2015 Orientation Leaders

UVA Orientation Leaders are students who are well-respected, academically successful, and leaders in their community.

Elizabeth Adler

Elizabeth Adler

HI WOW TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE YOU THERE. Welcome Class of 2019 and transfer students, and congratulations on making the best decision of your life to attend UVA! My name is Elizabeth Adler, and I am a rising second year from Voorhees, NJ (home of the inventor of the slip n' slide so you're welcome America). I'm interested in foreign affairs and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy (aka looking up funny gifs of Biden) with a minor in French (aka eating chocolate croissants). I've loved every minute spent on Grounds, from hanging out with my friends on the Lawn and my sisters in Alpha Chi Omega, to giving tours with the University Guide Service, to going on service trips with Alternative Spring Break. I'm also involved in College Council, Association Council, and the Brody Jewish Center. Aside from this, I'm oddly good at quoting Harry Potter, Mean Girls, and any Tina Fey production. I'm also really into eating out (moreso than my debit card is) so please ask me for recommendations! Feel free to email me any time, I can't wait to meet and get to know all of you. Good times, GO HOOS!

Zunaira Arbab

Zunaira Arbab

Hello and Welcome! First of all, congratulations! You have made an excellent choice. My name is Zunaira and I am a rising 4th year at UVA studying Foreign Affairs and French. I am so excited to be working with you this summer! In my time at UVA, I have been involved in several different clubs and activities. This past year, I have had the privilege of being an  RA at the International Residential College. In addition to working with Residence Staff in several roles, I have been involved with Amnesty International since my first year at UVA. Human Rights is my passion and I plan to continue working in a related field after graduation. One of the things that I’ve done at UVA that has allowed me to grow as a student and a leader is the VISAS (Volunteer with International Students and Scholars) Program. I hope to share my experiences with you and to help you find your own place at UVA.

Sam Beadles

Sam Beadles

Class of 2019 and transfer students, my friends! Allow me to welcome you to the University of Virginia and offer my congratulations on your decision. My name is Sam Beadles, and I’m a second year out-of-stater from Atlanta, Georgia. Currently, I’m planning to apply to the Commerce school from the College with a possible History major on the side. I’m a sucker for fun facts and little known historical events, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to me with an anecdote or trivia challenge. On the side, I’m also an Honor support officer—please, feel free to ask me why the ‘h’ is capitalized. After my extracurriculars take their toll, I spend what free time I have reading fantasy and browsing Reddit. I am so pumped to meet you all, our newest class of the UVA community—so welcome to your home, new Hoos!

Catherine Beall

Catherine Beall

Hello Class of 2019 and transfer students! Congratulations on making the best decision ever, and get excited for the most fantastic years of your life to date! My name is Catherine, and I’m a rising third year majoring in Commerce and Arts Administration. I’m from Alexandria, Virginia but consider Charlottesville my home equally as much. Outside of class, I love leading arts tour as a student docent at the Fralin (UVA’s very own Art Museum!), helping organize Relay for Life at UVA (our largest philanthropy), and directing advertising for my sorority, Alpha Phi. I also love to do yoga, hike, and lay out on our wonderful Lawn on a sunny day! I can often be found in Alderman (my favorite library), chugging coffee at some of the local cafés, or cooking up my latest Pinterest/Buzzfeed food discovery in my apartment. I’m incredibly excited to meet all of you, and even more excited for all of your adventures yet to come. I can’t wait for you to find your home at UVA. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me through email if you have questions about anything at all.  Peace, Love and Go HOOS!

 

Dani Bernstein

Dani Bernstein

Hi Class of 2019 and transfer students! I’m Dani and I’m a rising third-year from New York City. I’m majoring in History in the Distinguished Majors Program, and on Grounds I’m involved in a number of organizations, including the student newspaper The Cavalier Daily, the University Guide Service, the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, and Sustained Dialogue. I’m so excited for all of you to come to the University and to answer any of your questions! Please feel free to reach out and ask me about anything—clubs, classes, stuff to do in Charlottesville, whatever. As someone from a major city, I’m dead serious when I say that Charlottesville is an awesome city and an awesome place to go to college. I can’t wait to tell you all about what there is to do here, but more importantly I can’t wait to meet you all!

Nicole Burkhardt

Nicole Burkhardt

WAHOOWA and Welcome to THE University of Virginia Class of 2019! Congratulations on making the best decision of your life! I hope you guys are ready to come to Grounds and hit the ground running on the amazing adventure that will be your undergraduate career. My name is Nicole Burkhardt and I am a rising fourth year in the fabulous School of Nursing from Stafford, VA. When I’m not in class, I stay busy with many organizations including Students Helping Honduras, Nursing Students Without Borders, IM-sports and various other volunteer organizations. Over the past two years Charlottesville has quickly become my home away from home. Here at UVA you will find a club for literally anything you can imagine (or create one yourself), taking amazing courses with highly esteemed professors, create life long friendships, and get to experience the rich diversity and awesomeness which is college life. I advise you take advantage of everything possible and be open to trying new things as you head into the next chapter of your life. I am so excited to meet y’all this summer and help you see that you truly made the best decision of your life!

Megan Carr

Megan Carr

Welcome little HOOS to the University of Virginia! Y’all just made the best decision of your lives. My name is Megan Carr and I’m a rising third year double majoring in Commerce and English. I’m from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, and no, I’m not Amish. The past two years have been absolutely amazing (and gone way too quickly!) I’m so jealous that you have four years ahead of you. My first year, I was President of my residence area through the First Year Leadership Experience and since then, I’ve become involved in the University Programs Council (shout out to CIO Connections), Smart Woman Securities, Echols Council, and Tri Delta Sorority. When I get a moment to myself, you can find me sipping chai tea at Mudhouse Coffee on the downtown mall, training for the Richmond half marathon, or picking up takeout from Basil Mediterranean Bistro. This is, without a doubt, the absolute best place on earth. Sometimes, I think I’m a little too obsessed with it. GO HOOS

Ben Cassillo

Ben Cassillo

Yo yo yo Class of 2019 and transfer students. First of all, welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Virginia! Wahoowa! I am thrilled to be able to welcome you into the family and community that is UVA. My name is Ben Cassillo and I’m from Albany, NY, representing us out-of-staters. I am a rising second year in the College of Arts and Science, majoring in Economics, and minoring in Religious Studies.  When I’m not practicing with the Varsity Baseball team, you’ll find me hanging out with fellow Chi Alpha members, or swiping you into the wonderful AFC, or even arranging meetings for the new club, Sports Business Society @ U.Va. (we’re always looking for new members!!!). I hope that you fall in love with Charlottesville and UVA just as I have, because there is no other place I could imagine spending the best four years of my life. UVA may just have made a Southern Gentleman out of me after all. Once again, I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you, and if you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to contact me at anytime! Welcome home fellow Hoos!

Austin Chang

Austin Chang

Welcome, Class of 2019 and transfer students! Congratulations on deciding to attend the University of Virginia. My name is Austin Chang, and I’m from Fairfax, Virginia. I am a rising third year majoring in Foreign Affairs. I can guarantee that whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here. UVA is steeped rich history and traditions, contains a ridiculous amount of cultural, musical, athletic, religious, and volunteer organizations, and is situated in the wonderful city of Charlottesville! Between your classes and activities, there’s always something to do. You’ll find me singing with my a cappella group, the Academical Village People, going for a run around Grounds, or sipping tomka soup at Lemongrass.  This place will become your home away from home, as it has mine. You’ll form incredible relationships, and discover things about yourself that you don’t even know about yet! This place will change you, if you let it. I am so excited to be your Orientation Leader for the summer! Please email me if you have any questions about life here at the University.

Nick Dima

Bianca Decatur

Class of 2019 and transfer students – CONGRATULATIONS, and welcome home!! My name is Bianca Decatur and I’m a rising second year looking to study Neuroscience, Spanish, and whatever else piques my interest. I’m from Durham, North Carolina, which is The South’s Tastiest Town (seriously, look it up) and is also affectionately known as Bull City. If I’m not in class or the stacks, you can find me in the AFC, hanging out on the lawn, or exploring the downtown mall. Around Grounds, I am involved in the Black Women’s Initiative and the Outreach Student Admission Committee. I also write for a diversity blog called Hoos Talking and work as a research assistant. Additionally, I am a self-proclaimed Pop Culture Enthusiast, meaning that I am way too emotionally invested in the lives of celebrities – particularly Drake. Please do not hesitate to email me if you have any questions about this wonderful university. Once again, congrats, and start gearing up for the best four years of your life! WAHOOWA!

Eric Dotterer

Eric Dotterer

Class of 2019 and Transfers- Congrats and welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Eric Dotterer and I am a rising third year majoring in Global Security and Justice and Foreign Affairs. I come from Sterling, Virginia but have loved living in Charlottesville these past few years! I’m a member of both Class Council and University Programs Council, planning events not only for my class, but for the entire University as well. I also volunteer weekly with Madison House, helping local UVA workers and community members file their tax returns. One of my favorite things to do is travel, especially going to visit my family overseas in Lebanon. When I’m not studying in the depths of our libraries I spend most of my time here playing and watching sports, enjoying time around Grounds, and trying out all the delicious food that Cville has to offer (Bodos Bagels has and forever will have my heart). Y’all are going to love it here at UVA, and feel free to reach out to me at any time with any questions you have!

Michael Drash

Michael Drash

Welcome Class of 2019 and transfers! Congratulations! My name is Michael Drash and I am a rising third-year student from Richmond, Va. (804 all day every day!) I am a linguistics student also studying Russian (and German from time to time, but that's just for fun!). Outside of the classroom, I am active on the Club Swim team, the Jefferson & Literary Debating Society, and the Cavalier Daily. Most mornings you can find me with a cup of coffee next to a window in the Nau-Gibson Atrium before class. But after class I love hanging out with my friends around Grounds and jamming to music. Feel free to email me any questions you have! I'm looking forward to meeting y'all come summer!

Alex Dunkenberger

Alex Dunkenberger

Congratulations to the newest batch of Wahoos! I am beyond excited to welcome you to Mr. Jefferson’s University. My name is Alex Dunkenberger and I am a rising third year studying youth and social innovation in the Curry School of Education. I am from Roanoke, Virginia, though I have long considered Charlottesville to be a second home. Around Grounds I’m involved with my fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, Seriatim (UVA’s Journal for American Politics), Legislators of Tomorrow, and the LGBTQ Speakers Bureau. I also work part-time as a server at Michael’s Bistro and Taphouse. In my free time I enjoy re-watching every episode of The Office, eating at one of the dozens of restaurants in Charlottesville, or watching the ‘Hoos play just about anything.  I cannot wait to meet all of you so start getting pumped! GO ‘HOOS!!!

Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson

Oh hey there Class of 2019! You’re making me feel old! My name is Mark Ferguson, and I am a rising third year hoping to study either Commerce or Economics with a potential Astronomy minor in there somewhere—but it’s still a little up in the air if you know what I mean. I’m super excited to get to meet you guys at orientation and on Grounds! Here on Grounds I’m involved as a coach for a local soccer club, an associate for the McIntire Investment Institute, and an active member in Intervarsity—a Christian fellowship here on groups. Beyond my involvement at UVA, as a person, I love a good pun, am always up for some pickup soccer, and live for Cookout milkshakes.  Again, congratulations on deciding to become a Hoo! Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, and I can’t wait to meet as many of you as possible! Go Hoos!

Taylor Fisher

Taylor Fisher

Welcome Class of 2019 and transfer students! Congratulations on your acceptance to the University of Virginia--I hope you’re all ready for the experience of a lifetime! My name is Taylor Fisher and I’m a rising Third Year from Williamsburg, Virginia and I am studying Psychology. I am member of the Cavalier Marching Band and the HOOps Basketball Band. In addition, I am a Brother of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Sigma Pi here on Grounds and I am also involved with the First Year Seminar program. Outside of UVA, I love exploring new restaurants and music venues in Charlottesville with my friends and making the most of all Charlottesville has to offer.  I can’t wait to help you make the most of your time here, too! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions whatsoever about Summer Orientation or anything around Grounds. I’m looking forward to getting to know each of you during Orientation and your time here at the University. Wahoowa!

Adam Ghazzawi

Adam Ghazzawi

Helloooo Class of 2019 and transfer students! Congratulations on making a fantastic decision in being a part Thomas Jefferson's greatest accomplishment. My name is Adam Ghazzawi and I am a rising third year (so old, I know) studying Economics and Public Policy in the Batten School. I make the long two hour drive from Vienna, Virginia – NOVA kid for life. Outside of the classroom I love to keep busy working for HackCville, partaking in Social Entrpreneurs for Economic Development (SEED), leading an Alternative Spring Break trip, and being a member of my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. Entrepreneurship is my jam so if you have any questions about this area just let me know! Worried about how to get involved first year? Don’t be! There’s something for everyone here so keep searching and you will find your place on Grounds, I promise! I love to head downtown and try new restaurants, get on the tennis court to hit, and just hang out on the lawn (cliché, but it’s the best). Anyway, enough about me and get excited to spend the next four years stuffing your face with Bodo’s bagels. I can’t wait to be in Charlottesville this summer and meet all of you! Get pumped and waHOOwa!

Maggie Gratz

Maggie Gratz

Congratulations Class of 2019 and transfer students! You just made one of the best decisions of your life by committing to UVA. I hope you're all getting pumped for Orientation and to begin your college adventure! My name is Maggie Gratz, and I am a rising third-year, originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I am double-majoring in Global Development Studies and Leadership & Public Policy, and minoring in Global Sustainability. Aside from my studies (and my addiction to Netflix— aka House of Cards/Parks and Rec), you may see me selling bake goods on the Corner for Students Helping Honduras, giving tours through the University Guide Service, or shooting hoops at the AFC with the Women's Club Basketball team. I’ve also gotten involved in organizations, such as One Less, Sustained Dialogue, Class Council, and the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. Luckily here at UVA there’s no shortage of opportunities to get involved and to explore your various interests, so get excited and ready to say “yes” to new things! If you ever want to try a new restaurant downtown, go hiking, hangout on the Lawn, or hit the Charlottesville Farmer’s Marker, hit me up. Also, please feel free to reach out with any questions or worries that you have! I am SO stoked to welcome you to this incredible place. See you soon and get ready for the best four years of your life! Oh and always, GO HOOS.

Hunter Hewlett

Hunter Hewlett

Hey soon-to-be Wahoos! Congratulations on making the best college decision possible! I am beyond excited to welcome you to UVA and to the best four years of your life. My name is Hunter Hewlett and I’m a rising third year in the College of Arts & Sciences from Virginia Beach, VA. I’m pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish, in hopes of attending medical school in the future. My time here at UVA has been nothing but awesome, and I owe my great experiences to my involvements around Grounds. Outside of class I love being involved with my fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, my Student Council committee, Madison House, and 1in4, an all-male sexual assault advocacy group on Grounds. I’m stoked to spend the summer in Charlottesville meeting all of you and exploring the Blue Ridge. I can’t wait to show y’all what UVA and its incredible students have to offer. Feel free to email me if you have any questions at all – I’m here to help! Again, welcome to the UVA family and go Hoos!

Ben Hutchins

Ben Hutchins

WASSSSUPPP  Class of 2019 and transfer students, Congrats on making the best decision of your life, and welcome to THE University of Virginia!  My name is Ben Hutchins and I’m excited to welcome you onto Grounds here at UVA, show you around, and introduce you to your new home.  You are going to fall in love with Charlottesville, if you haven’t already.  I’m a rising second year studying Pre-Commerce and Economics.  I’m an NCAA Wrestler for UVA, and I am heavily involved with my Campus Ministry- the Blue Ridge Campus Ministry (you should totally check it out!).  I volunteer with Athletes Committed to Excellence and Loaves and Fishes.  My passions include hiking, climbing, and backpacking, as well as traveling the world!  I love any type of adventure and I’m totally a thrill seeker!  By the time you read this I will have started my summer off by spending three weeks adventuring around Peru.  I’m from Virginia Beach, Virginia (although I actually grew up in Charlottesville) and the beach is where its at! SHOUTOUT to VB!  I also love to go surfing and snowboarding as well.  I implore each one of you, to open your minds as you come to college and try new things!  Discover HOO you are and get as involved as possible.  You will fall in love here.  I can’t wait to meet everyone this summer and hangout with you guys!  I’m seriously always here for any and everything, and truly want to help out!  Welcome to the best  University in the world!

Shelbey Keegan

Shelbey Keegan

CONGRATS & WELCOME to UVA, incoming Class of 2019 and transfer students!! I’m so excited to meet you all and personally welcome you to this beautiful university! My name is Shelbey Keegan and I'm a rising Fourth Year from Reston, Virginia, double majoring in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies. I love being involved with Student Council’s Academic Affairs Committee, the University Salsa Club (the best decision you’ll make after coming to UVA; no experience needed!), First Year Seminar, and the University Peer Advising Link (ULink). You can usually find me in Nau/Gibson slaving over Chinese homework, but I also love binge-watching any and all TV shows, or baking cakes for no reason. I’d love to chat and get to know you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or if you see me on Grounds! Can’t wait to meet you, congrats again and WAHOOWA!

Akash Khungar

Akash Khungar

Congratulations and Welcome Class of 2019 and transfer students! My name is Akash Khungar and I am a rising third year from New Delhi, India. I am planning to major in Commerce and Economics with a minor in Drama. I am really really really proud to call Charlottesville my home for the last two years, which I must say have been the BEST two years of my life. I like to call my experience here ‘UVAlution’. Yes, it rhymes with “revolution” and yes, UVA has changed my life in a number of ways. I hope you are excited to embark on this amazing journey, full of wonderful memories. Here at UVA, I’m involved with the Second Year Council, The Cavalier Daily, UNICEF, Virginia Photography Club and the Student Ambassadors Program. I also LOVE watching UVA basketball and sometimes even shooting it. Trust me, when you’re sitting right on the sideline, it’s as real as it can get. I hope you immerse yourself in what Virginia has to offer; get involved in something you love and you are passionate about. Give yourself to Virginia and you’ll be surprised what it gives back to you. If you have any questions at all or just want to chat, feel free to shoot me an email. I can’t wait to meet all of you this summer! WAHOOWA!

Nathanael Kim

Nathanael Kim

What is up, Class of 2019 and Transfer students? My name is Nathanael Kim and I'd like to personally congratulate you all on your acceptances to the amazingly breath-taking University of Virginia! I hail from Clifton, Virginia, and I'm a rising 3rd year in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Foreign Affairs with a minor in Religious Studies. Outside of the academic realm, I'm involved with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, Virginia Film Festival, and IM Sports. If you ever need someone to ball with, jam out with, eat with, or catch a film with, I'm definitely your guy. You all have made an enormous, yet enormously right decision to spend the next few years of your lives here in Charlottesville. You will learn, grow, and be challenged by the courses you take, the students and faculty you interact with, and the memories you make. Get hyped for what’s in store fellow ‘Hoos, and welcome to UVA!!!

Caroline King

Caroline King

HELLO AND WELCOME Class of 2019 and transfer students! My name is Caroline King, and I’m so excited to meet you and help you get started at UVA! I’m a rising second year from Tampa, FL. I am still undecided about my major/future, but what better place to explore, am I right? Outside of the classroom, I’m involved in Sustained Dialogue, Best Buddies, Alternative Spring Break, and Greek life, to name a few; but I am constantly impressed and excited by all the enriching opportunities available at UVA and in the Charlottesville community. I am SO excited to meet you all, welcome you to this place, and watch you fall in love with it like so many before you. This school is full of incredibly interesting people, endless opportunities, and so much good food (14th most restaurants per capita, say what)! Please, please don’t hesitate to email me if you have questions (or even if you don’t have questions and just want to chat!). Have a great summer; I can’t wait to meet you at Orientation; and GO HOOS

Chadia King

Chadia King

First, Congrats and Welcome Class of 2019 and Transfer students!  I hope you are prepared/excited to call Mr. Jefferson’s University your home! My Name is Chadia King and I am from Reston, Virginia (NoVa).  Shout out! I am a rising Third Year. I am a Distinguished Major in Media Studies concentrating in Media Policy and ethics. When I am not partying it up in Club Clemons--don’t worry, that’s a library, I am singing in my A cappella group, The Sil’hooettes or planning events and serving as Publicity Chair for United Sisters. I am also an Office of African American Affairs Peer Advisor and a volunteer with Cavs in the Classroom through Madison House! If you have any questions about the arts community, involvement on Grounds, the Pre-MED life or HONESTLY anything else feel free to contact me! Can’t wait to meet you all at Orientation. WAHOOWA and Congrats!

Jasmine Lee

Jasmine Lee

Hello and welcome to your new home! I am so excited for you as you begin the best time of your life right here at the University of Virginia! My name is Jasmine Lee and I am a rising fourth year from Richmond, VA (yay RVA!) in the College of Arts and Science. I am double majoring in American Studies (concentrating in visual and popular culture) and Foreign Affairs. On Grounds I am involved in Student Council and Phi Alpha Delta, a co-ed pre-law fraternity. I also was a team leader for Days on the Lawn so I look forward to seeing some familiar faces! You can find me outside on the Lawn or in the Amphitheatre as soon as the weather permits because I find Charlottesville too beautiful to stay indoors! I know soon enough you’ll find your own favorite spots on Grounds. I am happy to suggest a few!  Can’t say it enough, welcome, welcome, welcome! All the Hoos in Hooville know, you have made the BEST decision of your life. Get excited! Get ready! Wahoowa!

Angela Liu

Angela Liu

Congratulations Class of 2019, and welcome to the University of Virginia!  I can tell you right off the bat – you have made a great choice in choosing UVA; I’m thrilled to be your orientation leader, and to help get your journey underway. I can guarantee you that while attending UVA, you will be challenged in every way and grow as a result, make strong friendships, experience new things, and have a helluva time doing so! A little about me: My name is Angela and I’m from Leesburg, Virginia, where I attended Thomas Jefferson HS (ring a bell?). I am a rising 4th year in the Engineering School, majoring in Biomedical Engineering. When I am not in the Health Sciences Library slaving over coursework, I can be found working with the wonderful organizations of Engineering Students without Borders, Health Unbound, the Jefferson Public Citizens Program, and Club Volleyball. Besides that, I love to be outside, watch TV shows, travel, and relax with friends.  I’m excited to share my experience with you, so please do not hesitate to reach out, or approach me. I hope you have a wonderful time at Orientation, and I can’t wait to meet you all! Wahoowa!

Madelyn Luansing

Madelyn Luansing

Congratulations and welcome to the Class of 2019 and transfer students to the University of Virginia, soon to be your new home! I am Madelyn Luansing, a rising third-year from Alexandria, VA currently studying Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Science (#ESchool). Outside of the classroom I am involved with the Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA), Alpha Omega Epsilon (an engineering and technical science) sorority, Peer Advising Family Network (PAFN), and also work part time. On a regular day you would probably find me doing homework, grabbing a burrito bowl from Chipotle, or playing with my bunny. I’m happy to say I’ve found a family here at UVA, and I have no doubt that each of you will do the same. Now, get ready to make lifelong memories at Mr. Jefferson’s beautiful institute in Charlottesville. As you pack your things and swallow your excitement (and perhaps, nervousness) don’t forget that the rest of the university has been eagerly awaiting your arrival. We all cannot wait for you to join the Wahoo community; now show us what you’ve got! WELCOME HOME, HOOS!

Leslie Martin

Leslie Martin

Welcome Class of 2019 and transfer students to the University of Virginia! I'm Leslie Martin, a rising fourth-year (ahh, so old!) from Dickerson, Maryland. I am studying Biology with a minor in Architecture, and hope to pursue my Masters in Public Health when I graduate. I work at the Athletic Ticket Office and enjoy supporting all of our teams as a huge fan of Virginia Sports - Go Hoos! My main hobbies include binge watching TV series on Netflix, crocheting and snowboarding. I am also currently training for a marathon, so I've been  spending a lot of time running! I look forward not only to welcoming you to UVA and guiding you through your first days here, but also to getting you excited about your first year here at our wonderful school!

Grace Mason

Grace Mason

Hello Class of 2019 and transfer students, and welcome to UVA! I am so excited to meet each and every one of you and personally congratulate you all on your wonderful decision to come here. My name is Grace Mason and I am a rising third year from Roanoke, Virginia. As I write this, I am making the decision between enrolling in Batten or staying in the college to pursue Global Studies and Economics, so I’ll get back to you on my major once I have that figured out. Besides nerding out in the Maps room in Alderman Library, which is my second home, and annoying my friends by talking too much in class, I am a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority (keeping it weird), Student Council (Legislative Affairs committee) and Virginia Ambassadors (I give those info sessions to prospective students). You can usually find me eating Bodos on the corner, attempting to speak in Farsi because after two years I still am struggling, or palling around with friends talking about the weekend. If you have ANY questions about UVA in general or what I order for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Bodos (because yes I have gone there three times in one day) feel free to email me! I check it all the time. Anyway, I can’t wait to meet you all and yo good times, go hoos!

Julia Mattox

Julia Mattox

Hey Class of 2019 and transfer students! I'm so excited to welcome you to UVA for the start of an amazing four years. I'm Julia Mattox, a rising third year from Tampa, Florida---I know all about adjusting to cold winters and dealing with Charlottesville airport delays! I'm an Economics major, but my interests are all over the place, and I love learning new things across tons of disciplines. Outside of academia, I love planning and advertising events for Second Year Council, visiting my adopted grandma through Madison House, or goofing off with friends in my sorority, Alpha Phi. On any given day, I can be found eating dumplings on the Lawn, pretending to work out at the AFC, or reliving first year at OHill (you'll miss it more than you think)! I can't wait to meet you all, and am super jealous that first year is ahead of you. Please feel free to email me or chat with me at Orientation if you want to talk about life on Grounds, studying abroad and traveling, or what to get at Take it Away! I'm so glad you chose the greatest college out there, go HOOS!

Ana Mendelson

Ana Mendelson

Congratulations Wahoos and welcome! My name is Ana and I'm a rising 4th year from Fairfax, VA, studying Psychology and Communication Disorders. Here at UVA, I'm involved in First Year Players, Challah for Hunger, Phi Sigma Pi honor fraternity, and the University Singers. Last year I also served as a Resident Advisor for First Years. This will be my second summer as an Orientation Leader and I am so excited to be back on the team! Please reach out to me with any questions or just to get in touch. I have grown so much during my time at UVA and I cannot wait for you to begin that journey for yourselves. Looking forward to meeting you!

Jack Nichting

Jack Nichting

WOOOOOOOOOO! What’s up Class of 2019 and transfer students! I am so stoked you guys decided to come to UVA and hope you guys are ready to experience the best four years of your life. My name is Jack Nichting and I am a rising third year. I am majoring in Spanish and hoping to tack on a few minors or another major but have no idea what! I am from Newport News, Virginia but being a military kid, I have moved all over. On Grounds I am involved in the Virginia Men’s Club Soccer team, my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, a Christian Fellowship- Intervarsity and an Acapella group for Hip Hop and R&B music- ReMix. I can usually be found at any various sporting event- especially basketball and women’s soccer! I also love just lounging around blasting any genre of music and playing soccer- usually on Mad Bowl or Carr’s Hill. As for the Corner, The Virginian is my favorite restaurant. They have the greatest Mac n Cheese and if you haven’t had it- you haven’t lived. Anyways, I am incredibly excited for you guys to get to UVA and am jealous that you have four more years ahead of you- the past two years have flown by. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to shoot me an email and I can’t wait to meet everyone. GO HOOS!

Sofie Niziak

Sofie Niziak

Whats up, Class of 2019! Congratulations on your acceptance, and get ready to start the best four years of your life. You will meet your best friends and amazing teachers who will truly shape who you will become as a person. My name is Sofie Niziak and I am a rising second year from Dover Massachusetts! I am not 100% sure on my major, but I am shooting for doubling in Economics and French! My advice to you? Keep your mind open about your major! I am also a Kappa Kappa Gamma, a student ambassador for the UVA club of Boston, a proud member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, a junior editor on the american political newspaper Seriatim, and a member of the Virginia Consulting Group! Your first year is going to different, challenging, but unforgettable. Coming from out of state, I would love to provide any advice from classes to rush and how to manage it all-even though I am still trying to figure it all out myself. Keep in mind that everyday is a new adventure, so take advantage of everything. Don’t be shy to ever email, text or call me! I love talking on the phone! WAHOOWAH!

Kaileigh Palmer

Kaileigh Palmer

A huge congratulations and Wahoo welcome to the Class of 2019 and transfer students. Welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Kaileigh Palmer and I am a rising second year in the School of Nursing (Savin’ Lives). I come to Charlottesville from Virginia Beach, shout out to the 757! During my time at UVA I have gotten involved in Catholic Student Ministry, joined Greek Life as a member of Gamma Phi Beta, and I am so excited to be part of the Orientation Leader team. In my free time I enjoy going to sporting events, grabbing food at the Corner, or going to see a cappella concerts. I genuinely love this school and this community, and I hope you will soon share this love. Feel free to contact me with any questions, and I look forward to seeing how each of you will impact this great university! I can’t wait to meet you all at Orientation and we can all join hands and give a yell for dear old UVA. Wahoowa!

Haden Parrish

Haden Parrish

Hello Wahoos!  My name is Haden Parrish and I am from Fluvanna County Virginia!  I am a rising Second Year in the College of Arts and Sciences and my hope is to double major in Government and African and African American Studies.  Here at UVA, I am involved with the University Democrats, Organization of African Students, and other organizations that help me experience different world perspectives while still in college!  I am so excited to help you get to know Grounds; it is such an accomplishment that you were accepted here and I am so glad you chose to attend UVA!  Although I have only spent one year here at UVA, it has been the best year of my life.  Although UVA has had its troubles, I am still proud to call this beautiful place my home!  Get ready to meet amazing new people, take perspective-changing classes, and form a closer bond with the environment and people you are around everyday!  If I do not get to meet you during Orientation, I will also be an RA next year, so feel free to give me a fist bump, introduce yourself, ask me any questions and become my new First Year friend!

Tom Pilnik

Tom Pilnik

Hello, congratulations and welcome new  friends! 2019 has a great ring to it, right? And for all the transfer students, welcome to the other best classes at UVA. My name is Tom Pilnik, and I am so proud to call Charlottesville my home away from home. My family is originally from Brazil, and I have spent my whole life in London, England. I am a rising 4th year and a double major in Studio Art and Cognitive Science. However, as much as I love classes, I have found my real place at UVA as a member of Phi Delta Theta, The Minority Rights Coalition and The University Programs Council. Planning events is my thing; so hit me up if you want to make a wild idea come true! I am so, so excited to meet y’all (I’m becoming American), and I am even more thrilled to be welcoming you to this incredible institution. Once again, welcome to UVA and feel free to shoot me an email if you need anything.  Good times, go ‘Hoos!

Lindsey Porter

Lindsey Porter

Hello, hello! Welcome to Mr. Jefferson’s wonderful University! We are so happy and excited for you to join our Wahoo Family! My name is Lindsey Porter; I’m a rising fourth year (ahhh, when did that happen?!?) from Chesapeake, Virginia. I am majoring in math and psychology and doing the Curry School BA/MT program for secondary math education. I love volunteering and participating in activities that get potential students pumped for visiting/going to U.Va so you may have seen me hanging out in Peabody during college visits or at Days on the Lawn! Outside of academics, I’m a sports nut so you are guaranteed to find me at any type of sports event – GO HOOS! Charlottesville has definitely become my home away from home and I can’t wait to share my love for U.Va. with you!

Amy Pressey

Amy Pressey

Hi all! Firstly, Class of 2019 and transfer students, congratulations on your admission into the University of Virginia! You earned it! Secondly, welcome to UVA, Thomas Jefferson's University, Wahoo Nation, or even Hoosville! Regardless of what you call this magical place, I promise that you will have some of your best years here! As for myself, my name is Amy Pressey, I am a rising third year in the College of Arts and Sciences, double majoring in Biology and Anthropology (wow that's a mouthful!). Outside of class, I am involved in a ton of organizations including University Programs Council, Housing and Residence Life and UVA Ambassadors. I love to have a good time with friends and I am always down for an adventure! If you want to swap stories or talk about the good, the bad (mostly good), and ugly, hit me up. All in all, I cannot wait to meet and learn so much about you! Feel free to e-mail me about absolutely any and everything. And again, congratulations! Take pride in the fact that out of all of the thousands of applicants who applied to the University of Virginia this year, you were among the few who were offered admission. You are all literally the best! WAHOOWA!

Joe Rogers

Joe Rogers

What’s up Class of 2019 and transfer students!  Congrats on making the best college decision.  My name’s Joe Rogers and I’m a rising third year student from Chesapeake, VA #757 #hoos.  I am studying Kinesiology in the Curry school and am also pre-med.  Here at UVA, I’m involved in InterVarsity Christian fellowship, Kinesiology Club, and any and all intramural sports.  I also love hiking and Charlottesville’s a great spot for a lot of outdoors fun, so let me know if you ever need some suggestions.  In my free time, I enjoy playing and watching sports esp Hoos ball, hanging with friends, or going to concerts.  Please feel free to email me with any questions!  Looking forward to meeting yall and get PUMPED for orientation!  It’s gonna be a blast.

Nicole Schneiter

Nicole Schneiter

Welcome to Mr. Jefferson’s incredible University! My name is Nicole Schneiter and I’m a rising 4th year from Orlando, Florida. Although I love the sun and heat, Charlottesville has definitely become my second snowy home and I’m sure it’ll become yours as well. I’m an Environmental Science major with a minor in Global Sustainability. Around Grounds, you’ll likely see me supporting the Hoos at football games, promoting local foods and composting as well as other sustainability initiatives, or giving career workshops through University Career Services. I’m also involved in the Monroe Society, Green Dining, and the Transfer Student Peer Advising program. There are so many great and interesting opportunities to be involved in on Grounds and even more in the wider Charlottesville community, so I encourage you to try new things and take advantage of all that these next few years have to offer! Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you have because I always appreciate a nice chat. Congratulations and welcome to the Wahoo community!

Diego Schoenfeld

Diego Schoenfeld

What’s goin on Class of 2019! My name is Diego Schoenfeld, and I’m a rising 2nd year in the College hoping to get into the Commerce school.  Coincidentally (or maybe not) I am from sunny San Diego, California and am a huge Padres fan (if any of you are from LA and are Dodgers fans we may have a problem).  Around Grounds I volunteer through Madison House as a tutor at the local high schools, as a Student Ambassador, and in my fraternity Pi Kappa Phi.  When I’m not at my permanently reserved seat on the first floor of Clem, you can catch me at every home UVA football and basketball game (Go HOOS!).  I love to absorb as much vitamin D as I can and am constantly playing some sort of pickup game outside.  I can’t wait to welcome you to the greatest university on the planet and I’m so happy that you choose to make this your new home. Wahoowa!

Care Shoaibi

Care Shoaibi

Welcome home Class of 2019 and transfer students! Congratulations on making the best decision! My name is Care Shoaibi and I’m a rising second year from good old NOVA, specifically McLean VA. I am currently undecided on my major, but I am considering applying to the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy while also majoring in Gender Studies. But that is a very tentative plan, and I will probably change my mind several more times. While at UVA I’ve gotten involved as a tour guide for the University Guide Service, a member of a Relay for Life executive committee, and a sister of Pi Beta Phi.  I also love playing intramural volleyball (ignoring my team’s losing record). But there are so many UVA experiences, and you should all look forward to the new adventures in store for you! I am so excited to welcome you all to UVA— it has always been a home for me because my mom went here as did both of my aunts and my cousin! And now, with my first year as a college student behind me, I can honestly say that this year has been the happiest year of my life. GO HOOS!

Talia Sion

Talia Sion

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 and transfer students on making the best decision of your lives and coming to UVA! I love it here so much, and I am beyond excited to watch your love for UVA grow like mine did starting with Summer Orientation! My name is Talia Sion and I’m a rising second year in the Nursing School from New Jersey (fellow Northerners come find me to talk about real bagels and to practice saying “ya’ll”). I am a member of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, extremely involved in Jewish Life on Grounds, and participated in Alternative Spring Break during my first year which was an incredible experience.  When I’m not attempting to memorize every bone and muscle in the human body for my next nursing exam, I’m probably listening to either Taylor Swift or Ed Sheeran, hanging out with friends on the Lawn, or working on my minor in Netflix. I am so thrilled to have a wonderful summer with all of you and can’t wait for you all to become official Wahoos! Welcome to you new home away from home!

Leslie Smith

Leslie Smith

Hello Class of 2019 and Transfer Students, and welcome to Mr. Jefferson’s University! I’m Leslie Smith, a rising Fourth Year in the College of Arts and Sciences, from Richmond, Virginia. I am beyond excited to be among the first to introduce you to the University of Virginia; get ready for the greatest years of your life in this little slice of heaven we call Charlottesville.  I’m a transfer student, and coming to this school was the best decision I ever made. When I’m not in class, you can find me reading 19th century poems and prose (#EnglishMajor) on the Lawn, grabbing Bodo’s on the Corner, or playing volleyball with the club team in Mem Gym. I am also involved in Catholic Student Ministries, I give information sessions for the Admissions Office through the Virginia Ambassadors program, and sit on the Athletic Affairs committee for Student Council. I attend every athletic event I possibly can, so talk to me if you love sports—I have an unhealthy affinity for the Yankees and all things UVA.  My other hobbies include binge watching Netflix and spending an exorbitant amount of time on Pinterest. But enough about me, I cannot wait to meet all of you and sing the Good Ole’ Song together; congratulations and welcome to UVA!

Bryan Solvie

Bryan Solvie

What’s up new Hoos! Congrats and welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Bryan Solvie and I’m a rising 2nd year fresh off the boat from Kobe, Japan (shout out to the +81 area code). Although I grew up in the big city life, I’ve fallen in love with Charlottesville and this university faster than I could have imagined, and I’m sure you’ll have the same experience. I’m currently in the College of Arts and Sciences, and tell people that I’m planning on studying Pre-Commerce and Global Development Studies (I’m actually terrified about having no idea what I want to do but…shh). That being said, I like to keep myself busy outside of the classroom as well. I’m involved in Student Ambassadors, Madison House volunteering, Entrepreneur Group and will be a member of the Second Year Council. I also work at one of the gyms on Grounds. When I’m not keeping myself busy with anything above, I like to play basketball, watch movies, and hang around with friends in dorms. Anyway, I can’t wait to meet all of you and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me an e-mail! Wahoowa!

Malcolm Stewart

Malcolm Stewart

Alright, alright, alright, what’s up Class of 2019 and transfer students?!? I’m excited that you have chosen to attend THE University of Virginia, and I can personally guarantee you it is a decision you will not soon regret! My name is Charles Malcolm Stewart, but I go by my middle name of Malcolm (if you’re interested in hearing the story behind that, come find me and I’d be happy to tell it). I’m a rising Second Year from Midlothian, Virginia, which is right outside of Richmond. When I’m not enjoying long walks on the Lawn, you will find me chilling with Ms. Kathy in Newcomb! Currently I am interested in either studying Business in the McIntire School of Commerce or Public Policy and Leadership in the Batten School. In the fall, I will be serving the Class of 2018 as Second Year Council President, as well as being an RA in First Year Dorms, so I’m sure I will be seeing many of you around! If you have yet to learn the Good ol’ Song, don’t worry, that’ll change VERY quickly, and you will catch onto the lingo faster than you can say WAHOOWA! Welcome to UVA, and GO HOOS!

Sara Surface

Sara Surface

Hello new friends! My name is Sara Surface and I’m a rising fourth year from Richmond, Virginia (the city, not the burbs #RVA #804). I’m double majoring in Global Development Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality. When I’m not making terrible jokes and embarrassing myself in front of large crowds, I enjoy kicking butt and taking names while working on social justice issues. I serve as the Vice President for One Less, a peer education and advocacy group, and am one of the chairs of the Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition. I also give presentations about bystander intervention through a program called Green Dot. If you’re asking yourself: “what’s up with the Green Dot?”, “where can I satisfy my brunch addiction? or “How do I also kick butt and take names in student activism?” then I’m your girl – hit me up!

Hannah Turley

Hannah Turley

Wahoowa and welcome to the best university on earth class of 2019 and transfer students! My name is Hannah Turley and I'm from the wonderful city of Hong Kong, but am half-American and half-Taiwanese. I am a rising second year in the College of Arts and Sciences who is hopefully majoring in biology. When I'm not on Madbowl tackling girls during a Virgina Women's Rugby game, you can catch me running around Grounds trying to make it to class on time after waking up late, hanging out with my Delta Zeta sorority sisters or working at Boylan Heights. I watch a ridiculous amount of TV shows (whattup Survivor fans) and still read young adult novels, and absolutely love all Disney music. But that's enough about me; you are about to start the best four years of your life so get excited. If you have any questions, concerns, or random thoughts feel free to email me. I cannot wait to meet you guys this summer and welcome again to the absolute best place ever!! Go Hoos!

Josh Wasserman

Josh Wasserman

Congratulations to those in the Class of 2019 and transfer students who have made the great choice of enrolling at the University of Virginia! I have had many great experiences here and can’t wait to help in any way I can to prepare you for your time here! My name is Josh Wasserman, and I am a rising second year student from Chantilly, VA, so I am one of the many fellow students you will meet from Northern Virginia. I am currently in the College of Arts and Sciences studying economics and I hope to gain admission next year into the McIntire School of Commerce. When not buried into the stacks section of Alderman Library, I enjoy being involved in the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, my fraternity (Alpha Epsilon Pi), Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development, and ULink Peer Advising. I love going to sports games here to support our teams, enjoying all the unique food options The Corner has to offer (especially a burger from The White Spot), and relaxing outside with friends on our beautiful grounds. I can’t wait to meet you guys and share in all UVA has to offer, welcome and Go Hoos!

Charbené Williams

Charbené Williams

Oh heyyy Class of 2019 and transfer students! HOO just made the best decision of their life?! You did! Congratulations on your admission to the best University EVER! My name is Charbené Williams and I am a rising third year (shout out to the Class of 2017!).  I’m a Kinesiology major in the Curry School of Education, which basically means I love all things health and fitness.  I am also pursuing a Spanish minor.  My college experience wouldn’t be as fulfilling as it has been if I did not get involved in the clubs and organizations that I am currently a part of.  I am a member of ReMiX A Cappella, UVA’s only hip-hop and R&B a cappella group.  I am also a member of Black Voices Gospel Choir, Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and I volunteer through Madison House and Day in the Life Tutoring.  Both of my parents are from Liberia, West Africa,  so another big shout out to the first generation students! I am so excited to meet all of you and watch you grow and experience all that this University has to offer.  Feel free to email me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or just want to grab lunch! WAHOOWA!

Whitney Wu

Whitney Wu

What's up, what's up, what's up? Hey Class of 2019 and transfer students! Welcome to UVA where adventure awaits and student fun runs abound! My name is Whitney Wu and I’m a rising Fourth Year from far away Vienna, VA near Tysons Corner Mall. I’m a finger painting Studio Art Major and I'm also earning a Masters in Elementary Education from the Curry School. On Grounds I’m involved in the Asian Student Union (ASU), Peer Advising Family Network (PAFN), and tutoring at local Charlottesville elementary schools. When I’m not sculpting in Ruffin Hall, you’ll find me getting dumplings on the Corner or catching up on reading and TV shows in Alderman Library. Word up and email me if you have any questions or just want to talk! I’m so excited to meet you!

Jasmine Zollar

Jasmine Zollar

Hey, hey, hey Class of 2019 and transfer students! Welcome to the University of Virginia! My name is Jasmine Zollar and I am a rising second year from Mechanicsville, Va. I intend to double major in Global Development Studies and African American & African Studies. During my first year at the University, I was involved with the Black Student Alliance, Outreach Student Admission Committee, OneWay Christian Fellowship, and Madison House volunteer hub. This coming year, I am also going to be an RA in first year housing, shout-out to Woody-Cauthen (woot woot), and a Peer Advisor in the Office of African American Affairs. When I’m not watching a touching wedding on YouTube or walking around in overalls, I’m out exploring the University and surrounding area. I am constantly looking for ways to meet new people and make this place my own. I am so excited for you all to come! If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to email me. See you soon!