By: Diane Summers
On Saturday, Aug. 20, over 600 freshmen students came to UHD to visit with faculty, alumni and fellow classmates. The half-day event generated much enthusiasm for the school year slated to start the following Monday, Aug. 22.
The morning began with a continental breakfast and everyone gathering on the Academic Building’s third floor, with presentations in the Cullen Robertson Auditorium. After this, freshmen were assigned to small groups where they met with a faculty representative and an alumnus to discuss the Common Reading Program book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”
Freshmen completed an essay on the book and the Freshman Convocation Committee will announce the winner of a $500 prize for best essay on Sept. 7, as well as other prizes for top essays.
Freshmen were complimentary when asked about their experiences during the day. Helen Lucero, incoming freshman, said, “I love the staff. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I just met one of the police officers and he was really nice.” Lucero added that she particularly enjoyed the assembly gathering, because “every time they said UHD we had to cheer. That was fun!”
McRandall Tran, also an incoming freshman, stated, “The people were really funny—the people who spoke. I really like the theater here, and hope there’s an opportunity for improv.”
Alumni enjoyed the day too according to Melody Barr, who said, “It brought me back. I saw myself in a lot of these kids. The students are interested in being here. That’s good.”
Alumnus Jason Contreras said, “I remember my orientation like it was yesterday. The students I worked with today were willing to do something to better themselves.”
Many thanks to the numerous volunteers including dozens of staff, 70 faculty, and over 40 alumni who welcomed our freshmen!The 2011 Freshman Convocation Committee: Tammis Thomas, Chair Amie Beth, Student Representative, College of Sciences and Technology Deborah Carruthers, Information Technology Jane Creighton, English Ed Cueva, Arts and Humanities Paula Doan, Student Representative, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Greg Getz, Social Sciences Jeff Jackson, Social Sciences Sergiy Koshkin, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Toya Mares, Student Representative, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Rich McMahon, College of Business Nikita Milton-Ross, Freshman Orientation Coordinator Mary Jo Parker, Natural Sciences and the Scholars Academy Special thanks to: Liza Alonzo, Associate Director, Community Involvement Stacie DeFreitas, Social Sciences Ermelinda Delavina, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Johanna Wolfe, VP for Advancement and External Relations