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Meet The O-Team!

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Assisting New Transfer Students

Allison Alexander

Name:  Allison Alexander

Year:  Junior

Major:  Psychology

Hometown:  Weyers Cave, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Bridgewater College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The class sizes are bigger and the work load is a little heavier. Overall, the teachers here are very invested in the students and tend to make assignments more interactive and vigorous than my first college.

Dream job:  Music Therapist or Counselor:  I just want to help people!

Favorite movie:  “Star Wars” series

Favorite class at JMU:  Introduction to Intentional Music was my favorite class I've taken so far because I learned all the different ways that music can be used to help people, like people with disabilities or kids with behavioral problems.

Favorite place on campus:  The Student Success Center has so much to offer in just one building!  Food, computers, the oasis (a place to rid yourself of all the stress of school), the Health Center, the Business Office and of course, the Orientation Office!



Assisting New Transfer Students

Braden Bean

Year:  Senior

Major:  Psychology

Hometown:  Winchester, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Lord Fairfax Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The major difference is that there are more opportunities to connect with professionals in my field.

Dream job:  School Psychologist

Favorite place on campus:  The middle of the stairs coming up from the Godwin bus station: This is one of the first places I ever sat and talked with a friend at JMU and the view of the bus station and the football field is fantastic. A great place to think.

Favorite place to eat on campus:  D-Hall (especially on Meatless Mondays!)

Why did you want to work for Orientation?  I had a fantastic Orientation experience and I thought it looked like fun. I am also very passionate about transfer students and I value their opinions. It impressed me that JMU gives transfers so much consideration, and I wanted to be a part of that.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Kendal Brown

Year:  Senior

Major:  Psychology

Hometown:  Reading, PA

Transferred to JMU from:  Messiah College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  Academics are harder, but I definitely feel like I retain more from the classes.

Dream job:  International photojournalist

Favorite song:  “Chandelier” by Sia

Favorite place on campus:  One of my favorite places on campus is the Nap Nook on the bottom floor of Festival.  Pretty self-explanatory, but who doesn't love a good nap?

What do you love most about being a Duke?  When you are a Duke, JMU pride is an instant connection point when meeting new people.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Natalie Burgwin

Year:  Junior

Major:  English

Hometown:  Carrsville, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Tidewater Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The most significant difference is the level of excellence expected from the students. Educators at JMU always encourage me to reach my fullest potential. 

Favorite song:  "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats

Favorite place on campus:  Taylor Down Under:  I can always count on there to be good music and a comfy place to sit.

Favorite JMU tradition:  Throwing streamers at football games!

How did you know JMU was right for you?  Any place where the social norm is to hold doors open for people is the kind of environment I want to be in. Not only does JMU have such incredible academics, but the general kindness among the students and faculty is just so great.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Shelbi Hilling

Year:  Senior

Major:  Health Science, Pre Occupational Therapy

Hometown:  Point Pleasant, NJ

Transferred to JMU from:  Ocean County College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  Much more demanding and challenging!  The professors don't spoon feed you anything, in order to do well you have to really put the time in and learn and I really appreciate that.

Dream job:  Occupational Therapist using yoga as a main form of treatment

Favorite place on campus:  The Arboretum because it’s perfect for my morning runs.

Favorite place in Harrisonburg:  The Farmers Market downtown every Tuesday and Saturday mornings because it makes it easy to eat local even on a strict college budget.

Why did you want to work for Orientation?  Transferring is hard and I want to give new transfers the same great transition I was given.  I want to encourage them to love JMU just as much as I do.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Zachariah Karp

Year:  Senior

Major:  Communications

Hometown:  Ashburn, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Northern Virginia Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  Not so different, just a lot more students.

Dream job:  Congressman

Favorite song:  “Wagon Wheel” by Darius Rucker

Favorite TV show:  “House of Cards”

Why did you want to work for Orientation?  I want to help others with their introduction into to the Harrisonburg community and the JMU family.  I was helped tremendously, and now I want to help others.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Kitty Kijbamrunglarp

Year:  Senior

Major:  Quantitative Finance and Statistics

Hometown:  Stephens City, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Lord Fairfax Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The professors do care deeply and are willing to help with anything.

Favorite song:  “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift

Favorite place on campus:  Grafton-Stovall Theater because the tickets and popcorn are very cheap.  It is the best deal in Harrisonburg community.

Favorite place to eat in Harrisonburg:  Taste of India

Why did you want to work for Orientation?  I want to give something back to school. I had a very successful transition to JMU because of my ANTs. They showed their school pride and spirit of purple and gold.  They made the impact on me, and I want to carry on what and how they made me feel about JMU to the incoming class.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Ana Leskanich

Year:  Senior

Major:  Psychology

Hometown:  Fairfax, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  University of North Carolina Wilmington

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The experiences that JMU provides are much better than that of UNCW. I find that if I want to get a certain experience there is always a field experience, internship or research that I can take part of and that's not something I got at UNCW.

Favorite song:  “Last Hope” by Paramore

Favorite TV show:  “Vampire Diaries”

Favorite place on campus:  The Quad because on a sunny day it's just the best place to soak in the rays!

Favorite place to eat in Harrisonburg:  Billy Jack's has the best burgers ever!



Assisting New Transfer Students

Tyler Mazza

Year:  Senior

Major:  Health Sciences

Hometown:  Woodbridge, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Northern Virginia Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  Classes here are much tougher and require you to pay attention and focus on material.

Dream job:  Physical Therapist

Favorite place to study:  The airport lounge (secret-ish spot)

Favorite JMU tradition:  Snowball fights on the quad

How did you know JMU was right for you?  The beautiful campus, welcoming students, surrounding area all pulled me in and I knew I could not go anywhere else and be as satisfied.



Assisting New Transfer Students

Nicole Pascale

Year:  Senior

Major:  Health Sciences (Pre-Occupational Therapy)

Hometown:  Chesapeake, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Tidewater Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  The course work has been a lot more challenging.

Dream job:  Occupational therapist for veterans and wounded warriors

Favorite treat:  I could eat an entire package of Oreos by myself, no problem!

Favorite place in Harrisonburg:  I enjoy hiking, and Skyline Drive offers some of the best views in Virginia!

How did you know JMU was right for you?  I knew JMU was right for me when, on the first day of classes, I realized that the courses I was taking and the program I am in made me excited to go back to class and learn more!



Assisting New Transfer Students

Hollie Rhodes

Year:  Senior

Major:  Psychology

Hometown:  Smithfield, VA

Transferred to JMU from:  Tidewater Community College

How are academics at JMU different than your previous institution?  They are more geared toward my field of study and they require much more attention than my previous institution, but I feel as though I have gained so much more from being here.

Favorite movie:  “Shrek”

Favorite place on campus:  The Quad is not only historic to JMU, but it is such a beautiful place to sit and hang out with friends.

Favorite place in Harrisonburg:  Massanutten Resort!  Even if skiing or snowboarding isn’t your forte, they offer all kinds of fun, like an indoor water park, hiking, and go-karting.

Why did you want to work for Orientation?  I want to have the opportunity to replace the fear that accompanies transferring with JMU spirit and pride!