Meet Your 2014 Bennie OLs

 

Laura Backus

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

I absolutely LOVE our school and I want to share my enthusiasm with all of you to get you just as excited!

Involvement on campus:

CSB Dance Team, CSB Aerobics Instructor, Admissions Tour Guide, CERTS Coordinator

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Spongebob...and I still watch it now! You are never too old for Spongebob!

Memorable College Experience:

Crowding around our tiny living room sophomore year in Lottie on Monday nights to watch "The Bachelor". We sometimes fit up to 20 people in the room! Our Johnnie friends would even come over to watch it with us...but they would never admit it!


Brooke Bitzan

 

Junior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I love St. Bens and want to share the great aspects of the college with the incoming students. I want to make the transition for first-year Bennies and Johnnies stress free and as easy as possible. I want them to enjoy the college experience as much as I am.

Involvement on campus:

Orientation Leader 2013, 2014, IT Services Employee, Intramurals, Education Club, Young Athletes Program

What was your favorite childhood television show?

As a little kid, I loved to watch Arthur. Every morning during breakfast I would have to watch Arthur before I went to school.

Memorable College Experience:

One of my most memorable college experiences was the 2013 Johnnie/Tommie football game. The Johnnies won the football game and I stormed the St. Thomas football field with all of my friends.


Brandi Bollig

 

Junior

Major(s)

Biology

I became an OL because...

I had a very positive experience during my orientation. As an OL, I hope that I can guide first-years through the exciting and challenging times associated with the transition to college.

Involvement on campus:

Optimist Club, Global Health Affairs Club, Pre-Med Club, Nursing Assistant for retirement center at SJU, hurdle and jump for CSB track and field team, Hynes Scholar Member

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Kim Possible....what's the sitch?

Memorable College Experience:

One of my most memorable college experiences is when the track team went to San Antonio, Texas for a spring break training trip.


Maggie Brakke

 

Junior

Major(s)

Mathematics

I became an OL because...

I believe that we as students have the power to make college a wonderful experience for each other and the responsibility to make CSB/SJU the place we want it to be in the future. Being an Orientation Leader is one way of ensuring the continuation of the tradition of a close-knit community that we have all found here.

Involvement on campus:

CSB Zumba Instructor, Upward Bound Tutor, Alpha Kappa Sigma Member, Rock Wall Climber, Praise in the Pub Goer

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Memorable College Experience:

Planning and leading a cross-country service trip to Nashville this spring break with STLF was the most memorable experience I have had at college. I met wonderful people, did great service work, and learned a lot about myself. Highlights included: planting 437 trees in Nashville, learning how to line dance, and eating copious amounts of catfish.


Mary Cherne

 

Junior

Major(s)

 Nutrition - Dietetics

I became an OL because...

 I am an OL because as soon as I stepped on the CSB-SJU campus I felt the amazing sense of community that everyone talks about and I want to share that with new students. From day one, I felt like I had people I could turn to with questions or just a smiling face. I hope that by being an OL I can be that person for someone else!

Involvement on campus:

 Nutrition Department TA, Fitness Center Student Manager, Community Kitchen volunteer, St. Joe Farmers' Market Volunteer, Nutrition Club, Global Health Affairs Club, Hynes Scholars and Benedictine Friends

What was your favorite childhood television show?

 SpongeBob SquarePants

Memorable College Experience:

 My most memorable college experiences (so far!) have been finding ways to enjoy the CSB-SJU campuses even when it's cold and snowy. Cross country skiing in the Arb, walking across Lake Sag to the Chapel and snowshoeing to Lake Sarah...The chance to enjoy every inch of our campus is part of what makes CSB-SJU so special!


Claire Cunningham

 

Senior

Major(s)

Psychology

I became an OL because...

 I want to welcome the class of 2018 into the next wonderful four years of their lives. My biggest hope as an OL is to help the incoming freshman discover what a great home CSBSJU is, and how lucky they are to be in a place that will let them thrive in so many ways.

Involvement on campus:

Work at Experiential Learning and Community Engagement/Volunteer at Roosevelt Boys and Girls Club/Intramural Volleyball/JEC

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Full House

Memorable College Experience:

I was incredibly sick during my first-year orientation. I had a fever of like 102 degrees but I refused to not participate in the planned events. I went to the dance at SJU and was chatting with a few people I had met and (casually) mentioned my fever. Within two seconds there were boys running to their rooms to try and find me some ibuprofen. It was the first moment I knew I was in a special place.


Maggie Ellis

 

Junior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I love St. Ben's and St. John's more than almost anything in the world! I have wanted to attend this school ever since I can remember, and now that I've been here for almost two years, I can't get enough of it! I want next year's first year class to have as much enthusiasm as I do about these fantastic schools. I was the only student from my graduating class to enroll at CSB/SJU, so I was a little worried about making new friends. Participating in orientation events wiped away all of those nerves and introduced me to the women and men I now call my best friends. I can't wait to help first years meet new people and feel comfortable in their new home at CSB/SJU.

Involvement on campus:

Magis Ministries Leadership Team, Club Volleyball, Intramural Volleyball, Praise in the Pub, Admissions Ambassador Tour Guide, Orientation Leader 2014, South Africa Study Abroad - 2015

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Lizzie McGuire! Hilary Duff was/always will be my idol.

Memorable College Experience:

Storming the field when we beat St. Thomas last year at the Tommie-Johhnie football game!! Everyone was hugging and crying and screaming--it was a proud day to be part of the CSB/SJU community.


Elizabeth Erickson

 

Sophomore

Major(s)

Accounting: CPA Track

I became an OL because...

It's everything I love. As cliché as it may sound, as soon as I stepped foot on to St. Ben's campus, I felt welcomed. All through orientation, I felt more and more confident in where I was. My OLs had so much energy and excitement for what they were doing, and their love for CSB/SJU showed. It made me so excited to be a Bennie and it helped me gain confidence in knowing I made the right decision in choosing this college. I became an OL because I knew how much I would enjoy helping a first-year feel as welcomed as I did. I love this school, and I am so excited to share that.

Involvement on campus:

Joint Events Council, Softball Team Manager, St. John's Football Office Recruiter/Tour Guide, Accounting and Finance Club, Benedictine Friends

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite childhood television show was, and still is, Full House.

Memorable College Experience:

One of my most memorable college experiences would be the 2013 Johnnie/Tommie football game. One of the biggest things I wanted in a college was school pride, and that game helped me know that I had it. The stands were packed and everybody was cheering as loud as they could the entire game. The moment the Johnnies defeated the Tommies, and the entire student section stormed the field, was a moment I will never forget.


Mary Gilbertson

 

Senior

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership

I became an OL because...

I wanted a chance to give first-years the amazing welcome to CSB/SJU that I had. This place is my home, and I wanted to be a part of creating and maintaining the great community we have here.

Involvement on campus:

Girls Lacrosse Club, The Record, Strength and Conditioning Trainer, Human Trafficking Committee

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Recess!

Memorable College Experience:

Realizing after I got off the Link that I forgot my phone on my seat, and I proceeded to chase the Link down across the parking lot at SJU to get it back...


Tori Grootwassink

 

Senior

Major(s)

Integrative Health Science

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because I want to welcome the first-years to CSB/SJU and share with them everything I love about this school. I hope to make the new students' first experience on campus a great one!

Involvement on campus:

St. Ben's Dance Team, Undergraduate Research in Exercise Science and Sport Studies

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite childhood television show was Full House!

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience has been attending UDA Nationals with the CSB Dance Team and being named National Champions in the open pom category the past two years.


Andrea Guajardo

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nutrition-Dietetics

I became an OL because...

I would like to help first-years have an orientation that was as wonderful as my own. I also remember that my OL helped me navigate my first days as a college novice and I want to be a resource and mentor for them. In other words, I want to share my love for CSB/SJU with the incoming class of 2018.

Involvement on campus:

CSB Resident Assistant, Nutrition Advisor in Johnnie Fitness, International Affairs Club, Harvard National Model United Nations Attendee, BenCO Volunteer Swimming Instructor, St. Joseph Farmer's Market Volunteer

What was your favorite childhood television show?

I loved "Hey Arnold!"! I still do...it is such a fun and awesome show! I always watched it after school with my brother.

Memorable College Experience:

It's hard to choose just one because I am blessed to be at CSB/SJU and have fabulous friends, but if I had to choose one, it would be my trip to Boston to attend the HNMUN. This was such a unique experience, not only because I was exposed to what the United Nation is and does, but also because I got to tour beautiful Boston, meet people from literally every corner of the world, and other Bennies and Johnnies that I now consider best friends! It was an incredible experience!! I encourage everyone to apply!


Hannah Gurbada

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nursing

I became an OL because...

I want to show the new Bennies and Johnnies how great this campus is!

Involvement on campus:

Treasurer of Nursing Club, Community Kitchen Operations Leader, Intramural Volleyball, Telecommunications Representative at the CSB/SJU Admissions Office

What was your favorite childhoold television show?

Full House!

Memorable College Experience:

Studying abroad in Spain for the 5-week May term last summer. While there, a group of three of us traveled to Paris and spent our long weekend walking the famous streets and admiring the Eiffel Tower!


Taylor Haag

 

Junior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I am 100% obsessed with CSB/SJU and everyone/everything on these two campuses. I want to share the joy and love that I felt during my orientation experience with all the incoming first-years! I can't wait to share laughs and good times with everyone involved in Orientation. It's gonna be a rockin' time; I'm so pumped to help lead this experience!

Involvement on campus:

CSB Volleyball Team, Joint Events Council, Benedictine Friends, Education Club, Magis Ministries Volunteer, CSB Campus Recreation Employee

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Absolutely Lizzie McGuire. I couldn't get enough of that Ethan-Lizzie-Gordo love triangle. Then the movie came out and it became an instant classic for me; I now cannot wait to hit up Rome one of these days and become a famous pop star. It'll happen.

Memorable College Experience:

During my first year, my friends and I decided to venture onto Lake Sag in January. It had just hit midnight (cliché, am I right?) and we thought it would be a great idea to walk across the entire lake to get to the chapel. Although fearing for my life was a prominent thought throughout the entire night, we all had the best time laughing and walking across the frozen lake together. It was a simple, yet really memorable experience for me.


Laura Hamilton

 

Junior

Major(s)

Nutrition-Dietetics

I became an OL because...

Orientation is a blast! I remember my days in Orientation so vividly, everything from playing a pick-up game of soccer to the shockingly interesting lectures! Orientation is key in the transition process from high school to college. I am the oldest in my family so the whole concept of college was a bit foreign to me though I had heard much about it. Orientation helped me meet some of the people that I am great friends with today and to just explore and become comfortable with the campus. It truly helped me feel like a part of the community of CSB/SJU. I want to make sure that the incoming first-years have the same positive experience that I had transitioning from high school to college.

Involvement on campus:

Health Advocate, Zumba Instructor, Club Volleyball Player, Greenhouse Volunteer, AKS Sorority Member, Eucharistic Minister, Rock Climber, Orientation Leader

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Arthur!

Memorable College Experience:

On study day last year, instead of studying, my friend and I rollerbladed to SJU because it was the first warm and nice day of the year. When we got there we were exhausted and super hot so we decided to jump into the freezing lake that had just thawed. It was a very freeing moment and had me excited for the warm weather ahead!


Maren Iverson

 

Senior

Major(s)

Integrative Health Science - Pre-Dental

I became an OL because...

I want to share my passion and love of CSB/SJU with the incoming first-years and help make their first days at CSB/SJU as welcoming and positive as I can! This place has become my home and I want to play a role in helping the first-years find their passions and place at CSB/SJU.

Involvement on campus:

College of St. Benedict Dance Team Treasurer, Exercise Science and Sports Studies Laboratory Assistant, CSB/SJU Pre-Dental Club Member, Undergraduate Researcher in the Exercise Science and Sports Studies Department

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite television show was ALL of the shows on the Disney Channel. I still know the Hannah Montana Bone Dance song!

Memorable College Experience:

One of the most memorable college experiences was the paint dance during the spring of my sophomore year for 13' Pines. My girl friends and I had the best time throwing paint at each other and embracing how colorful we were from the paint!


Clare Johnston

 

Senior

Major(s)

ACS Chemistry - Pre-Engineering

I became an OL because...

I want to make Orientation a fun and positive experience for the first-years. The first week at college is a huge transition period, and I want to help make it as smooth as possible. I love CSB/SJU and want to share that love and excitement with the incoming students.

Involvement on campus:

Chemistry Club Social Media Director and Activities Board member, MapCores, Undergraduate Chemistry Researcher, Blazer Athletic Office Assistant

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Rugrats

Memorable College Experience:

Studying abroad in Ireland is hands down my most memorable and life changing experience in college. Living in a foreign country and adapting to a new culture has been enlightening, frustrating, and awe-inspiring all at once. You are forced to push past the boundaries of your comfort zone and take chances. From climbing cliffs on the Atlantic Ocean in Ballycotton to chasing sheep through the countryside in Dingle to baring high winds, excessive rain, and flooding in Cork, I never thought that I would be able to fall in love with another country so deeply. And, I mean, getting to backpack through Europe for a month was a pretty cool perk, too.


Cassie Jones

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication and Hispanic Studies

I became an OL because...

I absolutely love CSB/SJU and I want the incoming first-years to learn to love this place as much as I do. I am extremely passionate about helping people and I really want to be a resource as a senior here on campus. Transitioning to college is difficult and takes time to get used to and I want to be there every step of the way. Orientation is just one way that I can give back and use my experience, and I am so excited to have this opportunity. I can't wait to welcome the new students with open arms and make this as fun and positive as possible!

Involvement on campus:

Orientation Leader 2014, CSB Dance Team, CSBDT Social Media Lead, Writer for The Record

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Either Rugrats or The Powerpuff Girls... I can't decide!

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience (so far) probably was last spring. I just returned from studying abroad in London, England for the semester and it has changed me in so many ways. I've never been so challenged by an experience before, and as difficult as it was, I would say that so many beautiful things came from it. One specific memory I will never forget was going to the top of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe. I was on spring break with two friends and we took a train to Chamonix, France from Geneva, Switzerland to hike the French Alps and we ended up taking this tiny little box of death (a cablecar) all the way to the top of this mountain! I'm afraid of heights and I'm a tiny bit claustrophobic but I'll never ever regret that!


Karly Knutson

 

Senior

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because of the incredible impact my orientation leaders had on me as a first year student transitioning into this new stage of life.

Involvement on campus:

Chief Executive Officer of the T-Spot, Students for the Advancement of Management (SAM) Advisory Board, Enactus Member

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Too many!! One of my favorites was the The Amanda Show.

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience thus far has been studying abroad at Coventry University in Coventry, England. Traveling around Europe, studying at a different university, interning in a new business culture and living with diversity from around the world has left me with lasting memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life!


Georgia LaLuzerne

 

Junior

Major(s)

English

I became an OL because...

Although the transition to college is fun and exciting, it can be overwhelming and stressful too. When I came to CSB/SJU, I was so scared to start this new chapter in my life, especially since I didn't know anyone coming into school. My orientation experience not only made me more comfortable in my new surroundings, but I also met some of my best friends during this time.  I hope that as an Orientation Leader I can help incoming first years have the same positive experience I did during my transition to college.  

Involvement on campus:

Honors Program, Joint Events Council Executive Member 2014, CSB Ultimate Frisbee, JBCN, IT Services Lab Assistant

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Pokémon

Memorable College Experience:

Seeing Eric Hutchinson and Cloud Cult live in concert!


Tessa Lasswell

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nutrition-Dietetics

I became an OL because...

Orientation is a fun way for first years to become integrated into college life at CSB/SJU. I'm excited to build relationships with first-years and to be a friendly face on campus for the entire year if questions arise or advice is needed. Plus, I had a great orientation experience my first year and want to help current first year students feel that same sense of welcoming and belonging into the awesome CSB/SJU community!

Involvement on campus:

Nutrition Club Co-President, Financial Aid/Student Employment Office Assistant, Introductory Nutrition Teaching Assistant, All-College Choir, Joint Events Council

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Lizzie McGuire! I still make references to this show embarrassingly too often.

Memorable College Experience:

My entire semester abroad in South Africa was amazing. I got to spend time each week doing service in a second grade classroom with the most adorable kiddos. They gave me so much love and filled me with energy each day. They were also so motivated to learn. The scenery in South Africa is beautiful. I climbed many mountains, hiked trails, and swam in the Indian Ocean. I got to experience South Africa with 29 other CSB/SJU students. Our study abroad group became very close and I would now consider these lovely humans apart of my family!


Christie Lipari

 

Senior

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership and Hispanic Studies

I became an OL because...

I want to share my love for CSB/SJU!

Involvement on campus:

Enactus, CSB Aerobics Instructor, Intramural Volleyball

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Boy Meets World or Full House, it's a tie.

Memorable College Experience:

Studying abroad in Spain!


Hannah Lynch

 

Sophomore

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership

I became an OL because...

From the time that I began to consider CSB/SJU, leading up to the present, I have been extremely impressed by students' enthusiasm and willingness to help both prospective and current students. I wanted to become an integral part of extending these Benedictine values to incoming students. Transitioning into college can be an overwhelming process, and I am honored to have the opportunity to help Bennies and Johnnies feel at home here, just as my Orientation Leaders did for me. CSB/SJU is full of smart, kind, and passionate Bennies and Johnnies, and welcoming new students into this one-of-a-kind community is an essential stage that I am so excited to be a part of. 

Involvement on campus:

CSB Phonathon

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Arthur was a childhood must-watch. One year I even dressed up as DW for Halloween!

Memorable College Experience:

Attending the Thanksgiving Dinner in the Great Hall was so amazing! My friends and I had waited in line to get tickets, and it was completely worth it! Getting to dress up and enjoy a wonderful meal with great friends was such a treat. After dinner we went to a screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in the Pellegrene Auditorium, which was incredible! These memorable experiences made me realize how fortunate I am to attend a school with such fun and unique opportunities.


Kathryn Martin

 

Senior

Major(s)

Social Sciences

I became an OL because...

I have such a strong passion for the Saint Ben's and Saint John's community. It is such an exciting time as a first-year to become part of this community. I became an OL to inspire others to feel that same sense of community.

Involvement on campus

President of the Education Club, President of the DIFFERbilities Club, Philosophy Department Office Assistant

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Arthur! Embarrassing enough, I watched it until 8th grade.

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience thus far has been studying abroad in Australia with 13 other Bennies and Johnnies that have now become some of my closet friends!


Bridget Mathiowetz

 

Senior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because I want to show the incoming class of first-year students how being a part of the community of CSB/SJU has influenced me and has helped me grow as a person. I want to help first-years become a little more comfortable when arriving on campus and starting a new chapter of their life. I want to show the first-year students some of the numerous opportunities available to them as they start their journey here at CSB/SJU.

Involvement on campus:

Joint Events Council, Education Club, Benedictine Friends, Campus Ministry Volunteer, Manager of CSB Pool 

What was your favorite childhood television show?

I would definitely be found watching Arthur before and after school!

Memorable College Experience:

There have been so many amazing memories and experiences throughout my first three years at CSB/SJU. I would have to say that being given the opportunity to block off a semester of classes to just take Education courses for my major has been my favorite semester. I solidified my choice in major, met wonderful professors, and made numerous memories with other education majors during the spring semester of my sophomore year.


Morgan McGrath

 

Senior

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because I loved orientation when I was a first-year and I want to give the incoming first years a similar experience!

Involvement on campus:

E-Scholars (Entrepreneurship Program), Enactus, Intramural Soccer, Square One, Phonathon

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Lizzie McGuire!

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience was being an Orientation Leader for the first time my sophomore year. Being an Orientation Leader was the turning point in my college career because I finally loved being at school and my CSB/SJU experience.  I met amazing people and loved helping the first years become excited about the amazing four years ahead!


Eva McGuire

 

Junior

Major(s)

Biology - Pre-Physician Assistant

I became an OL because...

Orientation was such a positive experience for me and I hope it can be this way for all incoming first-years. Starting college can be a very overwhelming time, and I want to make it as smooth and exciting for new students as possible. I want to have a positive impact on everyone I meet, and to welcome all students into the CSB/SJU community just as I was my freshman year!

Involvement on campus:

Magis Ministry Volunteer Committee, Intramural Volleyball, Nursing Assistant at the Saint John's Monastic Retirement Center

What was your favorite childhood television show?

I loved watching Arthur every day after school as a kid!

Memorable College Experience:

This past spring break I went on an Alternative Break Experience to Kansas City, MO with a group of Bennies and Johnnies. We spent a week doing service in the inner-city and had time to explore the different areas of the city at night. The people on my trip all grew to be really close. The friendships and connections made during college have been very important to my time at CSB/SJU. There are so many friendly and wonderful people I have met at this school and that have all made my experience great!


Katee Meckeler

 

Junior

Major(s)

Biology - Pre-Veterinary Medicine

I became an OL because...

I love to be creative and make people feel comfortable and have a good time. I want to share the CSB/ SJU community with the incoming first-years because it is important to me and has had a big impact in my life, starting when I was a first-year.  

Involvement on campus:

Biology TA, Alpha Kappa Sigma Member, Anna Marie's Alliance Volunteer, Intentional Living Community Member, 2014 Orientation Leader

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Veggie Tales

Memorable College Experience:

Orientation my first year and being able to re-live it again my sophomore year. Also, volunteering for AKS has allowed me to help with service events such as Feed My Starving Children and Anna Marie's Alliance. These events have opened my eyes to worldwide issues and how I can participate in truly making a difference.


Ali Mick

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

I want to be able to enthusiastically welcome the class of 2018, get them excited about being apart of our CSB/SJU community, and provide them with the kind of support I had from my orientation leaders when I was a first-year.

Involvement on campus:

Scheduling Supervisor at the Phonathon, Philanthropy Club, Student Ambassador, Studied abroad in Spain for 5 weeks, Studied abroad in Ireland for a semester

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite childhood television show was Arthur. 

Memorable College Experience:

Studying abroad in Galway, Ireland for a semester and visiting the Aran Islands with some of my favorite Bennies and Johnnies.


Maddie Norgaard

 

Senior

Major(s)

Environmental Studies

I became an OL because...

My love for Saint Ben's is overflowing and I am eager to share that love with first years. There are so many opportunities at CSB/SJU to explore, learn, and grow and I hope to inspire first-years to begin their great adventure starting with orientation week.

Involvement on campus:

Magis Ministries, Peer Resource Program, SJU Arboretum, South Africa study abroad, Alternative Spring Break trip- Ghost Ranch, NM

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Rocket Power

Memorable College Experience:

Dog sledding with the Institute for Women's Leadership up in the BWCA last winter, and strategizing football plays with my friends for the Bennie Bowl last spring. Our determination paid off when we took first place!


Addie Novak

 

Senior

Major(s)

Psychology and German

I became an OL because...

I remember orientation being such a fun part of my first few weeks of college and I really wanted to provide that same excitement and entertainment for new first years! I also wanted to help make people feel welcomed into our wonderful community at CSB/SJU.

Involvement on campus:

2014 Orientation Leader, German Club, Psychology Department TA, Study Abroad Ambassador

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Pokémon... #noshame

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience has to be when I studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria the Fall of 2013. I made some incredible new friends and spent three and a half months in the most beautiful city in the world (not my opinion, a fact!) During that semester I learned so much about not only myself, but also the world in general. It is a semester that I would not trade for anything.


Briana Traut

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nutrition - Dietetics

I became an OL because...

My orientation as a first-year was an absolute blast! My orientation leaders were awesome and really helped with the crazy transition into college. CSB/SJU is such an amazing place and I cannot wait to share my love for CSB/SJU with the incoming first-years!

Involvement on campus:

Community Kitchen Operations Leader, Up 'Til Dawn, Nutrition Club, Summer Student Ambassador, Academic Advising Assistant, Track and Field/Cross Country Office Assistant, Intramural Volleyball

What was your favorite childhood television show?

There are so many to pick from! I would have to say either Recess or Lizzie McGuire!

Memorable College Experience:

My study abroad experience in Spain for 5 weeks last summer was by far my favorite college experience. I wasn't the most talented Spanish speaker and often couldn't understand a thing, but getting to experience the different culture and lifestyle was so amazing! I made some great friends while abroad and also had the chance to travel to Paris for a few days. I have never been happier than when I got to see the Eiffel Tower and spend my days exploring Paris!


Sarah Ober

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

My OL during my first-year orientation truly made my experience and transition so much easier. I will forever be grateful for her leadership and friendship. I wanted to be that for someone else. I think it's an honor to be one of the people to really introduce the first-years to the school that I hope will have as much of an impact on them as it has on me. And besides all that, it's just a whole lot of fun!

Involvement on campus:

CSB Dance Team Captain, Writer for the Record, CSB Aerobics Instructor, St. John's Prep School Dance Team Coach

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Solid tie between Boy Meets World and Full House. How can you pick just one? I will forever seek the Cory to my Topanga (although I'm about ten years behind schedule at this point) and to host my own talk show, have a golden retriever named Comet, and live in a quaint house with all of my loved ones. I have a lot of work to do.

Memorable College Experience:

Every moment of studying abroad will forever hold a special place in my heart as part of my college experience. Specifically my very first weekend in Athens we drove down the coast of the mainland and spent the day at the beach and watching the sunset over the Mediterranean in Sounion, Greece. On campus, my favorite memories usually include Johnnie football Saturdays and performing at halftime with the dance team. So much fun to be a part of the great tradition that is Johnnie football and soak in the atmosphere!


Christine Palmer

 

Sophomore

Major(s)

Nursing

I became an OL because...

I absolutely love this school. My orientation was so exciting and I want to share that excitement, as well as my love for CSB/SJU, to new Bennies and Johnnies!

Involvement on campus:

Bonner Leader Program, Benedictine Friends, Global Health Affairs

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Rugrats and That's So Raven

Memorable College Experience:

I think the most memorable college experience I have had so far was the Johnnie-Tommie football game. I never really liked football, but the intensity of that game made me realize how awesome of a sport it is. Also, storming the football field when we won was pretty exciting!


Ellora Parrington

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

I want to give first-years the amazing transition into this awesome community that is CSB/SJU!

Involvement on campus:

Peer Resource Programmer, Musical Performances

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Kim Possible

Memorable College Experience:

Trying to take a picture in the honeycombs of the Abbey and sitting on a bee...too ironic...and painful.


Annamarie Raeker

 

Senior

Major(s)

Psychology

I became an OL because...

Becoming an OL would be the perfect way to begin my senior year. These last three years have flown by faster than I had ever imagined...it feels like it was just yesterday that I was the little anxious first year sitting in a circle, playing those awful yet oh, so necessary ice breaker games during orientation! Mostly, I became an OL because I want to be the big old senior that my first years can turn to and look up to as not just their orientation leader, but as their friend, as they begin their incredible new journeys here at CSB/SJU!

Involvement on campus:

Psychology Teaching Intern, Executive board member on the Psychology Club as Media Representative, CSB Campus Rec Aerobics/Yoga Instructor,  Intramurals Participant

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Definite tie between Rocket Power and Goosebumps

Memorable College Experience:

One memory out of the many, many memorable college experiences I have had here has got to be my first time experiencing the notorious Johnnie/Tommie football game; riding down to the cities with my new college friends, being a part of the "red sea" fan section, and cheering on our Johnnies. Though it was a brutal loss, it's definitely one of those experiences I will never ever forget!


Renee Ries

 

Senior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I really enjoyed my orientation experience and I want the incoming first-years to have a positive experience like I had! I also think it would be a great start to my final year here at CSB/SJU!

Involvement on campus:

Education Club, Study Abroad Ambassador, Benedictine Friends, Intramural Soccer

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Two of a Kind - With Mary Kate and Ashley

Memorable College Experience:

First year our intramural soccer team won the championship game our fall semester. The Grass Kickers rarely ever won a game during the regular season and half the group had never played soccer before. However, when playoffs came around luck was on our side and the underdogs took home the gold (a free T-shirt) after a shootout for the win!


Olivia Rodriguez

 

Senior

Major(s)

Social Science

I became an OL because...

I wanted to show off the school I love so much and be one of the first friendly faces that my group of Bennies will see!

Involvement on campus:

St. Ben's Senate, College Democrats, Benedictine Friends

What was your favorite childhood television show?

ARTHUR. I could tell you the synopses of approximately 50 different episodes.

Memorable College Experience:

This sounds so cliché, but my recent semester abroad on the Greco-Roman trip was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Hands down a huge highlight of my college experience.


Elizabeth Schneider

 

Sophomore

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

I had a great experience during my orientation week and had the best OLs, too. I want to be like my OLs and create a great orientation experience for other incoming first-years.

Involvement on campus:

CSB Ultimate Frisbee Team, Phonathon, CSB/SJU Jazz Ensemble

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Little Bear and Gullah Gullah Island. Nick Jr. was the best!

Memorable College Experience:

A bunch of my friends and I got sleds from the OLC and went sledding one evening at St. John's. It was a ton of fun and one of the best nights!  


Natalie Schwartz

 

Junior

Major(s)

Psychology

I became an OL because...

I became on OL because of the incredible experience I had coming in as a first-year. My leaders were so approachable and ready to take on any questions I had. I want to be a source students feel they can go to for help their first year and beyond, while learning better leadership skills at the same time. 

Involvement on campus:

Special Olympics Coach, Intramural Volleyball, Psychology Club, Campus Ministry, Study Abroad Australia - 2015

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite childhood show was Blue's Clues!

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience so far has to be the Johnnie-Tommie game this past fall. Beating our huge rivals and storming the field is something I will never forget! Besides Johnnie football games, some other special memories of mine have been hanging out with my suitemates this year and late night Gary's orders.


Hannah Seeb

 

Senior

Major(s)

Communication

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because I want to share my positive experience that I had during orientation as a first-year with the incoming students. I want to give back in any way that I can with peers that have also had an incredible experience during their orientation as first-years.

Involvement on campus:

Writer for the Record, French Club

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Arthur and Full House

Memorable College Experience:

12 Pines in 2012. Mat Kearney and Cris Cab were the performers, and the whole week leading up to the concert was a great community building experience.


Ashley Shipp

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nursing

I became an OL because...

I enjoy being around the first-year students and the exciting new energy they bring to our campus.

Involvement on campus:

CSB Dance Team

What was your favorite childhood television show?

I loved watching Arthur everyday before daycare.

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience was performing at halftime when SJU hosted Johnnie/Tommie for 14,000 fans!


Libby Silverman

 

Senior

Major(s)

Global Business Leadership

I became an OL because...

As a transfer student I have experienced the transition to a new school a couple times and I understand that it can be a difficult transition to make. As an OL I want to guarantee a positive and fun transition to campus and have their first couple of weeks go as smoothly as possible.  Being an Orientation Leader last year was a ton of fun and it gave me the opportunity to meet so many new Bennies and Johnnies.  I want to provide the same great experience I had when I was welcomed to campus and ensure that the new students I meet fall in love with our campus just as much as I have.

Involvement on campus:

Transfer Orientation Leader 2013, Campus Tour Guide, Marketing Club, All Women's Choir, Figure Skating Club

What was your favorite childhood television show?

The Big Comfy Couch

Memorable College Experience:

One of my most memorable experiences by far has been studying abroad in London. Before arriving in London I knew no one that I was traveling abroad with.  Since traveling abroad, I have created many new friends, tried many new foods, traveled all over Europe, and I have become a true Londoner. Studying abroad has been the best experience I've had in college and it has opened so many doors for me.  


Katie Tillman

 

Senior

Major(s)

Political Science and German

I became an OL because...

The decision to attend CSB/SJU was one of the best I ever made. I had an amazing orientation experience; it was a great time and I met so many wonderful new people. My orientation leaders were passionate, energetic, and upbeat. They made sure all of us felt comfortable on campus. I became an OL to welcome first-year Bennies and Johnnies to our campus community and to help them all have an equally wonderful orientation experience.

Involvement on campus:

Orientation Leader 2012&13, McCarthy Center Student Worker, Salzburg Austria Study Abroad, 2013 Washington, D.C. Summer Study Program, Hynes Scholar, German Club, McCarthy Center Mentor Program, Institute for Women's Leadership Volunteer, OLTA program, 2014 Summer Global Internship program-Bosnia

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Anything that was on the Disney channel, especially That's So Raven and Lizzie McGuire. When I was in Italy I really wanted to sing in the Colosseum like Lizzie did, but I got stage fright.

Memorable College Experience:

My summer in DC was one of my most memorable college experiences. I lived with 10 other Bennies and Johnnies in a house with a view of the United States capitol, which is the coolest thing ever for a political science major, like myself. I was able to gain valuable work experience in a field I hope to enter one day, and make new friends from across the country. Living in house with 10 other people provides a summer full of memorable experiences but, nothing will ever compare to spending the Fourth of July in the nation's capitol. We saw the parade, the capitol concert, and watched the fireworks while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. All of my college experiences have been memorable but DC is definitely close to the top!


Keeley Timm

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nutrition - Dietetics

I became an OL because...

I wanted to help the incoming students feel as if someone cares about them before they get to school. I remember the nerves I experienced when coming to school, I want to help them through those first few days and more if they need someone to talk to when they are struggling or even having a great day.

Involvement on campus:

CSB Ultimate Frisbee Team, Nutrition Club, Intramural Frisbee, Intramural Volleyball

What was your favorite childhood television show?

My favorite childhood television show was Scooby Doo.

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience was playing in regionals for Ultimate Frisbee and making it to Nationals my sophomore year. It was a great bonding experience with the girls on the team because it was snowing and we had to stay together to stay warm. It was a memorable experience because even though our team faced bad weather and tough teams, we pulled together like a family and lifted each other up in the hardest of times. It was wonderful to see that connection on and off the field. I will never forget the feeling of being apart of a team that was bigger than just one person. It truly was a family moment.


Maria Trenda

 

Senior

Major(s)

Psychology

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because I wanted to have the opportunity to welcome the incoming first-years to the wonderful community that they get to be a part of for the next four years.

Involvement on campus:

214-2015 Alpha Kappa Sigma President, Companions on a Journey, Study Abroad Ambassador

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Full House

Memorable College Experience:

A memorable college experience I had was attending one of my first football games as a first-year. Not only did we win, but I went with a couple girls who have turned out to be my best friends at this school.


Lizzie Trudell

 

Junior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

The first few days of college were some of the most fun days. I was totally nervous but Orientation made it way easier to know where my classes were and find out all the cool things happening on campus. A few of my friends were OL's last year and told me how great of an experience it was, so of course I had to check it out! I'm so excited to meet all the new Bennies and Johnnies and have a great week of Orientation!

Involvement on campus:

Young Student Tutor

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Full House! You can't go wrong with Mary-Kate and Ashley!

Memorable College Experience:

This past fall, Jon Pardi came during homecoming week! It was so fun to get all dressed up in country gear and dance around on the CSB mall with all my friends! Definitely one of the best nights of college so far!


Sadie Vahle

 

Junior

Major(s)

Economics

I became an OL because...

I've loved my experience at CSB/SJU thus far and I can't wait to share that with incoming students as they start their amazing journey here!

Involvement on campus:

CSB Health Advocates, Student Researcher, Mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Optimist Club, Economics Club, Alternative Break Experience Participant, Global Summer Intern with CSB in Bosnia

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Rugrats

Memorable College Experience:

Football games in the fall, and tailgating beforehand - especially beating St. Thomas at Tommie/Johnnie.


Jenna Weber

 

Senior

Major(s)

Elementary Education

I became an OL because...

I absolutely love being a student here at CSB/SJU. My experience on this campus has been phenomenal, and I want to help first-year students get excited about their new journey. I also want to spread my passion for this school to others, and I can't think of a better way to do that than by being an OL. Plus, I had a blast at orientation as a first-year, and getting to experience it a second time as an OL is an opportunity I couldn't pass up!

Involvement on campus:

CSB/SJU Up 'Til Dawn Executive Board, Study Abroad Ambassador, Nursing Department Office Assistant, CSB Senate

What was your favorite childhood television show?

ARTHUR. Who doesn't love that show?!

Memorable College Experience:

My most memorable college experience definitely occurred last Fall, when I studied abroad in Greece and Italy. I had the opportunity of a lifetime, and I seized the moment, met amazing people, and grew so much as a person over my four months in Europe. My passion for adventure and spontaneity developed even more, and that experience has really helped shape the person I am today. 


 Mackenzie Wenner

 

Senior

Major(s)

Nursing

I became an OL because...

I became an OL because the transition from high school to college is extremely stressful, and I had a difficult time with it. I am grateful for the orientation experience I had my first year at CSB/SJU. I felt like I was instantly surrounded by new friends and an OL who was a positive role model for me. My goal for orientation week is to make the Class of 2018 feel welcomed into the CSB/SJU community. I cannot explain how amazing my time here has been, and I want every first year Bennie and Johnnie to be able to embrace how awesome our schools truly are.

Involvement on Campus:

CSB Softball, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Nursing Club Treasurer, JEC Member, Benedictine Friend, Campus Rec Desk Attendant

What was your favorite childhood television show?

Rocket Power!

Memorable College Experience:

My softball team takes a trip down to Florida every year over spring break. Although being able to play outside on real dirt and 80 degree weather in March is nice, it is the memories made with my teammates that I will cherish forever.


 Bailey Zallek

 

Senior

Major(s)

English

I became an OL beacuse...

I want to welcome incoming students to the best four years of their lives! Transitioning into college can be exciting, stressful, and everything in between, but I hope to ease that process and introduce new Bennies and Johnnies to this amazing place that they will quickly learn to call home.

Involvement on campus:

Underwriting Intern at Minnesota Public Radio - Collegeville, "The Record" Student Newspaper, London Study Abroad Program (Spring 2014), Admissions Ambassador, Benedictine Friends Program

What was your favorite childhood television show?

SpongeBob SquarePants! (Because the best time to wear a striped sweater... is all the time.)

Memorable College Experience

I was fortunate enough to spend a semester studying abroad in London, England. During my time abroad I was able to immerse myself in a new culture, complete an international internship, and travel to eight different countries. It was incredible!