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UC Upperclassmen Play Key Role in Summer Orientation

In a competitive process, Dy’Mand Montgomery was one of 27 Student Orientation Leaders selected to guide new students through Bearcat Bound Orientation.

Date: 6/28/2010
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Ventre
Orientation Web site
Orientation Phone Number: 513-556-2486
Orientation e-mail: orientation@uc.edu

Dy’Mand Montgomery of Dayton, Ohio, decided to come to UC after she took a tour of campus on a high school trip. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I said, ‘That’s where I’m going.’ I liked the diversity of the campus, plus, I wanted to go to a college that wasn’t too close to home, but wasn’t too far away either,” she says.

Dy’Mand Montgomery
Dy’Mand Montgomery

Now a UC junior majoring in organizational leadership through the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) Psychology Program, Montgomery is one of 27 UC students who undertook an intensive summer training to guide thousands of UC’s new students through Bearcat Bound Orientation. As a Student Orientation Leader (SOL), she’ll be working from the early morning through the early evening with the new students and staying with the overnighters in Calhoun Hall. UC’s two-day Bearcat Bound Orientation gets underway June 28 and runs through Aug. 12.

The preparation for Bearcat Bound Orientation is an intensive process for the 27 SOLs and nine Student Orientation Coordinators (SOCs). They started attending workshops during UC’s spring quarter. In mid-June, they took part in a summer retreat in Pennsylvania that involved intensive, team-building physical activities such as hiking and rock-climbing.

“This is one of the most important aspects of SOL training,” says UC Orientation Program Coordinator Sha-Kim Ray. “It’s during this retreat that the SOLs really learn to believe in each other and perform as a team. They’re engaged in activities from 8 a.m. through 9 p.m., and even after a full day of that mental and physical activity, they spend the rest of the evening just having fun with each other. All of the activities promote team building and group cohesiveness,” says Ray.

In addition to the training that keeps summer orientation running smoothly, SOLs also work to share their own personal experience about being a UC student, and offering that viewpoint to new students as they adjust from being a high school student to a college student.

Dy’Mand Montgomery

“The most challenging concern for incoming students, in my opinion, is overcoming homesickness,” says Montgomery. “One can also struggle with who they are personally. They’ll meet so many new people with different styles and different personalities, and if they’re not comfortable and confident in themselves, they can lose themselves.”

Montgomery says she wants to emphasize that with everything UC has to offer, it’s the student’s responsibility to keep his or her focus on the primary goal, to achieve an education. “College is fun and you get to meet a lot of nice people. There are lots of activities and experiences. But remember, the ultimate goal is that we’re here for our education,” she says.

As part of UC’s commitment to building a just and caring community on campus, the new students are invited to take part in a drive to collect school supplies to benefit K-12 schoolchildren in Cincinnati. Donations will be collected at Orientation check-in, which takes place on the first day of Orientation starting at 7:30 a.m., just outside the Great Hall, located on the fourth floor of Tangeman University Center. Requested items for the school supply drive include crayons, pencils, pens, water-based markers, erasers, glue, notebooks and pencil cases.

UC’s fall classes will get underway on Sept. 22. UC’s formal Convocation freshman welcoming ceremony will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 19, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. The ceremony will also include the investiture of UC President Gregory H. Williams.