New Student and Family Programs
OTR (Orientation, Transition and Retention) Central - November 2019

Spring Orientation Sessions (19-20)

On Friday, November 15th, we welcomed 65 new students and their family members to campus for New Student Orientation. Thank you for your support in offering a warm welcome! You can view the student and family schedules by visiting

Students who intend to begin classes in January, may selected from the two remaining Spring Orientation dates: December 13, and January 9. We have reserved space and will hold January 8 internally if we are nearing capacity for the open sessions (decision to be made one month out from each date). These are also dates that can be held in case a date is cancelled due to weather.

2020 Orientation Stakeholder Workshops

The Office of Student Success will lead three stakeholder workshops to gain feedback on proposed updates to 2020 new student and family orientation programs for transfer and first-year students.

The purpose of the session is threefold:
  1. Present major assessment themes and findings from the 2019 New Student Orientation cycle;
  2. Review and provide input on proposed updates to the 2020 transfer and first-year student and family orientation programs;
  3. Gain continued investment and buy-in from University-stakeholders regarding the new student transition experience

The sessions will be held in Powers 136, on the following dates:
  • November 22nd – 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
  • November 25th – 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
  • November 27th – 10:00 – 11:30 A.M.

Space is limited, so please select a day and time soon! Thank you for your interest in providing feedback to the new student and family orientation program. Register for a stakeholder workshop.

Welcoming the 2020 Orientation Leadership Team

The following staff members have accepted our offer to serve on the 2020 Orientation Leadership Team! I’d like to sincerely thank their supervisors and departments for supporting this arrangement. These staff members received approval for between 2-5 hours of release time per week throughout the academic year, as well as release time on orientation dates to support the transition of approximately 4,000 new students and 7,000 family members throughout the year. We believe this will be a mutually-beneficial partnership between our departments and will work toward meeting the mission of the University’s orientation and transition programming.

​Orientation Leadership Team
​Orientation Role
​Andrew Dattilo
​Human Resources
​Transfer Orientation Coordinator
Lori Driessnack​
​Office of Student Success
​Family Orientation Coordinator
​Kegan Rojas
​College of Science and Engineering
​Student Orientation Coordinator
​Eric Davis
​Career Development
​Orientation Advisor Coordinator
​Molly Schuneman
​Student Activities and Involvement
​Campus Life Transition Coordinator

Additionally, we are excited to announce the following senior student leaders accepted roles to serve in our four Orientation Program Assistant (OPA) roles. We are fortunate to have such talented students holding these important leadership roles. 

​Orientation Role
​Noah Harrier-Burks
​Family Orientation Programming Assistant 
Sydney Reed
Transfer Orientation Programming Assistant 
​Brandon McDonald
Student Orientation Programming Assistant 
​Ashleigh Varney
​Training Orientation Programming Assistant 

2020 Orientation Dates

As we close the chapter on the 2018-2019 academic year, we are also busy collaborating with campus stakeholders to plan the 2019-2020 orientation program. View the projected orientation dates for the 2019-2020 orientation program. New students who intend to begin classes in August 2020 will have the opportunity to begin registering for these dates in January.

2020 Student Mentor Applications

The applications for Orientation Mentor position will go live on November 25th! These roles are critical to the experience our University offers to new students and supporters attending the orientation programs this spring and summer. We need your help recruiting students to consider these roles.
Learn more about the positions 

Call for Content: Family Facebook Group and Newsletter

The Engagement and Employability Study at CMU found that 88% of students reported talking to family members about campus involvements, with 65% indicating if their family did not support organizational choice they would not continue involvement. This presents family members as vital influencers of how students choose involvements and make meaning of those experiences. Parent and Family Services, a function of the Office of Student Success works with University Communications to produce a monthly e-newsletter to parents and supporters of CMU students. Additionally, a University-wide group of campus leaders serve as the moderators for a new Facebook group for parents and supporters ( We recently launched the Parent and Family Services Newsletter & Facebook Content Submission Request Form, an on-going form that we will use to collect submissions for content for either the newsletter or the Facebook group. We have a content calendar and are happy to promote your programs, services, and events to family members throughout the year.