I’ve seen many orientation varieties throughout the years. In some cases, orientations are exciting, fresh starts for students who can’t wait to begin college. Some want to reinvent themselves, and others are following in the footsteps of siblings or friends who’ve had rave reviews about their experiences and made “best friends for life” in college. Personally, my orientation was one of the more nerve-wracking experiences I’d had. I was an out-of-towner headed to another state’s flagship institution. Naturally, all the kids who went to the same high school sat together in the dining hall for lunch, and I found myself wandering around between tables as seemingly the only Mainer in a group of New Hampshire-ites. Luckily, the one other Maine student rescued me (thanks, Ray!) and my orientation experiences ultimately evolved into an extremely productive college experience.
Rachel at Apogee's 2017 Customer Technology Seminar, pictured with Rahul Naik of Johns Hopkins University
Rachel Andrade, here! I am a recent graduate of Pace University NYC and a former OrcaTV student ambassador. During my time at Pace University I majored in Arts and Entertainment Management and minored in Special Events Marketing. In effort to foster a community on a big city campus, I served as an executive board member of the Programming and Campus Entertainment Board (P.A.C.E. Board) for two years; Marketing Director ‘16-’17, President ‘17-’18. As a student leader, I recognized the importance of student engagement and recognition. Understanding these two factors was a vital part of my role as a student ambassador.
Constant innovation and renovation encapsulates the life of technology, especially in the field of apps. The introduction of smartphones into our society has enabled us with the ability to communicate in real time. Over time, it has evolved to even video chatting. Unlimited access to limitless information on ideas, events, and people granted to those with a phone. The ones who frequently capitalize on these advancements are college students.
A couple weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be able to visit my 90-year old grandmother in Cape Cod. She’s truly a force of nature -- she lives alone, survived a massive tree falling on her house this winter without batting an eye, and schedules more weekly social events than I do as a millennial living in the city. Among the incredible life experiences she’s shared with me from her time raising a family and traveling the world, one thing that’s resonated has been her love and pride for her alma mater, the University of California at Berkeley. I was reminded of this as I was coordinating some weekend Commencement livestreams for Apogee partners while at my grandmother’s house. I found myself immersed in a deep conversation with my family about why the word “Commencement” symbolizes a beginning, and defines the ceremony rather than “graduation,” an end. I felt a wave of nostalgia thinking back to my own Commencement and all of the wonderfully terrifying beginnings that came with graduating from college – to a point where I actually found myself switching back and forth between watching the royal wedding on Stream2 and the University of New Hampshire’s 2018 Commencement ceremony. My grandmother even started telling us about the dress she wore on her Commencement Day over sixty-five years ago.
When I first arrived on campus in the summer of 2011, I’d just returned from an amazing six-day pre-orientation trip in the woods and was bubbling with the excitement of new friendships and a fresh start (and okay, some nerves too. And mud). As I walked by the Sexual Assault and Rape Prevention Center (SHARPP) on my way to the dining hall with my new friends, I vaguely remember thinking it was odd that there was an entire building dedicated to these services. How common, really, is sexual assault?
March usually embodies the naïve hope of spring: warm weather, green grass, tulips, frolicking in fields…. As I’m writing this blog post warming up my frigid fingers after being slammed by Winter Storm Toby, it’s hard to imagine what a green world feels like. Yet the Orca team has been psyched to be collaborating with universities to promote “green” (like the segue?!) and sustainable initiatives throughout March and into Earth Month in April.
Most notable in March was our initiative to promote the nationwide Recylemania tournament. I was made aware of the tournament after a December phone call with facilities administrators at Southwestern University. They mentioned that Southwestern would be competing in the 8-week competition beginning February 4th. Recyclemania is a “friendly competition for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.” Competing schools raise awareness about waste reduction, increase recycling efforts, and report weights to benchmark against other schools.