in business. On campus, I am a member of Men’s Club Ultimate Frisbee and Men’s Club Volleyball teams. I enjoy being outdoors and going on hikes as well as rock climbing. My favorite animal is dogs, specifically my dog Bear.

Meet the Orientation Leaders:

Orientation Leaders are student leaders selected who have been selected to help welcome the incoming students to campus! They are divided into two teams (blue and gray) that alternate working both the first-year and transfer sessions. You’ll be assigned to one of the following students and work with them throughout your orientation experience!

Huda Al-Bana


Hi!! My name is Huda Al-Bana and I am an upcoming sophomore here at Mary Washington. I am a prospective chemistry major and a biology minor who participated in the Pre-Med club. I am originally from Woodbridge, Virginia and love music and food. I can’t wait to see you all at orientation!!

Emma Baumgarnder


Hi everyone! I’m Emma Baumgardner, a rising senior from Roanoke, Virginia majoring in Communications and Digital Studies. On campus, I’m president of our Campus Programming Board and work in our Admissions Office as a tour guide. I love being outside, eating ice cream of all flavors and alpacas are my favorite animal. Can’t wait for you all to make Mary Wash your home!

Maelyn Beitzel


My name is Maelyn Beitzel, I grew up in Northern Virginia. I am undeclared but am leaning towards majoring in Biology and want to be a vet! I have a 3 pound yorkie at home who I love dearly and will talk about for at least an hour if allowed.

Izzy Burns


My name is Izzy Burns and I am from Triangle, Virginia (right next to Quantico).  I am a rising sophomore and I am still deciding on my major, but I know that I want to go into Occupational Therapy.  I am on the UMW’s Club Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team and the UMW’s Club Women’s Lacrosse team. You will often find me either on Ball Circle throwing a frisbee or relaxing with a Dr. Pepper and a good book.  I can’t wait to meet you all at orientation!

Kelsey Chavers


Hello Eagles! I’m Kelsey Chavers. I am a rising junior from Charlottesville, VA. I am a Geography major also pursuing a Urban Studies minor and a GIS Certificate. I love hiking and the outdoors but I also enjoy really binge watching the latest shows on Netflix and Hulu! Fun fact: my favorite food is a potato prepared any way! (Although mashed is at the top of the list)

Matthew Crawford


Hi! My name is Matthew Crawford and I am a rising third year here at UMW. I am from Charlottesville, Virginia and am majoring in psychology, minoring in social justice, and love to sing. I transferred to UMW from a school that I went to for one semester in Georgia. I absolutely love UMW, and am involved in several clubs on campus. I am so excited to meet you all and get to know you!

Kelly Flynn


My name is Kelly Flynn and I’m from Woodbridge, Va. I am a biology major and an environmental sustainability minor, and I graduate in 2020! I am a member of the UMW Club Cheerleading team, and I am passionate about science, the environment, and education. I love staying active and being outside whenever I can be.

Zoë Fox


Hi, my name is Zoë Fox. I am a Junior,and am a math major in the secondary education program. I plan to be a middle school math teacher. Currently, I am involved in the women’s rugby team, Alpha Mu Sigma (a service fraternity), and I volunteer at the local American Legion in my free time. I am so excited to meet you all!

Sam Garcia


Hi! I’m Sam. I’m a commuter to UMW and will be a sophomore in the fall.  I am studying to be an EMT and am currently pursuing a biology major in the pre-med program as well as a neuroscience minor.  I’m usually super busy, but when I’m de-stressing, you can probably find me hanging out with friends or Netflixing with a good cup of coffee.

Michael Gilchrist

Photo to come!

My name is Michael Gilchrist and I am a rising Junior and I plan to major in Communications and Digital Studies while double minoring in Business and Information Security! My dad was in the Navy so I have lived in many cool places such as Portugal, California, and I was born in Panama City, Panama! I play club soccer, club tennis, and love music from the 40’s and 50’s, especially Frank Sinatra. I am involved with many different groups on campus such as the UMW Philharmonic Orchestra where I play the violin and also Student Alumni Ambassadors!

Briana Gralia


Hi my name is Briana Gralia, I’m 19 year old from Monroe, CT. I’m a rising junior majoring in psychology in the elementary education program. Most times you can find me with a Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee in hand and probably listening to music. Other than being an OL, I’m a volunteer tour guide on campus, and a part of the Love Your Melon Club.

Rachel Heisner


Hi, I’m Rachel and I am a rising senior here at Mary Wash. I’m a math major in the secondary education program, and this will be my second year being an orientation leader. Coffee runs through my veins, so when I’m not studying or in class, you can find me at Starbucks or Blackstone. My favorite things to do outside of school are hiking, running, and volunteering at the Fredericksburg SPCA. I also work in the bakery at Wegmans! I can’t wait to meet you all!

Sarah Hood-Recant

My name’s Sarah Hood-Recant, and I am so excited to be an orientation leader this summer! I’m a rising junior, and I am an Environmental Geology Major, and am hoping to study in languages, as well. A little info about me is that my favorite color is purple, I love the outdoors, and I play ultimate frisbee for UMW on the Women’s Club team! I live down in Richmond, and love to rock climb and chill with friends and family. I can’t wait to meet you all!

Kate Jolly


Hello Eagles, My name is Kate Jolly. I’m from New Kent, VA, and am a member of the Class of 2020. I’m a Political Science major and I’m also earning a minor in business. Whenever I have free time you’ll usually see me at bingo in the underground, at a basketball game, or just hanging in my hammock somewhere on campus. I am also the Vice President for the UMW Photography Club and a member of Love Your Melon.

Des Jordan


Hi! I’m Destiny Jordan and I am a sophomore here. I am Majoring in Psychology and minoring in Social Justice. Hands down I love potatoes and interacting with people are my favorite things, they give me life and energy. I am huge on giving back to those who need and even those who don’t, I love Helping. I am Very excited already to be around everyone! Can’t wait to meet you! 

Emery Matta


Hey everyone! My name is Emery and it is a pleasure to meet all of you. I am biology major with a Spanish minor as well as a sophomore. I live in Paeonian Springs, VA, and I’m in CPB (Campus Programming Board), Alpha Mu Sigma, and Women’s Soccer Club. I am an avid bookworm and love talking about anything involving biology, so I am up to talk about any books or anything biology!

Rachel McVicker


Hello! My name is Rachel McVicker. I am going into my second year here at Mary Wash, and I am an International Relations major with a minor in Conflict and Security Studies. I am from Rhode Island and moved down to Mary Wash after falling in love with the campus and the warmer weather. Once I got here the love only grew and I cannot wait to spread my love for this place with the incoming class. In my free time, you’ll find me hanging in my hammock behind Russell or walking the Rappahannock Trail with friends.

Myranda Morrison

Photo to come!

Hi everyone! My name is Myranda Morrison and I am from Bedford, Virginia. I am a Junior majoring in Anthropology and minoring in Business Administration, Museum Studies, and Urban Studies. Currently, I am involved with Community Council, SGA, UMW Philanthropy, and I am president of the Sociology and Anthropology Club. I love sunsets, photography, and chocolate chip cookies.

Ronic Ngambwe


My name is Ronic Ngambwe and I am a rising Junior studying Communications and Digital Studies with a minor in Information Security. I enjoy reading and writing and I’ll occasionally make time for a Bollywood movie. Although I have been in living in Fairfax, Virginia
for almost four years now, I moved to the United States in 2010 from the Democratic Republic of Congo. As you can probably imagine, English is not my first language. I also speak French and Lingala. In addition, I currently work part-time for Campus Recreation as a Fitness Center Supervisor. I’m a fitness fanatic if there’s such thing. Overall, I really enjoy my job and my studies, for the most part. If you see me around this summer, don’t hesitate to come over and say hello!

Redd Niero


My name is Redd Niero and I have always lived in Virginia. In fact, most of my life has been spent in Stafford. I am a rising Sophomore and I plan to double major in Business with a concentration in Marketing, as well as a Geology Major. My interests include aerial silks, reading, and food. I am also currently involved with Prism, Anime Club, Swing Dance, Students Helping Honduras, as well as working in the Writing Center.

Joey Opiekun


My name is Joey Opiekun and I am going to be a senior at UMW. I am a double major studying Finance and English with a concentration in creative writing. In my years here at UMW, I have been involved in many different activities and clubs on campus including UMW Songwriting, Encore (Jazz Choir), and UMW Breakers (Breakdancing).  I am also starting up an Investment Club next semester for all who want to learn about investing. My interests are reading, investing, song and story writing, playing music, and singing.

Ivan Quiroga


Hi! My name is Ivan Quiroga, and I’m a Theatre major in the Pre-Law program.  I am from Woodbridge, Virginia, but I also consider myself from Bolivia because my family is from there. I’ve been playing guitar for about 7 years, and I enjoy PC gaming in my free time. I am actively involved in UMW Theatre, I sing in the Symfonics Acapella group, and have been part of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadowcasts.

Nic Robinson


My name is Nic Robinson. I’m originally from New York but I now live in Sterling Virginia. I am a sophomore, Biology major with a chemistry minor in the pre-med program. My interests are old 1940’s mystery movies, soccer, and music. I’m involved with the chamber choir in campus as well as the president of the Social Justice league (a volunteer club)

Anna Beth Tanner


Hello Eagles! I am Anna Beth Tanner, an energetic Mary Washington student originally from King George, Virginia. I am a Biology major and I am plan on pursuing minors in digital studies and musical theatre. I work as a consultant  in the Speaking Center. I am an active member of Class Council Serving as both the Class of 2021 Promotions Director and the Executive Board Historian. I am a member of Alpha Mu Sigma and play on the Girls Ultimate Frisbee Team. In my free time I enjoy playing my bedazzled kazoo, eating doritos, hanging in my hammock, and sleeping in. I am extremely excited to welcome all the incoming students to my favorite place!

Haley Turczynski


Hi! My name is Haley, I’m a rising Junior Psychology major with a Neuroscience minor  and I’m from Newport News, Virginia. I am involved in many clubs on campus, including Students Helping Honduras, Women’s Ultimate Frisbee, Jewish Student Association/Hillel, and Alternative Service Breaks, along with being in the Honors Program. Outside of all of that, I love running, hammocking, and being outside in general. I can’t wait to meet you all!

Andy Unger


What’s up! My name is Andy Unger.  I’m a classics major with a passion for Greek mythology, electro-swing, and interior design. I’ve been involved with PRISM since I started college, and you can usually find me in Trinkle Hall or the HCC, where I work at the Writing Center. This is my last year at UMW, and I’m excited to finish strong and make my dream of opening a bookstore a reality.

Jake Waterman


Hey, my name is Jake Waterman and I am a rising senior 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!

Jasmine Williams


My name is Jasmine Williams. I am a Sophomore and a History Major. I love to listen to music and watch YouTube blogs during my free time. My favorite food is pizza and my favorite drink is a Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino.

Lizzie Wordham


My name is Lizzie and I’m from Purcellville, VA in Loudoun County. I’m a sophomore, I love to sing, and I am currently a co-music director of one of UMW’s acappella groups, Symfonics. I also work at the Writing Center on campus and am planning to major in English. I love working with people and I’m so excited to welcome a new group of students to Mary Wash!