Orientation Team

2015 Orientation Coordinators

Orientation Coordinators are charged with the planning and implementation of the orientation program under direction of the Director of Student Life. Each Coordinator has several responsibilities regarding the entire orientation process from training of the leaders to the final closing candlelight ceremony. The following Orientation Coordinators were selected by the Student Life staff through an application and interview process during the fall semester. They utilized the Fall semester to begin the initial phases of the planning process and have worked all spring semester to prepare for the best! Welcome to RU! We look forward to meeting you at orientation and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Peter Soukenik, Class of ’16 Accounting and Political Science Major
My favorite orientation memory is always the battle of the blue soccer game when Rockhurst Hawks usually defeats the D1 UMKC Kangaroos! Rockhurst has become a place where I have learned to be myself and break out of my comfort zone.
Meagan Dardas, Class of ’17 Communication Science and Disorders, Spanish and Political Science
As a new student coming to Rockhurst, I didn't know a single soul. I felt uneasy to say the least! Thankfully, the community we are fortunate enough to be a part of at Rockhurst is so open-armed that my first year went off without a hitch. I am incredibly grateful for the experience I had during the beginning of my time here, and that same experience is what fuels my passion for Orientation. Being a member of the orientation family, I'm now lucky enough to help ease the transition for other new students, while acting as that same sort of friendly face that welcomed me to Rockhurst.
Katie Robertson,  Class of '16, Exercise and Sport Science and Physics of Medicine Major
My favorite orientation memory was meeting my orientation leader Alex Schelble for the first time and gaining friendships through my team that I still have today. It has been a great experience to see orientation not only as a freshman, but also as a leader, and I am looking forward to the view as a coordinator! Rockhurst is special to me because it is more than just a school; it’s a family that keeps me accountable and more intentional in all of my actions.
Jack Husmann,  Class of '17, Finance and Economics Major
My favorite thing about Rockhurst is the community. During my first semester I was amazed at how many older students went out of their way to meet the new students and make us feel welcome here. Every year I look forward to meeting the new students and welcoming them to the Rockhurst community. As a new student I wish I would have known how personable the faculty and staff at Rockhurst are. Through my time on different retreats and participating in various organizations I've learned how much they love working at Rockhurst and truly care about the students here.
Emma Schelble,  Class of '17, Nursing Major
My best piece of advice would be to just put yourself out there because you never know until you try. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone so don't be afraid to try new things and meet new people! These four years will be quite the journey so don't let them slip by and embrace all of the opportunities that will cross your path. 
Kevin Pugh,  Class of '17, Biology and Pre Med Major
I really love the close-knit community and the size of the school. Because of its size, it’s incredibly easy to get to know many people of all ages around campus, which really helps you become comfortable very quickly at the school. I also see a great community at this school not only in the student body but also in the faculty, staff, and Jesuit residents. The upperclassmen provide an excellent example to follow on campus and the faculty and staff are always extremely helpful when needed. The Jesuits are always around campus wanting to talk to students and get to know them. There isn’t much that I brought that I never used but one thing that surprised me is how little I actually used my Xbox and television. I just didn’t find much need or time for them throughout the year.
Nick Blair, Class of '16 Accounting, Corporate Finance, and Management Major
My favorite Orientation memory occurred last year, during the Finucane Service Project.  My team was fortunate enough to be able to work with a local neighborhood association passing out information sheets to all the residents within their boundaries.  For the first time during my Rockhurst experience I had the opportunity to meet a large group of my Kansas City neighbors and listen to their stories as well as share mine. Rockhurst has given me so many opportunities to better myself academically, socially, spiritually, and in leadership skills.  What makes Rockhurst special, however, is that I am able to show my gratitude by getting involved and giving back to campus.  A byproduct of getting involved is self-improvement.  The generous spirit of the Rockhurst campus, students, and staff creates an endless cycle of easily accessible growth that thousands of students have already experienced and will continue to experience for years to come.
Claire Minnick, Class of  '16, Nursing & Spanish Major
Playing guitar and singing at the Candlelight ceremony and taking part in the Finucane Service Project while exploring KC are two of my favorite Orientation Memories. Rockhurst is special to me because of the values it instills in every one of its Hawks. Our mission is prevalent around campus and everyone gets to take part in living it. I am forever grateful for the woman Rockhurst is shaping me to be, and for the people who allow me to grow in faith and love. 

2015 Logistic Coordinators

Austin McCarthy, Julianne DeLessio and Naomi Hageman

Logistic Coordinators are the glue that binds all pieces of orientation together.  They are the behind the scenes leaders during the week before orientation and during the orientation process to assist the leaders, coordinators and Director of Student Life with tasks that are imperative to ensure the events flow easily.  They are selected through an application process and their time commitment is the week before and week of Orientation.


Austin: " I would advise new students to come into the school year with an open mind. You should be ready to study, and try new things. College can be overwhelming, and it's okay to ask for help. RU offers plenty of services to help you acclimate to a new environment, as well as succeed academically. I would really push new students to get involved at RU, there are so many great organizations, and it really helps you to stay grounded."

Juliannes advice to new students is that... " the easiest way to meet new people is to go to attend everything in your first few weeks: go to all of the orientation events, the free stuff fair, and go to meetings for clubs and organizations. You'll meet so many new people and build a lot of relationships really quickly!"

Naomi said that "I wish I would have known that not everything comes instantly.  I think I was under the impression coming to college that everything would happen right away- that I would find my friends within the first couple days, I would instantly love and excel in classes, and make the whole college transition quickly and easily.  However, I learned that it takes time and that that is completely normal.  I wish I would have known that not everything happens as quickly as I might want it to, but it happens the way it is supposed to for everyone, and in the end, everything turns out great!"

2015 Orientation Leaders

Orientation Leaders are selected each Spring to help implement the orientation program. All current RU students are eligible to apply. Leaders participate in training programs to prepare them for small group leadership, educate them on RU facts and incoming student questions, as well as provide them with an understanding of effective group facilitation. Orientation is a four-day, three night on-campus program that introduces the new students to academic life, spirit and traditions and allows the opportunity to meet other incoming students, faculty, staff, and student leaders. 

Team 1 Pia & Ryan

As a new student, Pia was nervous about..." how far from home I would be. Coming from California, I was afraid of leaving my family and friends behind. Since I was 1,818 miles away from, I couldn't just go home whenever I wanted to like a lot of my friends. Being away, however, not only helped me learn how to live independently, but also reach out to people I never thought I would talk to."

Ryan:  "I wish I would have known how willing professors are to help you. Rockhurst professors made it a point to make sure I received the attention and out-of-class time that I needed. By the way, upperclassmen are just as willing to get to know you as the freshman are!  I was initially nervous about being able to meet people like myself at Rockhurst. I learned that the community at Rockhurst is so welcoming that people of all different backgrounds and beliefs can find a home here."



Team 2 Catie and Nick

Caties advice to new students is to "... embrace change but never forget from where you came.  Keep in contact with friends from high school and especially your family back home but embrace the new opportunities that Rockhurst offers!  There is so much to get involved in and it is a great way to establish new friendships."

Nick said he was nervouse about ...  "Living with a person who I had never met before. Hunter (my roommate) and I were from completely different states and I'm sure he was as nervous to live with a guy from Missouri as I was at the idea of living with a guy from Colorado. Luckily we both were open to the idea of doing things together so that we could form a friendship and we did. We had a great time our Freshman year and I know I made a life long friend."

Team 3 Jake and Morgan

Jake: "As a new student I was nervous about the transition from High School to college and being accustomed to the college lifestyle. College is amazing and as long as you manage your time well and show up for class you will be fine!"

Morgans advice to new students is...."Try everything but don't commit to everything! First semester is all about giving new clubs, classes, and people chances--but don't feel obligated to do it all. Rockhurst students are known for their involvement but don't feel like you have to spread yourself thin. Find what you love through the process of trial and error--you will probably make your best friends along the way!  I wish I would've explored Kansas City more my first semester. IT IS AWESOME!  The music, coffee, and athletic scenes are incredible. "


Team 5 Justin and Leah

Justin: "What I love most about Rockhurst is how quickly I've become family with many people. It's like I've known some of them since birth. I brought a ton of notebooks to Rockhurst and I used about four, and way too many clothes that I never wore. "

Leah said she brought way too many t shirts to Rockhurst that she never wore! and what she loves most about Rockhurst is ....   " ... the incredible sense of community on campus. We all care to get to know each other, stretching from the administration to professors to fellow students. We're a family!"

Team 5 Ryan and Rachel

Rachel: "I love the staff and faculty at Rockhurst.  You should get to know them as much as you can! They're my second family and they've helped to make rockhurst another home for me."

Ryan: "As a new student, I wish I would have known that I was going to be able to find a niche easily. There’s something and someone for everyone. The thing that I brought to Rockhurst and never used were screwdrivers."

Team 6 Isaac and Meaghan

Isaac was nervous about....    "...Being away from home, making new friends, picking a major, figuring out the rest of my life... you name it, I was nervous about it. But that quickly faded within the first couple weeks at Rockhurst because its such an amazing placed filled with great people who want to see you succeed. My advice to new students would be to keep an open mind to everyone you meet. The people you meet here are going to be with you for the rest of your life so give everyone a chance and just be yourself. Also, GET INVOLVED."

Meaghan's best advice would be to... "Let it Go!"  High school is in the past and this is a fresh start.  Be who you are and you will find it's a whole lot of fun, and it's a great opportunity to recognize your gifts that may have been hidden until now."

Team 7 Jay, Abby and Luis

As a new student Jay was nervous about….. " Rockhurst being the right school for me. At first I was not 100% sure about Rockhurst (nobody is completely sure), but once I stopped worrying about it and was just myself I was able to see that I am where I am supposed to be.  The academics are what brought me to Rockhurst but I have fallen in love with the people. I have meet some of the best people, these being peers and specially faculty and staff."

As a new student Abby wishes she would have known…. "...that it is okay to not be okay all of the time. Everyone struggles with things as a new student! Being homesick and struggling to transition to college is normal and almost everyone else feels the same way at some point."

As a new student Luis was nervous about... "...Meeting new friends. Little did I know Rockhurst University is such an easy environment to form friendships. I am blessed to have made new friends at Rockhurst and I know the friendships I have made will last a lifetime.  I wish I would have known to not buy that one random lamp at Target because it is on the “what to bring” list on every website for residence hall rooms. I wish I would have known to pack about half of everything I thought I needed. "


Team 8 Pete and Julia

Pete:  "Rockhurst has great academics but the best thing about Rockhurst is the community. The community at Rockhurst has some of the nicest people I have ever met! As a new student I wish
I would have known The importance of putting yourself out there. You can benefit a lot by just participating in orientation and you go into the school year with friends and being acclimated to the school!"

As a new student Julia wishes she would have known... "... how scared and uncomfortable everyone else was going into orientation. It may be terrifying, but everyone else is in your same shoes. Her advice is to be open to talking to every new face you see (which is everybody). Be yourself. Don't go home on the weekends- it will only make coming back harder. Go outside of your comfort zone. Get involved. Be thankful you have the opportunity to go to college. HAVE FUN and ENJOY this brand new chapter in your life. So many great things lie ahead of you!"

Team 9 Chris and Nellie

The number one thing that Chris was scared about was... "...meeting new people within my first couple of weeks at Rockhurst, and only spending time with the friends I already knew. But I wasn't afraid to put myself out there and experience new things, which made the transition a blast! Don't be afraid to meet new people and try new things because once you do, you start to realize these actually will be the best years of your life. Enjoy it!"

Nellie: "I wish I would've known the upperclassman weren't mean and scary, and that they actually wanted to get to know the younger students."

Team 10 Maddie and Jack

As a new student Jack was worried about..."making new friends, I am a pretty shy guy and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to reach out to others."

Maddie's advice is to.... " Get to know the people on your floor by keeping your door open and saying hi to people in the hall. Your floor becomes a community and I met some of my best friends from getting to know my neighbors in the Residence hall!"

Team 11 Jodie and Andrew

As a new student, Andrew was worried about... "...making friends, I came to rockhurst without knowing many people. I quickly came to learn that between orientation, my hall mates, classmates, and teammates, it was easy to meet new people! There was nothing to stress about in the beginning."

What Jodie loves most about Rockhurst... "is the passion within our community. Our school is so extraordinary because of the passionate student leaders and staff that come together each day to create something meaningful and worthwhile. It has an amazing way of making you feel apart of something bigger than yourself."

Team 12 Hunter and Theresa

Hunter said "The best is yet to come. I tried to fit so much into my first semester that I forgot that I have 4 years at Rockhurst. Be enthusiastic about meeting people and getting involved right away but don't bite off more than you can chew. We have plenty of time to find out where we belong, so it only gets better from here. I love that, in the small school setting, most students know or at least recognize each other. It makes for more of a tight-knit community feeling that makes you feel important on campus. "

Theresa's advice to new students is: "Don't feel as though you need to have something going on everyday. Taking some time for yourself is well worth it in the end. The people I have met at Rockhurst have helped me to grow as a person, and to be myself."


Team 13 Steven and Bridget

Steven wishes ...."I wish I would have known that I needed to plan ahead when it comes to school work." When asked what he brought to school that he never used his answer was a tool kit.

Bridgets advice to new students.... "... remember that college is four years long. You don't have to jam four years of social exposure into the first month of your freshman year. Go to class. Don't let skipping become a habit because every class you skip is dollars wasted.  As a new student I was nervous about making friends. Sitting with a new person each time I went to the cafe allowed me to meet more of my class and build stronger relationships with those I knew. "

Team 14 Jake and Antoinette

Antoinette  "As a new student I wish I would have known and used so many of the Rockhurst resources on campus. It was not until second semester that I started going to the Learning Center and started to talk more with my advisors and professors. All these things made college life so much easier.   What I brought to Rockhurst that I never used was my fan and ironing board."


Jake: "What I love most about Rockhurst are the class sizes, I like getting to establish a personal relationship with all of my professors and getting more attention during lectures."

Team 15 Ollie and Maggie

Ollie: "My advice to new students is to take a breath. The first couple days and weeks of school can be stressful with trying to get situated in a brand new environment. Take a breath and enjoy your experience. Don't psych yourself out. What I brought to Rockhurst and never used wasy WAY too many clothes!!! I didn't end up wearing most of them!"

Maggie: "I wish I would have known that making friends with the upperclassmen wasn't scary at all- it was useful! Something I never used was my alarm clock- my phone was way more convenient!