Orientation Leaders help new students bring stuff to their new homes.
Orientation Leaders help new students bring stuff to their new homes.

Orientation leaders

During Orientation you'll meet a team of specially trained student Orientation leaders; we call them OLs. Below you can read their bios and get to know them before you arrive at UAF.

Applications for our 2014-2015 Orientation Team are now closed. If you are interested in joining the 2015-2016 team, please check back in February 2015.

Ashley Strauch

Ashley is from Anchorage, AK and graduated from UAF in May with a degree in Psychology. She has been involved with pretty much everything around campus: ASUAF, LIVE, Honors, various departments, Psi Chi, student ambassadors, and orientation. She loves macaroni and cheese, her beagle, her corvette, doing stuff at UAF, being involved in the Alaska Native community, sleeping, and spending time with Mathew. She has climbed 32 of the US state high points (aske her about what Kansas was like!), and she love, love, LOVES cross-country skiing! If she had the chance to travel anywhere, she would go to Middle Earth and live in a tree in Lothlorian, because "we all know that elves make the best tree houses."

Benji Hurlock

Benji is a senior Wildlife Biology student from Shirley, New York. He is a member of the Honors Program, Student Support Services, Intramural Soccer, and is the President of UAF Board Game Club. He enjoys soccer, Pokemon, wildlife, documentaries, biking, cats, geography, and trivia, and he once had 22 cats (his family now has 5)! His favorite Pokemon is Vaporeon, his favorite board game is Scrabble, and his favorite ice cream is either strawberry or peanut butter. If he could travel anywhere in the world, he would visit Croatia, because the country is beautiful.

Brandy Flores

Brandy is a third year OL from Anchorage, AK and is a senior majoring in Natural Resource Management. She is the President of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). She often participates in L.I.V.E. events and has been on two Alternative Spring Break trips. Brandy enjoys the outdoors, learning about other cultures, traveling, and fighting zombies. She collects postcards, loves green tea and cookies and cream ice cream, and believes that strangers are just friends she hasn’t met yet.

Carson Frank

Carson is a sophomore Art student from Wasilla, AK. He is involved with the GSA, Dance Revolution, H.A.P.P.Y. (a club that aims to spread happiness around campus), and ugly sweater competitions. He enjoys cats, musicals, opera, dancing, knitting, painting, Sudoku, men, Disney movies, sushi, and Space Jam. He listens to a lot of Beyonce, and he would like to travel to the set of Cosmos and meet Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Christopher Baca

Chris is from Ketchikan, AK and is a sophomore Sociology major. He is in the UAF Parkour Club, UAF Pop Culture Club, and was on the Humans vs Zombies planning committee. He enjoys music, theatre, travel, and exploration and relaxation, and has performed in numerous choirs, musicals, and plays including Sweeney Todd and Bye Bye Birdie. He has traveled through Canada, Mexico, and the US and has had the opportunity to explore Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and the Rio Grande River. Chris has five sisters and is the only boy in his family, and says that he would like to travel wherever his feet, a plane, train, or automobile could take him.

Cordero Reid

Cordero is a third year OL and a senior Psychology and Art student from Anchorage, AK. He is heavily involved with ASUAF, serving as a senator and a senate chair. He enjoys photography, portraits, landscapes, graffiti, football, the Seattle Seahawks, fitness, parkour, and lifting. He is a fitness trainer, and he collects flag pins and rare city pins. If he could travel anywhere, he would go to Northern Europe, because he thinks the arts and culture are some of the richest in the world.

Courtney Enright

Courtney is from Ketchikan, AK and is a senior in the BS Mechanical Engineering program and a graduate student in the MBA program. She is a part of the Society of Women Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Aurora Borealis Rotaract, LIVE, UA Board of Regents, Coalition of Student Leaders, Student Ambassadors, and the Alaska Space Grant Program. She enjoys SCUBA diving, travelling, and trying new things. Because of her work with the Alaska Space Grant Program, she had the opportunity to work on both satellites and rockets, so she can kind of say she’s a rocket scientist. Courtney has a daschound and a daschound shitsu mix, and her favorite ice cream flavor is chocolate chip cookie dough.

Erin Larson

Erin is a senior General Studies student from Fairbanks, AK. She is a member of the Pep Band, the UAF wind symphony, and United Campus Ministries. Her favorite flavor of ice cream is cake batter, she loves music, working with kids, and learning new things, and is fluent in Spanish. She was a part of a Spanish immersion program from kindergarten through her sophomore year of high school and has been about to use her second language during mission trips to Mexico and Ecuador.

Kayleen Hanson

Kayleen is a senior Biology and Spanish student from Nikiski, AK. She is a part of Chordinated, the Honors Program, and the Honors Student Advisory Council, and she is a Student Ambassador and the Student Assistant to the Dean of Students. She enjoys singing, dancing, feeding her Supernatural obsession, meeting new people, and all things medical. She doesn’t like cheese, has an extra bone in her elbow, and she would love to travel to Greece. Her mother was adopted from there, and she would love to help find information about her birth family.

Kenzie Holbrook

Kenzie is a junior from Talkeetna, AK double majoring in Accounting and Marketing. For the past two years she has been involved with the "wonderful service group on campus" Circle K International. She loves to Upcycle, whether it's clothing, furniture, plastic roofing, or old glass, it's fun to try and bring new life to something ratty, and her favorite ice cream is actually frozen yogurt! She says the best flavor combination is coffee and vanilla with fresh cut bananas and frozen gummy bears. Her favorite time to play Frisbee is midnight, because it's cool outside, people are quiet, and she doesn't have to worry about looking dorky in her 80's work out gear.

Lida Zakurdaew

Lida is a junior Foreign Languages student from Anchorage, AK. She is a Peer Mentor, Student Ambassador, ASUAF Senator, and a member of Alpha Phi Omega. She enjoys rock climbing, ice climbing, aerial silks, and acroyoga. She has one life goal and two ways of getting there: to be an interpreter and travel the world, or run away to join a circus and travel the world; she hasn't decided which is more plausible or enticing yet. She would love to travel to Russia because of its size (she could spend forever there and not see everything), that is where her family is from, she is studying Russian and would love to practice her speaking skills, and Russian political history is very interesting to her.

Lindsey Klueber

Lindsey is from Anchorage, AK and is a senior Biological Sciences and Art student. She has been in the Art Department’s student art show, on the Honors Student Advisory Council, and is currently in the Honors Program, Parkour and Freerunning Club, is a Humans vs Zombies participant, and is the Founder and Benevolent Dictator of the UAF League of Extraordinary Fandoms. She enjoys cross country skiing, rock climbing, running, parkour, soccer (she is a USSF certified referee), archery, ultimate Frisbee, painting and drawing, academics, deep questions about the universe, and Nutella. She was named “Most Difficult to Kill” in the recent Humans vs Zombies game, and she is a self-described nerd and geek who closely follows Doctor Who, Sherlock, Supernatural , and Lord of the Rings .

Luke Dinon

Luke is a junior Russian, Spanish, and Linguistics student from Craig, AK. He is involved with the Russian Club, Spanish Club, Cadet Club, ROTC, and Business Leader of the Year. He enjoys international languages, culture, politics, business, music, films, travel, food, literature, and art history. He can cook minute rice in 59 seconds, and he is a professional snipe hunt guide. If he had the opportunity, he would travel through time so he could learn, his favorite game is Cards Against Humanity, and his favorite ice cream is Moose Tracks.

Mathew Carrick

Mathew was born in Crestview, FL and later moved to Wasilla, AK. He is a Mathematics and Economics junior who enjoys baking, birds, German, hiking and camping, history, economics, and medium to large sea creatures. He is a returning and enthusiastic OL, a Student Ambassador, ASUAF President (former Senator), Model UN President, Ethics Bowl participant and current organizer, student research assistant, and the 2013 UA Scholars student speaker. In the past, he has been involved with the German Club and the Honors Student Advisory Council. A fun fact about him? He was raised with chickens, and his time in Fairbanks has been the only time he hasn’t had any! He likes Monopoly, lemon sherbet, and lives in (and loves) a dry cabin.

Megan Lasselle

Megan is from Palmer, AK and is a sophomore Elementary Education student. She is in the Honors Program, participates in Outdoor Adventures activities, and is a member of St. Marks Catholic Church, Chordinated, H.A.P.P.Y., and ASUAF. She loves to learn (especially science), working with kids, music (especially singing), the great outdoors, reading, and baking. She has been to 48 of the 50 states, and she HATES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She says that if she could travel anywhere, she would definitely visit the United Kingdom, because most of her favorite books take place "amidst those misty rolling green hills".

Mikey Dewey

Mikey is a sophomore Spanish major from Fairbanks. He has been working in the Department of Career Services for over a year, and in Fall of 2013, he co-founded the Happiness Association Promoting Positivity in Youth (H.A.P.P.Y. Club). He enjoys laughing, making friends, moving around, exploring new places, eating food, relaxing, and much more, and he has tried dreadlocking his hair twice, with each time lasting about two weeks. His favorite ice cream flavor is mint chocolate chip, and his favorite board game is chess. If he had the chance, he would visit the entire continent of South America. He says, "Most countries there speak Spanish, so it would be awesome to get around and explore everything from big cities to small towns, from Colombia to Chile."

Mukul Chavan

Mukul is a graduate Petroleum Engineering student from Pune, India. He is a graduate research assistant in the Petroleum Engineering department and is working on the topic of low salinity enhanced oil recovery. He really enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, rafting, playing different sports, and he likes to get involved in different activities such as dancing and acting. He left India at 100 F and arrived in Fairbanks at -40 F. Mukul would like to go to the South Pole to see the southern lights and explore the farthest point in the south as he’s already been to the northern most point.

Olivia Anger

Olivia is a junior History, Secondary Education, and Spanish student form Soldotna, AK. She is a member of H.A.P.P.Y., UAF GSA, Angry, Young, and Poor (AYP), UAF Socratic Society, UAF Spanish Club, UAF Vox, and Campus Democrats. She used to live in a van, visiting 2 countries and 38 states in the process, and she cannot whistle or wink. She would love to visit Antarctica (anywhere with penguins is automatically at the top of her list), and her favorite ice cream is anything that has chocolate and will give her diabetes.

Saraya Coburn

Saraya is a junior from Kenai, Alaska studying History and Foreign Languages. She is currently the Public Relations Director for ASUAF, a Coalition of Student Leaders representative, a member of Alpha Phi Omega, and she has worked with several other departments and organizations on campus as well including the Nanook Traditions Board and Residence Life. She enjoys traveling (a lot), music, watching terrible reality television shows, learning about different cultures, cats, going to campus events, cooking, volunteering, D.I.Y. crafting, making things look pretty, and coffee. So. Much. Coffee. She says, "My goal in life is to become a High School teacher that goes home after a long day and knits Harry Potter sweaters for my cat... I'm not above admitting that..."

Skye Weller

Skye is a senior Biological Science and Military Science student from Petersburg, AK. She is a member of the Army ROTC program, ROTC Color Guard, Ranger Challenge Team member, Parkour & Freerunning Club, ROTC Cadet Club, and the Orienteering Club. She enjoys basically anything outdoors including fishing, kayaking, hiking, skiing, and ultimate Frisbee, and she jumps out of airplanes for a living. She would love to travel to Thailand and India to sample the cuisine.

Tiffany Anne de la cruz Aguilar

Tiffany is a sophomore Biological Sciences and Japanese student from Fairbanks, AK, and she is very excited to get more involved with the UAF community as a first time OL. She is very interested in the Japanese language and hopes to become a physical therapist, as it has been a dream of hers to help people become stronger after an injury. She enjoys singing, music, and video games, and can speak English, Japanese, and her native tongue, Tagalog. She has had the opportunity to travel to Japan twice since graduating high school – once from a school trip and once for a humanitarian project known as Kizuna (unbreakable bond) to visit with the regions who were hit by the 3/11 tsunami and earthquake disaster. She is very interested in their culture, traditions, and amazing food, and she hopes to travel there again one day.

Tyler McClendon

Tyler is a junior from Fairbanks, AK double majoring in Film and Theater. He is both a show director/producer and secretary for the Student Drama Association and he is a member of the Film Club and Parkour and Freerunning Clubs. He enjoys film, theater, video games, rock climbing, biking, hiking, photography, dance performance, and hip hop. He has worked on two feature length films that were filmed in Fairbanks - Unnatural (2014) and Mining for Ruby (2012) - and his favorite board game is Diplomacy.

Zoe Rodes

Zoe is a sophomore Biological Sciences student from Anchorage, AK. She is a part of the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, and she is the vice-president of the UAF Pre-medical Society. She loves snowboarding, volleyball, ballroom dance, Latin American culture, biotechnology, and guitar. She can dance a mean jig (she was an Irish dancer), and she would like to visit Greece, because her family is Greek and she wants to experience their culture.

Become an OL

Orientation Leaders prep to help new students at the Check-In station Sunday, August during Move-In Day at the Moore, Bartlett, Skarland dormitory complex.
Orientation Leaders prep to help new students at the Check-In station Sunday, August during Move-In Day at the Moore, Bartlett, Skarland dormitory complex.
The purpose of the UAF New Student Orientation (NSO) program is to provide services and assistance that will:
  1. Assist new students and their families in their transitions to life at UAF.
  2. Introduce students to the wealth of UAF resources.
  3. Create an atmosphere that minimizes anxiety and maximizes positive attitudes.

Role Description:
Expectations and responsibilities for Orientation Leaders (OL’s) include:

  1. Attend and actively participate in all OL training programs.
  2. Assist with the organization, planning, and implementation of NSO programs and activities.
  3. Acquaint new students with campus services, activities, facilities, and encourage them to actively participate in the UAF environment through a positive and professional manner.
  4. Lead, manage and facilitate a group of 10-25 new students and their development through the NSO process.
  5. Give informative, friendly and engaging campus tours.
  6. Continue to interact with the incoming students through their first year at UAF; be approachable and respectful.
  7. Participate in the evaluation process of the UAF NSO program.
  8. Additional duties as assigned.

The minimum qualifications for OL's include:

  1. Good academic standing (i.e. GPA of 2.0 or higher) and good disciplinary standing for at least one semester at UAF.
  2. Relate well with students, parents, faculty and administrators.
  3. Be reliable, responsible, confident, flexible, willing to help and have demonstrated communication skills.
  4. Express a desire to learn more about UAF.
  5. Be available for all training and NSO sessions (Fall dates: Aug. 28 - Sep. 3).

There are numerous benefits to becoming an OL at UAF! These include:

  1. Personal, professional and leadership development.
  2. Enhance interpersonal skills, knowledge, confidence and service to others.
  3. Serve as a role model while assisting in the transition and retention of new students.
  4. Receive a stipend of up to $200 in Bear Bucks: $150 after completion of Fall Orientation, and an additional $50 for Spring Orientation volunteers.
  5. Early move-in to the residence halls for those living on campus.
  6. Exclusive clothing: t-shirt, polo, and jacket.
  7. Make new friends and be recognized for being a great leader.
  8. IT'S FUN!!

Time Commitment:
Orientation Leaders must be free for training from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28 - Saturday, Aug. 30, and for Orientation all day Sunday, Aug. 31 – Wednesday, Sept. 3. Orientation Leaders are also able, but not required, to participate in Spring Orientation on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.

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