Hundreds Help Welcome the Class of 2022

This summer’s New Student Orientation program, which ran from June 25 to July 27, gave JWU’s newest Wildcats and their families a warm welcome into the JWU family. More than 1,500 first-year and transfer students participated in various activities, presentations and trainings, led by nearly 60 OTEAM members (orientation leaders, orientation assistants and family assistants) and more than 270 student, staff and faculty volunteers.

“Our students and their families were extremely appreciative of their orientation experience, many sharing with us their comfort in choosing JWU after their time on campus,” said Kelly Dunn, EdD ’18, director, New Student Orientation & Support Programs. Check out a snapshot of the 2018 New Student Orientation program.

Orientation is truly a campuswide initiative in making the most memorable and meaningful experiences for these students. Faculty and staff, including some new JWU parents, have an equally memorable time participating in Orientation. Here are just a few stories from this year’s program:

“As a parent of an incoming first-year student, I was very nervous and did not know what to expect. Even though I work here, I still felt anxious about my son staying overnight and being around other students that he didn’t know. After checking in, students and parents were separated into groups and were told we would see him the next day. As day one went on, my husband and I was very impressed, although I’m not surprised. Kelly and her team are amazing. Everything was organized, and you knew exactly where to be and what was next on the schedule. When we asked our son how his experience was, he shared with us that he is even more excited to be a Wildcat and is looking forward to being here in the fall. He connected with an OTEAM leader and made a lot of new friends.”
Melanie Roderiques, senior administrative assistant, Student Affairs, 20 years at JWU


 “New Student Orientation sessions were most certainly a highlight for all of us here in the College of Culinary Arts. We welcomed hundreds of new Wildcats…‘hungry’ and eager to start their journey in the world of food. We introduced them to the campus and the state of the art facilities through what we called ‘the kitchen brigade challenge’ (pictured on right). Students separated into teams of 15 to compete in challenges on topics related to the importance and history of the uniform, identifying food allergens, sorting waste product (mock product I may add) and practicing sustainability. The students were engaged and working together as a team, which is vital to their success in this world.”
 – TJ Delle Donne ’04, ’07, assistant dean of culinary relations & special projects, College of Culinary Arts, 14 years at JWU

“My favorite moment this summer, and honestly every summer, is when I meet a family that I have previously only interacted with on the phone. Being able to shake a parent’s hand at the end of the enrollment process and tell them that we are as proud of their student as they are makes all of the other aspects of the job seem small. I know that everyone in Admissions feels the same way about serving our students, and the feeling I’m describing at each summer orientation is only matched by the feeling you get when those same students graduate a few short years later.”
George Malavasic, admissions officer, 10 years at JWU

“I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate my first anniversary at JWU than welcoming new students on campus. Although there were countless memories, I am particular proud of those who contributed to our ‘grilled cheese fundraiser.’ Students across all orientation sessions purchased grilled cheese sandwiches in an effort to raise funds for the Providence Animal Shelter. We raised more than $300 to help feed and provide shelter to our furry friends in the city who are currently without a home.”
Timothy Valton, residence area coordinator, Residential Life, 1 year at JWU


“I fully enjoyed being on the other side of things as a new JWU parent. New Student Orientation made me feel that JWU was the right decision for my daughter. The program answered all of our questions and gave us a complete overview of what to expect. I liked having all the different departments give presentations, and I found the survey that they ask the parents and students to take to be a lot of fun…seeing what the parents said compared to the students. My favorite part was hearing Vice President Ron Martel share his own personal story of his daughter going to college. It was hilarious!”
Dawn Kenney ’89, budget coordinator, Student Involvement & Leadership, 5 years at JWU and Legacy Family (met her husband at JWU - James Kenney II ’90)

“My favorite part about this program is seeing the families excitement about their incoming student coming to JWU in the fall. As a JWU graduate, I, along with my fellow team members, were able to share our own personal experiences of being JWU students and provide them with answers to any questions.”
Sarah Hoffman ’12, commissary catering manager, 2 years at JWU

“I work with New Student Orientation closely each summer and get to see many families go through the doors here in the Wildcat Center. I was quite impressed with how Keith, the graduate intern, handled himself throughout the summer but specifically during check-in. It is a fast-paced process, and he showed great patience and understanding with all of the students and families. He was willing to help each family with the same charisma and hospitality throughout the entire process that I’m certain helped make their experiences better while on campus.”
Matt Roache ’05, athletics facilities & operations manager, 11 years at JWU

There's more fun to be had celebrating the Class of 2022 and all returning students during Wildcat Welcome, September 1-10. Learn more.