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Orientation Leaders

Advice From Orientation Leaders

Starting the week of June 24, 2024, your Orientation Leader will be in touch with new students weekly until Fall Orientation. During that time, it is important that you respond to your Orientation Leader.

Orientation Leaders serve as onboarding mentors for students and family members who are making the transition to the diverse and inclusive academic, intellectual, and social culture of Florida Southern. Orientation Leaders share knowledge about the College with enthusiasm, warmth, and commitment to service.

Ben Acton - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Ben Acton

Major: Applied Math and Economics
Hometown: Winter Garden, Florida

I think every new student must go to Blast Off and Meet the Greeks to meet new people. There are also tons of fun things to do on campus such as Southern Takeover and other events put on by ACE, as well at the Farmers Market downtown.
Millie Alba-Sommers - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Millie Alba-Sommers

Major: English Literature (Honors Program)

Hometown: Thousand Oaks, California

The top five things you should do as a first-year at FSC are: get involved in as many things that interest you as possible (you can always narrow it down later!!), figure out your favorite places to eat on campus, explore the campus to get a better feel for the layout (and learn about buildings you may not have classes in), meet as many people as you can, and don't forget to call home!! :)

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Tommy Anderson

Major: Theatre Performance BFA
Hometown: Naples, FL

When you get to FSC, you wanna do five core things. Get involved, get at least 8 hours of sleep, take advantage of campus meals, manage your time wisely, and don't be afraid to mess up!
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Rosey Avila

Major: Nursing
Hometown: Bradenton, FL

During kickoff week, every first-year freshman should go to Blast Off! It’s a fun and easy way to find your place on campus and get involved!
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Adam Ayer

Major: Marketing
Hometown: Riverview, Florida

One thing I think every new student should do during their first year is walk Lake Hollingsworth. The lake itself takes about an hour to walk around; it's a great stress reliever, especially with some music or with friends.
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Leah Badorf

Major: Elementary Education

Hometown: Fernandina Beach, FL

Try to go to as many events on campus as possible to start getting involved! Check out some off campus activities too like the farmers market and the Polk Museum of Art!

Gianna Barry - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Gianna Barry

Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA

Go to every event you can! You never know when you will make a new friend and meet super nice people!
Kendra Belton - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Kendra Belton

Major: History and English

Hometown: Niceville, FL

One of the best things a new student could do in their first year at FSC would be to explore the library and peruse the shelves. You never know what you'll find there!

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Kaelyn Benoit

Major: Communications, w/ a focus on Media Strategies & Production
Hometown: Belchertown, MA

Go to events (talk to people, be open, and just get involved!), take some time to explore the campus (visit the rose garden, explore a building you don't have a class in, etc.), visit the Lakeland Farmer's Market on Saturday, talk to someone new (smile at someone passing by, introduce yourself to someone in class), and pet a campus cat! Remember that everyone is going through this for the first time as well, and college is the place to explore and make connections.
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Adam Boulos

Major: Computer Science

Hometown: Milford, MA

Get involved with Greek Life! It’s a great way to be involved on campus and to meet people!

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Angelina Brown

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Austinburg, OH

Get as involved as possible! One of the best ways to get involved here at FSC is to join Greek life!

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Michael Cadden

Major: Sports Management

Hometown: Billerica, Massachusetts

To be open minded and try everything you can in your first year on campus.

Morghan Causer - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Morghan Causer

Major: Integrative Biology

Hometown: Bayville, NJ

Go to pressed in downtown lakeland for a cute study spot!

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Olivi Cicco

Major: Secondary Education - Social Science
Hometown: Clermont, FL

Attend a Festival of Fine Arts performance, especially the Christmas Gala and Dance Performances.
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Carter Cook

Major: Finance

Hometown: New Smyrna Beach, FL

New students at FSC during their first year should definitely go to Blastoff and Relaunch–two organization tabling events, one per semester, that introduce you to all the great clubs and organizations at FSC.

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Sarah Dunsmore

Major: Marine Biology
Hometown: Brandon, FL

My top 5 things to do on campus as a first-year student are Blast Off, the pep rally, the community living programs (your RA will tell you about them!), any events put on by ACE, and the athletic games here on campus. All of these are great ways to meet new people and have fun while staying on campus, and you can easily find all the information on Engage through your student portal!
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Rachel Emch

Major: Theater Performance

Hometown: Ashburn, VA

I recommend going to as many events as possible because you never know who you might meet or what opportunities you might come across. Also don't forget to take photos/videos to send to your family and for you to remember your first year here!

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Andre Fernandez

Major: Music

Hometown: Haines City, FL

Join great clubs and organizations that you enjoy the most, every semester we showcase every club that is offered on campus. Don't be afraid of meeting new people, being in clubs will be very helpful to build connections.

Olivia Foli - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Olivia Foli

Major: BFA, Theater Performance
Hometown: Gainesville, FL

I feel as an incoming freshman it is super important to put yourself out there, meet new people, make new friends, and find a group of people that will really encourage and support you through your time here at Florida Southern!
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Kaleigh Hardesty

Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Middleburg, FL

Be open to the change, everyone is experiencing the same situation! Attend as many events as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be open to new ideas!
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Delaney Harris

Major: Marine Biology / Environmental Science

Hometown: Smithfield, NC

Go to EVERYTHING that you can. It may seem daunting at first, but this is a great way to meet people outside of your grade and class!

Sumer Hawkins - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Sumer Hawkins

Major: Exercise Science

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Stay Calm! Do not overload yourself! Have fun! Stay safe! Enjoy your freshman year!

Karlie Heaberlin - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Karlie Heaberlin

Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Kenansville, FL

My top 5 things every student should do are:
  1. Pet a campus cat
  2. Go to a home game (my favorite is hockey)
  3. Go to southern takeover
  4. Get coffee at Tutus
  5. Join a club.
Mya Hernandez - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Mya Hernandez

Major: Marketing
Hometown: McDonough, GA

One of my top things I think every new student should do during their first year is go to all of the big school hosted events, like Winter Wonderland and Southern Takeover.
Ashley Howard - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Ashley Howard

Major: Marine Biology

Hometown: Locust Grove, GA

  1. Go eat at Love Bird!
  2. Go get coffee from Tutus Cyber Cafe!
  3. Attend on-campus events!
  4. Participate in IM sports!
  5. Explore Lakeland!
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Taryn Hughes

Major: Nursing
Hometown: Toms River, NJ

Go to as many events on campus as possible! It’s a great way to get involved right from the start!
Alisha Jack - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Alisha Jack

Major: Marine Biology

Hometown: Trinidad

As a first-year student, it’s going to be a challenge with the transition, but you will get a good handle of your class schedules, as well as learn more about campus activities. Also, develop a bond with your faculty members.

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Brooke Kellogg

Major: Pre-PA Biology
Hometown: Northampton, MA

Go to the farmers market - Go on a lake walk - Get involved! Find your interests - Play an intramural game - Find a good way to study that works for you.
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Marci Kernan

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Groveland, FL

Every new student should do these five things: go to the wellness center and the pool, explore the library, get a bagel from tutus, walk Lake Hollingsworth, and go to the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays!

Lexi Lapore-Paternostro - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Lexi Lapore-Paternostro

Major: Communications
Hometown: Wellington, FL

Every student should definitely attend Blast-Off their first week of school because it sets the stage for the rest of your college career. From meeting new friends to finding clubs that you love to getting free stuff, it’s a great time!
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Kaylee Laporta

Major: Nursing
Hometown: Joliet, IL
Andrew Lastra - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Andrew Lastra

Major: Technical Theater

Hometown: Oviedo, FL

Don't be afraid to jump right in immediately and get involved.

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Xavier Link

Major: Secondary English Education

Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL

New students should go to the pretzel place in the Weinstein computer science building. I always enjoy getting fresh pretzels after a long day of work!

Gianna Marks - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Gianna Marks

Major: Music Education

Hometown: Shirley, NY

One Moc Tip that I have for incoming students is to talk to as many people as possible! Just start with a simple hello, and some of those people can become your greatest friends.

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Brooke Mazza

Major: Communications: Advertising and Public Relations

Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

One thing that every new student should do during their first year at FSC is to go to Relaunch and get involved. This is a great opportunity to see what the school has to offer outside of academics and a great way to integrate yourself into the FSC community.

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Lucas Miller

Major: BFA, Musical Theatre
Hometown: Lindenhurst, IL

Intramurals – Meet the Greeks - Go to events - Make friends - Go to the ESports arena.
Meaghan Murphy - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Meaghan Murphy

Major: Marine Biology
Hometown: Willards, MD

One of the things every new student should do is join or attend events for as many clubs as they are interested in. It’s a great way to meet new people with shared interests and find that key sense of belonging.
Angedith Ortiz - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Angedith Ortiz

Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Spring Hill, FL

Students should attend Blast Off so they can find clubs and people who share similar interests with them.
Libby Paige - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Libby Paige


Major: Criminology
Hometown: Sarasota, FL

I think everyone should get to know Lakeland more once they get here, because this is where you will be spending four years.
Liam Parke - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Liam Parke

Major: Musical Theater

Hometown: Cumming, GA

Join clubs! They are phenomenal ways to make friends that will stick by you early on in your college career.

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Angel Potter

Major: Political Science

Hometown: Sarasota, FL

I suggest that every first year student go to Southern Takeover in the fall; it is one of the best experiences ever.

Sofia Restom Gaskill - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Sofia Restom Gaskill

Major: BA in Theatre Arts; BA in English, concentration in Writing
Hometown: Saint Petersburg, FL

I think all new FSC students should definitely make an effort to go to as many events as possible! They're a great way to learn about different organizations and clubs on campus, as well as meet new people.
Daelyn Risher-Wrobel - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Daelyn Risher-Wrobel

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Canton, Ohio

I think every student should attend blastoff and southern takeover. Those were always my favorite!

Emma Rodriguez - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Emma Rodriguez

Major: BFA Technical Theatre, Costume emphasis
Hometown: Brooksville, FL

Go downtown for the weekly farmer's market on Saturday mornings! It is a great group activity and a fun way to grow closer to your new college friends!
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Ben Ruby

Major: Communication: Multimedia Journalism
Hometown: Ambler, PA
  1. Take advantage of Travel Florida trip discounts. On the college website all the yearly trips are listed and registration typically opens a month before the trip date.
  2. Explore downtown Lakeland. There is so much to do including a weekly Farmer’s Market.
  3. Join at least one major club on campus. A great way to find one is attending Blastoff!
  4. Find a friend group that loves and supports you like a family. 5. Develop a strong relationship with FSC faculty members.
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Grace Ryan

Major: Communication

Hometown: Ft. Myers, FL

Every student should join a club and go out of their comfort zone! I made my best friends and best memories by trying new things!

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Logan Schultz

Major: Communication
Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Getting involved in clubs on campus is so good to do once college starts. This lets you pursue your interests outside of academics and find friends who have interests in common with you.
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Emi Shannon

Major: Music Performance (Voice) and Psychology
Hometown: Fort Myers, FL

Take some time for yourself and do something you wouldn’t normally do. It’s the best way to explore FSC and Lakeland!
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Gaby Shortridge

Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Orlando, FL

Farewell Festival, Frank Lloyd Wright Day, attend an athletic game, Cram Jam, go see a theater production.
Sydney Silva - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Sydney Silva

Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Freeport, ME
  1. Time management is so important
  2. Get involved
  3. Get to know your professors and advisors
  4. Keep your door open the first week of school
  5. Sign in to Engage right away so you know what’s happening on campus!
Haleigh Simons - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Haleigh Simons

Major: Communications: Multimedia Journalism
Hometown: St. Cloud, FL

Join a club, involve yourself in your department, meet a campus cat, check out all the food spots, and go to events like hockey games and Southern Takeover!
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Chase Snow

Major: Interactive and Game Design

Hometown: LaBelle, FL

Join a few clubs! One club for you major to help you learn and connect with others, one club for academic success where you learn study tips, time management, etc., and lastly one for leisure to give you time to relax from your busy schedule (I recommend Mocsie's Dungeoneers!).

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Julia Stefanowicz

Major: Dance
Hometown: Stamford, CT

Visit the farmers market on a Saturday morning/afternoon!
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Tia Suleiman

Major: Exercise Science
Hometown: Davenport, FL

Make friends, ask questions, get involved in all the activities that are on campus, join a club, and lastly have fun! This is college and although you have a degree to earn, memories are to be made.
Ashley Sutherland - Orientation Leader thumbnail

Ashley Sutherland

Major: Graphic Design
Hometown: Deland, FL

The top 5 things to do as first year student at FSC are engage in the events on campus, get to know the students in your major by joining the learning community, get in involved in campus clubs and explore the world outside campus.
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Katie Swanson

Major: Nursing
Hometown: Altamonte Springs, FL

Any first-year student should go to Blast Off, Winter Wonderland (well, really all ACE events) and go to all the fun orientation events! Also get to know the people in your hall and get to know your professors (they’re people too!)!
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Riley Sweeting

Major: Computer Science AI & Machine Learning

Hometown: The Bahamas

Push yourself outside of your comfort zone! College is a time for personal growth and development, so be adventurous and try new food, become involved in your academic department and clubs, and explore the variety of amazing events FSC has to offer!

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Mara Taylor

Major: Marine Biology

Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO

Build a relationship with your classmates and professors! Your professors have good advice to offer you, and your classmates are your future colleagues!
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Taylor Thompson

Major: BFA Dance Performance
Hometown: Fort Myers, FL

One thing I think every new student should do during their first year at FSC is to attend events and join clubs. It’s so much fun and you’ll meet a ton of new people!
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Elizabeth Todd

Major: Biology

Hometown: Orlando, FL

I highly encourage freshmen to attend the Lakeland farmer's market at least once. There is a trolley free of charge that stops at FSC at the Frank Lloyd Wright visitor center every fifteen minutes on Saturdays.

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Gaven Tryon

Major: Medical Laboratory Science

Hometown: Houston, TX

Try to get involved in things you are interested in on campus, be ready to meet lots of people who are also in the same boat as you. Be organized with schoolwork and make sure to try to remain positive even on the harder days, also don't forget to ask questions.

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Karla Van Loon

Major: Music Performance

Hometown: Spain

Every freshman should go to the wellness center’s Springs trip, participate in at least one intramural sport, go to the winter wonderland festival, go to the farmers market, and plan a trip to the beach.

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Daphne Vanderford

Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Plant City, FL

One thing every new student should do during their first year at FSC should be to play IM games! They’re so fun and help you meet and connect to so many people!
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Chris Viglione

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Gulf Breeze, FL

It's super important and fun to get involved with an organization. It doesn't matter if it's rushing a fraternity or sorority, a professional fraternity, a club, SGA, etc.. just put yourself out there to get involved and meet new people.

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Charlie Wallace

Major: Biology
Hometown: Eagle River, AK

I recommend everyone to follow the FSC Wellness Center Instagram! It's an easy way to get involved on campus and meet new people in your first semester.
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Alyssa Wisniewski

Major: Elementary Education
Hometown: Tavares, FL

Every new student should attend at least one sports game during their first year!
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Kat Woods

Major: Psychology
Hometown: Coconut Creek, FL

I would recommend that all first-years at FSC to go out to all the events they can and meet people. Do not be afraid to go alone to things because you might meet a new friend.