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Orientation Leaders

Meet the 2016 Orientation Leaders

The 2016 Orientation Leader team has been hard at work preparing to welcome UT’s class of 2020. The Orientation Leaders greet new students, parents, and family members during UT’s thirteen two-day orientation sessions for first-year students in June and July, as well as numerous one-day orientation sessions for transfer and adult students throughout the year.



Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Finance
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
Neyland stadium! Nothing beats going to a home football game and cheering on the Vols with over a hundred thousand other people.
As a new student, what was your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
I would say small groups. This is where the whole experience became real to me. I learned a lot in my small group but more importantly I met a few people and they became some of my best friends.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I want help welcome incoming students. I believe the most important component of UT is the community. As an OL, I want to show incoming students that there is a place for them in our community.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Advertising
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I’ve been bleeding orange since the day I was born, but I truly fell in love with UT while visiting the College of Communication and Information during my orientation.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
I really enjoy Orientation because of all the freshly kindled Volunteer spirit.
What is your favorite UT tradition?
I love that the Rock gives every student here a platform on which to express their diverse opinions.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Deaf Education
Hometown:  St. Joseph, MI
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
Welcome week is fun because there are many activities to choose from and lots of people to meet.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Be there for your students! Understand how much work they may have, and show as much support as possible!
What is your favorite UT tradition?
Big Orange Friday! Great way to show school spirit during the week.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Exploratory
Hometown:  Antioch, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I chose this university because of the infectious Volunteer Spirit that I instantaneously knew I wanted to be a part of.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Be aware of the new experience that your student is about to embark upon and always be unconditionally for whenever they fall.
Why did you choose to become an Orientation Leader?
I greatly remember the impact of my Orientation Leader and would like to reciprocate that unto someone else.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Public Relations
Hometown:  Huntingdon, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
I love the grassy lawn outside of Ayres Hall. It’s so relaxing and peaceful.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
The transition can get difficult at times, but reach out to those around you, get involved, and you will soon find your place on Rocky Top!
What is your most exciting UT memory?
I was a member of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, and being able to open the T on my first game day literally took my breath away.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Kinesiology
Hometown:  Hendersonville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
Although I was apprehensive to come here because most of my hometown did, my dad went here and I knew a lot of people that went to UT and absolutely fell in love. I always came up here for homecoming and football games before I was even a student.
What is your most exciting UT memory?
Probably this past semester when we beat Georgia in football. The atmosphere in the stadium was indescribable. The odds were against us-not many people thought we could pull off the win after a series of losses, but our boys pulled through. I feel like we all felt like a true Big Orange Family-kids, students, and alumni alike. Any differences between us were forgotten for a moment because we all shared the pride of that win. Truly amazing.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I LOVE UT. I loved my orientation experience and since freshman year, I vowed that once I had the chance to dedicate the time into being an OL, I would. It is something I wanted to do before I left UT.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Modern Foreign Language/Literature
Hometown:  Harriman, TN
Why did you chose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I chose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville because I loved the atmosphere of campus, specifically all of the school pride and traditions. I am from an extremely small town, so the large campus was thrilling (and slightly intimidating). Choosing to attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville is one of the best decisions I have ever made!
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
My favorite place on campus is Hodges Library. In my opinion, the fourth floor is the best! I love finding a quiet cubicle by a window. The sun shines in through the window, and I am able to overlook various parts of campus. It makes studying so much better!
What UT tradition is your favorite?
I just can’t get enough of Rocky Top! I truly believe that Rocky Top is the greatest song in the world. There’s nothing better than singing it at the top of my lungs with 102,000 other people in Neyland Stadium!.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Political Science and Criminology
Hometown:  Antioch, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
Knoxville was the closest place to home that felt like home.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Do not be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone. Get inVOLved. Have fun, and stay focused.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I wanted to try something new and experience growth alongside the New Vols! I want to share my love for UT with as many people as possible and hopes that they too will be a VFL.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Child and Family Studies
Hometown:  Cookeville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I am a transfer student and I felt like Tennessee would give me better opportunities.
What UT tradition is your favorite?
I love how students will not cross the seal till they graduate. Rumor has it, if they do then they will be off track for graduation.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I chose to be an OL because being a new student, on a new campus, and in a new town is scary. I want to be the person who welcomes them to Tennessee with open arms and excitement.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Business Management
Hometown:  Cookeville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I’m a third generation Vol, so I bleed orange.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Push yourself to make friends the first few weeks, its so much easier than trying to play catch-up.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I have spoken at 3 national conventions on behalf of safe driving efforts.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Marketing and Supply Chain Management
Hometown:  Johnson City, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
I love laying on the hill by Ayres Hall at night. It is so beautiful and you can see so much of campus from that one point as well as looking up and seeing tons of stars.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Be as supportive as you possibly can. College is challenging and it pushes students to their limits. The support of families is so important during this time of growth and development.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your experience at UT?
My favorite song is called “Wild Things”. It’s all about embracing who you are and UT has constantly pushed me to become confident in being exactly who I am.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Kinesiology
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I felt at home when I came to the University of Tennessee and never wanted to leave.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Don’t worry because your student is in good hands at UT and will go on to do absolutely great things.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I wanted to help new students find their place here on campus and give back to a University that gave me so much in only one year of being here.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Nutrition
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I chose the university because it had exactly what I was looking for as my major, and because my brother goes here and I was a little familiar with it.
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
The library because I can hang out, study, get food and drinks at Starbucks, and I use the computers a lot.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your experience at UT?
Waiting on Superman” is one of my favorite songs but here at UT you don’t have to wait you can go for whatever you want and people are here to support you.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  History
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I grew up in Knoxville and I always envisioned myself going to here. Some of the most influential people in my life are alumni, so I know the quality of people that are produced by the university.
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
Hodges Library. It is kind of like a 2-in-1. You can go there to study and get work done..or you can pretend to study and hang out with your friends.
What is your most exciting UT memory?
Getting a position as an orientation leader, because the orientation leaders immediately sparked my interest at my own orientation and I want to share that spark with the incoming students this year.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Nursing
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I walked on campus for a tour and immediately knew this was the place for me. I loved the look of the buildings on campus, how friendly everyone was, and the Big Orange spirit that just flows through campus.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
My favorite part of the New Vols Experience was advising. I really enjoyed hearing all about my college and getting to know my adviser and the other nursing students!
Why did you choose to become an OL?
Transitioning into college is hard. If I can play any sort of role in making that transition a little easier for students and their families, that’s what I want to be doing.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Mechanical Engineering
Hometown:  Franklin, TN
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
The most precious commodity you have is time. Use it sparingly.
What UT tradition is your favorite?
Singing Rocky Top after a touchdown at a football game.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I used to be a decathlete.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Marketing
Hometown:  Memphis, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
4th floor in Hodges that is over looking Neyland Stadium is my key place to study or just listen to music and organize myself.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Your student is about to enter a whole new world, and you have to let them develop their own character. Also, make sure they call home every once in a while.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I wanted to have an impact on the next generation of first year vols and I want to provide them with an outlet of help during their first year at UT.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Journalism and Electronic Media
Hometown:  Memphis, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I chose The University of Tennessee because out of all the schools I visited, this place truly felt like home.
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
Ayers Hall. Sometimes I like to walk to the Hill just to sit outside the hill and reflect on my day.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Don’t feel embarrassed to try and make new friends. Trust me, the person next to you right now is probably wanting someone to talk to just as much as you.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Business Management
Hometown:  Murfreesboro, TN
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
Orientation was my favorite part about the New Vols Experience. I loved the sessions, and I loved my Orientation Leader as well. It really got me hype to come to UT that fall.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Do not be afraid to get involved. Find an organization that you like, whether it’s Greek Life, student leader positions, etc., and get involved in it! There are so many things to do here at UT that there is something for everyone!
What is your most exciting UT memory?
I used to be in the band my freshman year, and traveling for the Outback Bowl Game and the experience would be the highlight of my UT career.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Communication Studies
Hometown:  Hendersonville, TN
What is your most exciting UT memory?
Sitting on the front row for the Arkansas game with my best friends.
What UT tradition is your favorite?
Painting The Rock. It is such a great way to express yourself or check off a tradition with some friends!
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your experience at UT?
Style” by Taylor Swift because UT *obviously* never goes out of style.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Nutrition
Hometown:  Chattanooga, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I was blown away by how much each student who goes here loves this university. Also, my sister and brother-in-law both went here and this is where they met! Who doesn’t love LOVE?
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
My favorite place is the TRECS! Whether I’m pretending to work out, watching intramural games, or just getting smoothies from Smoothie King, I always feel rejuvenated when I enter and leave the facility.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
My favorite part was Orientation! There was never a dull moment and each smiling face assured me that I had chosen the right place to spend the next four years of my life!


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Nuclear Engineering
Hometown:  Langhorne, PA
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I chose the University of Tennessee for there great engineering program and also to change things up from home.  I had always lived up north in Pennsylvania and I wanted to change things up and go to place that was different for me and that place for me was UT!
In the city of Knoxville, where is your favorite place to get a meal on a college budget that is also very appetizing?
My favorite place to eat in Knoxville on a college budget would definitely be Gus’s because if you are a night person like me it is the only place open past two am that is enjoyable.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your experience at UT?
My favorite song is Rocky Top because once game day starts you will hear it over a hundred times by the end of the day and no matter how hard you try there is no running from it.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  English Literature
Hometown:  Spring Hill, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I originally chose to attend UT because it is in state, but after having been here for two years, I could never imagine leaving.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience ?
My favorite part of the New Vols Experience is Orientation because it is a time when every student starts out at the same place- a little clueless about what “college” is, making new friends, and discovering the place that you are going to call “home” for the next four(ish) years.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your experience at UT?
“We Are The Champions” by Queen. This relates to UT because every time I climb the steps to The Hill, I think of the lyrics, “I consider it a challenge before the whole human race, and I ain’t gonna lose” to keep me going.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Business Analytics and Supply Chain Management
Hometown:  Dechard, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
I like TRECS because it’s a great place to unwind at the end of a day.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I am from Wisconsin and spent most of my life there.
Why did you choose to become an OL?
The great opportunities and ability to help incoming students.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
Hometown:  Louisville, NE
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
My parents are both in the military and my grandparents live around Knoxville, so my summers were spent in the area. Moving around my entire life, Knoxville was like a home away from home. I always wanted to go to UT, I even have photos in all orange jumpsuits and couldn’t imagine going anywhere else?
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
College, is a clean slate. It sounds cliche, but you can re-invent yourself and be who you truly are and find peace in that!
What is your favorite UT tradition?
Torchbearer— Being a volunteer is more than just a mascot and the torchbearer signifies what it means to be a TRUE Volunteer.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Pre-Law
Hometown:  New Tazewell, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
I’m from a small town, and I was looking for a school that would allow me to meet new people who were different than myself. UT provided such a welcoming atmosphere with people who came from diverse backgrounds, and it quickly became my home.
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
Hodges Library! I can’t remember the last time I went and didn’t see a friend. It’s the perfect place for studying or even take a quiet moment to yourself. Also, Starbucks. So much Starbucks.
In the city of Knoxville, where is your favorite place to get a meal on a college budget that is also very appetizing?
Gus’s! Fried mushrooms and pickles make any exam week better.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Architecture
Hometown:  Murfreesboro, TN
What is your most exciting UT memory?
Walking into Neyland for the first time during the Florida (checkerboard) game my freshman year.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your UT experience?
Downtown by Macklemore : Every night the week before review my entire year takes multiple breaks from our studio work to sing the whole song at the top of our lungs.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I became an Eagle Scout when I was 14 years old.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Political Science
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
You can catch me at the hot dog stand or the HSS amphitheater, especially when the weather feels great.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
Welcome Week was my favorite part about transitioning into UT, because I met so many people and there were so many fun events. It was like getting to do college without actually starting classes yet.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I love Beyonce and I can sleep up to 17 hours a day.


Classification:  Senior
Major:  Biology
Hometown:  Chattanooga, TN
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Be yourself and although you can do anything you can’t do everything.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your UT experience?
There’s Hope” because no mater what happens during your college experience it is dangerous to lose hope.
In the city of Knoxville, where is your favorite place to get a meal on a college budget?
Stock and Barrel has the freshest hamburgers of life!


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Animal Science
Hometown:  Mount Airy, NC
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
I honestly love every part of the Ag campus especially the UT gardens. To me, it is feels like home because it is so peaceful there.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Always push yourself outside of your comfort zone. College is a place you can grow into a person you thought you weren’t capable of becoming so take advantage of all the opportunities to challenge yourself!
What UT tradition is your favorite?
I love screaming Rocky Top at every football game with all of my fellow Vols. It makes me feel connected with everyone at the game.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Accounting
Hometown:  Franklin, TN
Why did you choose to become an OL?
I wanted to make a difference on students weary of going away from home, its a lot easier than it sounds.  I was one of those students.
In the city of Knoxville, where is your favorite place to get a meal on a college budget that is also very appetizing?
Forget a meal I love coffee, old city java has the best coffee in Knoxville.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I used to be a glassblower.


Classification:  Junior
Major:  Audiology and Speech Pathology
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
What is your most exciting UT memory?
My most exciting UT memory was going to my first football game. I was in the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and getting to perform in front of over 100,000 people was so thrilling. I’ll never forget that experience and the unity and energy I felt being a part of something great.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
My most important piece of advice I would give to incoming families is to be aware that your student may change. College is a wonderful time to explore who you are as a person and figure out what you want to do with your life.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your UT experience?
One of my favorite songs is “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten. I love this song because college can be hard sometimes. This song is empowering and reminds me to never give up!.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Finance
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
Being a second generation UT student and growing up in Knoxville, I’ve fallen in love with the great traditions at Tennessee. Living in Knoxville for most of my life, I’ve developed a passion for this area and the beauty East Tennessee has to offer! I love calling UT home because it truly feels like home sweet home to me!
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
The amphitheater outside the humanities building. It’s relaxing and perfect for time alone, or grabbing some food and eating with friends after a long day of classes, especially when the weather is nice!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming families?
Maintain a high level of support and encouragement. College is not always easy and there is A LOT of personal growth and  adjustment that happens especially during the first year. Having a strong parental support system has been key to my first year here.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Agriculture Communications, Global Studies
Hometown:  Lebanon, TN
Why did you choose the University of Tennessee, Knoxville?
It was the one campus that felt like home. The Volunteer Tradition felt like something that had been a part of my life since I was young, and actually getting to get to go to UT and be a part of it was so exciting.
What is your favorite place and campus and why?
I love to hang out at Mabel’s on the Ag Campus. I get to see all of the other Ag majors and professors and I just love the fact that it feels like a smaller community that I’m a part of on campus.
As a new student, what is your favorite part of the New Vols Experience?
I loved getting to meet all of the New Vols and getting the chance to hang out with them at TREC. I met some of my best college friends during that time.


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Audiology and Speech Pathology
Hometown:  Knoxville, TN
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Always carry an umbrella with you. At all times.
In the city of Knoxville, where is your favorite place to get a meal on a college budget that is also very appetizing?
Copper Cellar!!! Burger and a side, ranging in prices from $5.50-$6.50 on Burger Nights (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
What is your favorite song and how does it relate to your UT experience?
“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, because there will be many rainy days on campus and when you’re walking to class you will definitely “feel the rain on your skin.”


Classification:  Sophomore
Major:  Psychology
Hometown:  Tullahoma, TN
What is your favorite place on campus and why?
TRECS, because of all the fun workout classes!
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to incoming students?
Be open minded and confident!
What is your favorite UT tradition?
How we got our name, The Volunteers.

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