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Core chosen for class of ’16 orientation

Published: November 18, 2011
Section: Features


Mitchell Schwartz ’14 applied to be next year’s coordinator of first-year orientation after two successful orientations, one as a first-year and another last year as an Orientation Leader. Like the four students chosen this week to plan orientation with him, Schwartz wants to recreate and give back to the class of 2016 and show them how incredible being a Brandeis student can be.

Schwartz will live in Waltham this summer with the rest of Orientation Core, Jason Dick ’14, Stefani Gospodinova ’14, Dillon Morris ’14 and Samanthan Gordon ’14, as they plan orientation with adult staff, including Jenny Abdou, assistant director of orientation.

“I love orientation and I think it’s such a unique experience. No other school does orientation the way that Brandeis does and I wanted to be a part of such a special and fun program,” Dick said.

When Gordon came to Brandeis for her first-year orientation, it was her first experience at Brandeis because she had never visited as a prospective student. “As cheesy as it may be, I have always had a strong connection to Brandeis, before I even came here, and orientation just made me love Brandeis even more,” said Gordon, who was an Orientation Leader last year.

Morris felt the same way: excited with the desire to give back. “My orientation experience was phenomenal, and not only did it demonstrate the amazing community I’ve come to know and love at Brandeis, it also provided me with an exceptionally warm welcome to a brand new place where I have been able to grow and flourish and become someone I had always wanted to be,” he said.

During the interview process, each Core applicant did an activity for the selection committee, which at that point included Schwartz.

Gospodinova taught the committee how to write the perfect Tweet (a useful skill for Core, which runs @ReadyForDeis), and Gordon taught them how to destress by tensing and relaxing various muscle groups.

In terms of learning from last year’s Core, led by coordinator Rachel Nelson ’13, Morris said, “I would have to say that the single most important thing I have learned from those previously on Core is that, while people certainly demonstrate different points of view and ambitions in what exactly they wish to accomplish, the ultimate goal is the same: provide incoming first-years with the best possible orientation imaginable.”

Living together this summer, Dick is looking forward to putting together ideas and “seeing our hard work come to life,” as well as becoming a better cook.

The five sophomores are already excited to create something magical for next year’s first-years.

“I really hope to continue many of the traditional aspects of Orientation while also finding ways to surprise with the new ideas we come up with for our program,” Gospodinova said.

“I’ve always really enjoyed being able to work cooperatively with a group of individuals who are passionate about a specific topic,” Morris said. “The great thing about the Core committee is that we have all been chosen because we have demonstrated a true passion for orientation as well as a true love for Brandeis and its amazing community. We are all very different people, but I am looking forward to working with all of them, as we share a common goal.”