14:59 PM

Newest Group of Gators Enjoy Gator Orientation

Approximately 50 of 1,100 incoming freshmen participated in the first Gator Orientation today in preparation for the fall 2014 semester.

President Bill Flores welcomed attendees at the outset of orientation and encouraged the students to join one of UHD's 63 student organizations and become involved within their individual colleges.

The freshmen then divided up into smaller groups to get to know each other and their Gator Orientation (G.O. Team) leaders.

Gator Orientation serves as an important segue for students between high school and college and gives new gators a hint of the academic rigors, advising resources and social opportunities they can expect on campus.

Throughout the day's planned activities, students interacted directly with their future professors, received campus tours from G.O. Team leaders, and took advantage of free time to get to know their fellow freshmen.

"According to data from our pre-survey, many of the incoming freshmen have concerns about navigating campus on day one," said Patrick Edwards, director of student activities and events. "Therefore, one of our goals during Gator Orientation is to get them to a point where they feel comfortable getting from place to place on campus. We also inform them about various resources that will enable them to have a successful UHD transition and matriculation. We want them leaving Gator Orientation feeling "Gator Strong!"

UHD will host a series of 12 freshmen orientations over the course of the summer to ensure that all incoming freshmen have the foundation necessary to succeed from the start.

"Gator Orientation is really exciting for me," said Steven Pelletier, an incoming freshman from Enfield, Connecticut. "My favorite part is getting to interact with my future professors and getting to know my fellow classmates. Now, I'll know a few familiar faces when class starts this fall."

Gator Orientation is spearheaded by Edwards and the Student Activities staff, with support from the Gator Orientation Committee, composed of William Waller, associate professor in the College of Sciences and Technology; Gene Preuss, associate professor of history; John Lane, director of technology learning; Liza Alonzo, assistant dean of students; Katrina Borders, director of the STAR Program; Chris Birchak, dean of University College; Jason Brewer, assistant dean of the College of Public Service; Jeffrey Ahrendt, associate director of technology learning services; and student Jesse Lopez.