Fly in, fly out! What's this new orientation about? Get to know the college's Owl Team Leaders
New Student Orientation is back this summer with a new format. Due to COVID-19-related health precautions, incoming students will now log in on their computers to learn more about Temple University, register for classes, meet their peers and seek guidance from Owl Team Leaders (OTL).
"Our virtual New Student Orientation allows students the opportunity to get connected throughout the summer. Whether that's meeting your Owl Team Leader at an Ask an Owl session, participating in a virtual fitness class, or building community during an affinity space meeting, we've planned tons of innovative and inclusive programs to help support your transition to college," says Director of New Student and Family Programs Deanne DeCrescenzo.
OTLs play a huge role in making sure that new student orientation is a hit. Not only are they resources for first-year and transfer students, but they also serve as role models. While new student orientation lasts a short amount of time during the summer, OTLs work throughout the year to ensure that new students are acclimating well to their new lives as Temple Owls.
Every year, approximately 36 students are chosen to be OTLs. To be an OTL, students go through a vigorous application and vetting process. Once chosen, they are assigned to work with specific colleges. Representing the College of Education this year are Owl Team Student Coordinator Amanda Abrohms, CLA '22, and Owl Team Leader Rebecca Sodemann, EDU '22.
Wanting to be more involved at Temple, Abrohms joined the team as an OTL for Summer 2019 and since then, has become an Owl Team Student Coordinator.
"As a coordinator, we act as mentors for the incoming Owl Team and manage everything behind the scenes... I am currently still working as the Owl Team Student Coordinator for virtual orientation as well as working on the hospitality team."
Abrohms and Sodemann both have unique connections to the College of Education.
Abrohms started her time at Temple as an early childhood education major. While she eventually switched her major to psychology, she still desires to pursue a minor in education.
Sodemann also switched out of her original major. She is now a secondary education English major in the College of Education.
"After switching my major freshman year, my initial introduction to education, along with my amazing Teaching Assistant, really solidified my passion and future in education."
Both Abrohms and Sodemann are excited to apply what they learned as education majors to their positions on the new student orientation team.
"Through the College of Education, I have learned a lot about what motivates students to want to learn and this is a huge part of orientation...The knowledge I have gained through being an OTL, as well as my time as a student in the College of Education, has bounced off of each other to help me thrive in both aspects of my life."
Sodemann also believes that her education skills in the classroom are transferable to her experience as an OTL.
"A lot of the ways we learn to interact with students and work within our classrooms translates great into how we work with new students in orientation groups. I love teaching, and I especially love teaching new students about Temple."
What to Expect From Orientation
While orientation is not taking place on campus this year, students should still expect to gain a lot from their virtual orientation experience.
Abrohms commends the Office of New Student Family Programs for making the best out of the current situation and adapting to try and give a worthwhile experience for the new students and the 2020 Owl Team.
"[The new orientation format] brings a whole new adventure that I am excited to take on with my team. I am very excited to see them interact with new students even in a virtual setting. This is an amazing team and I can not wait to see them impact the lives of new students for the better."
Sodemann looks forward to meeting new students and giving them a memorable virtual orientation experience.
"It's incredible how adaptive our incoming Owls and their families are. I hope I can ease any worries or fears this incoming class has about their unique transition."
Advice for Incoming Owls
For new College of Education students, Abrohms and Sodemann encourage students to make the most out of their experience.
"Definitely take advantage of the opportunities around you at Temple to get an experience that will help you with your future in education. Another piece of advice for students in the College of Education is to get to know the people in your classes. You are lucky to be a part of such a small and close school, so you will be spending a lot of time with these people in the near future. Don't be afraid to make friends because you will be seeing a lot of the same faces for the next four years," says Abrohms.
Sodemann also encourages students to get to know their College of Education peers during orientation.
"The fellow College of Education students you meet during [orientation and in] classes will have so many amazing insights and experiences. As students, we've all had different experiences in our educational careers - and as future educators, those insights are priceless and necessary to keep growing and improving in our field!"
To learn more about the 2020 New Student Orientation, incoming students, parents and families are encouraged to visit the New Student Orientation website. If they have any specific questions or concerns, they can contact the orientation staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"All the details can [also] be found in the Orientation Tab in TUportal. We encourage our new family members to get connected through our virtual Parent & Family Orientation program. We are so excited to welcome you to the Temple family," says DeCrescenzo.