Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Marshall Center for Intercultural Learning

Campus Life

Meet the 2012 Orientation Assistants

Posted on May 17, 2012

Gilda Rodrigues '14 Gilda Rodrigues
Major: Religion/Pre-Med
Minor: Biology/Studio Art
Hometown: Boston

The reason why I want to be an Orientation Assistant is because I love helping people; the urge to help others has become a part of me. I  also want to help the new students get acclimated with a new environment since I have been apart of the intercultural orientation.  I can help these students by advising them on classes to take, transition from high school to college, campus connections and other aspects in order to help them succeed in the new environment because I have experienced them as well when I came as freshman. The Marshall Center has given me support, guidance and helped me build connection with many student and staff and I would love to share this with the incoming students.

My favorite aspect of Wheaton is the atmosphere and the people within it. The staff members and students are very friendly. I love meeting new people and that is something that comes naturally to me.

I also love to sing and draw. I am a participant in College Against Cancer/Relay for Life on Campus and I currently an intern at the Marshall Center.

pic of FrancineFrancine Camacho ‘14
Major: Biology
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY


I chose to become an Orientation Assistant because during my time at Wheaton I have had both wonderful learning experiences and downfalls that I have sprung back up from. Being an Orientation Assistant allows me to contribute my amazing experiences and those hitting rock bottom and coming back from it to the freshman that haven’t hit that point. I chose to be an Orientation Assistant because I want to a resource, provide advice and be there to support to them. I remember when I was a freshman and I know how scary and difficult it can be to at the beginning not knowing where to find which building are what or getting over the fact that when I use the bathroom there are boys sharing it with me. All in all I have gone through my freshman year and I want to share what I have learned over the years I have been at Wheaton to help the freshman in what ever way I can because like myself there are a campus full of people here to help.

The Marshall Center has made a great impact on my Wheaton experience because it is a safe space for me on campus. I have gotten to know a lot of my good friends on campus through the Marshall Center and their marvelous weekly events and activities they host for students. I attended the Multicultural Orientation hosted by the Marshall Center when I was a Freshman and it helped me get to know the campus, talk to and befriend upperclassman, and it is the place where I made many of my good friends. The Marshall Center is a place that challenges my perspective on issues on gender, diversity, and the campus community. The Marshall Center through its events has made me a better leader and public speaker. Also, I can always depend on the staff at the Marshall Center if I need help with anything or just want to talk. The staff is very supportive and caring. They are always welcoming and give great advice. Without them I don’t know how I would have made it this far at Wheaton. The Marshall Center and its staff hold a special place in my heart.

Maria Carolina Ticona ‘14 Maria Ticona
Major: Psychology
Hometown; Boston, MA

I chose to be an orientation assistant because I want to get close to the upcoming freshmen class, and be able to help them to adapt to the Wheaton community, I want to be their support throughout their first year in college.
The Marshall Center has been everything to me in my Wheaton experience. I have been able to make friends through the Marshall Center and these friends have introduced me to more friends, and so on. I can always count on the staff at the MC to be there for help, support and just to have a talk. The Marshall Center always makes me feel like I'm at a home-like place instead of a college campus.

My favorite thing about Wheaton is the care and support of the faculty. The deans and professors really do care about us as individuals and about our life after Wheaton. I am involved in the Meditation club and  Zumba classes.

pic of KaylaKayla Cuadrado '14
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Bronx, NY

I am here to tell you that I consider orientation to be one of the most memorable times in ones college experience. Not only did I attend orientation during my freshman year, but I also had the privilege to partake in the Intercultural Pre-Orientation as well. It was one of the best experiences I have had at Wheaton and something that I constantly reference to throughout my college years. I did not just gather information on what resources there are on campus from academic advising to career services, but also learned about the personal experiences of the Orientation Assistants that were a part of the program as well as the ones from other students who were attending it. My own experience with the pre-orientation program is the reason why I wanted to be an Orientation Assistant. The OAs I had for my orientation were amazing and they really helped shape my life here at Wheaton. They gave me advice on clubs to join, classes to take, and helped me get out of my shell. I want to provide the same experience that I had for the incoming Wheaton students.

Khadim Niang '15 Khadim Niang
Major: Political Science
Hometown: New York

My name is Khadim Niang and I was born in Senegal, West Africa. I came to the United States at the age of four living in Harlem, New York with my parents. I see myself as an open-minded person who is excepting of all cultures and beliefs. I am the Intercultural Board Senator in the Student government; I also work for the Chapel as the Interfaith Intern and The Marshall Center as a program coordinator.  I wish to major in Political Science and become a Policy Maker.

One of the reasons why I became an Orientation assistant is because I have benefited tremendously form  Intercultural Orientation and the Marshall center. These programs have prepared me both academically and socially as a student of Wheaton College. I want to help out with Orientation because I wish to have the same positive influence on the incoming freshmen.

pic of Shiwei HuangShiwei Huang, '15.
Major: Economics/ Music
Hometown: Shanghai, China

I have participated in "Between the Lines" during my first semester at Wheaton. It's a dialogue based activity leading by James Kato. We sat at a circle and had several discussion after gender, customs, etc. Since the activity is dialogue based during lunch time. I didn't feel any pressure at public speaking. Many ideas are based on conversation. After that experience, I began to love to participate activities in Marshall center.
What I like best about Wheaton is that faculties love to share time with students. I heard many students in big universities complain that they can never find professors after class. But professors at Wheaton love to talk to students at Wheaton. They love students come during their office hours to discuss about class materials, majors or internships.
I have join the Wheaton Wire, Between the Lines, and Habitat for Humanity.
The reason I want to be OA is because when I was a freshman, I received many help from upper class man. I always appreciate their help. After a year at Wheaton, I am used to the day at Wheaton myself and want to help those freshman have a better transition year from high school to college year.

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