PROFILE: UC Student Guides Thousands of Freshmen Through Orientation
Ashley Strasser remembers the excitement and anxiety of her first time on campus. As a Student Orientation Leader, she'll lend her support, experience and enthusiasm to thousands of new students.
Date: 6/30/2003 8:00:00 AMAshley Marie Strasser remembers being one of the thousands of University of Cincinnati freshmen who attended summer orientation last year. Now, this UC commuter and Anderson High School graduate wants to share her own experience and advice with the new students who will be finding their way around campus June 30-July 31. Ashley is one of the 28 Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs) who will be guiding new students and parents through their two-day introduction to the university.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
Ashley says her finances played a major role in her decision to come to UC – plus she says her major in health sciences/pre-physical therapy is a good, solid academic program in the College of Allied Health Sciences.
“I’m a first-generation college student and I work 20 hours a week to pay for college. I think because I’ve had many unique experiences and circumstances, I can help a lot of new students with their questions. By working as a summer Student Orientation Leader, I hope I can help next year’s freshmen realize that they’ve made a fantastic decision when they chose to come to UC!”
She recalls that when she went through orientation, her top concern was how she was going to pay for school by herself. “Financial aid, scholarships, loans, paying for books and setting up my class schedule were all a big concern, because I was afraid I was going to do something wrong. My parents were concerned about that, too, and we met a couple of other students in the same situation. Orientation helped clear up our questions, and made it a lot more comfortable for me to come here.” She adds that many of the friends she made at orientation remained friends that she has kept in touch with over the year.
A Cincinnatus Century Scholarship is helping Ashley with her college expenses, along with a Physicians Charitable Scholarship and Masonic Lodge Scholarship. She works part-time jobs as well, including a job coaching a junior high school dance team. It’s her interest in dance that led to her interest in her major. A former long-time dance team member, Ashley says she plans to specialize in rehabilitation for dance-related injuries, possibly working in New York or Las Vegas. She says that as she earns a Leadership Certificate through the Honors Scholars Program, and later an MBA, she’ll build the skills that are necessary to establish her own practice. She was one of 16 Honors Scholars to travel to Belize over her spring break to study the reefs, ruins and rain forests.
Her recommendation to new students is to get involved in campus activities. “Go and attend events, so you can meet new people. That helped me, and I don’t even live on campus.
“Also, be assertive. If you have questions that need answers, find them, or you’ll be lost from the start. Don’t be afraid to get help!”