Jimmy Byrd, Orientation Leader

Guess What? You did it! I’m not the first one to say this but welcome to the University Of Michigan-Flint. My name is Jimmy Byrd and I’m a proud wolverine alumni. I majored in Communication with a minor in Anthropology. My major should be a hint, I’m a talker! You’re high school days are over. Yay! The transition from high school to college can be challenging but the university provides several resources that are here to make sure you get everything you need. When you become a student here, you are a part of family. While at the university, I’m encouraging you to get involved and stay involved. Joining clubs and organizations that will build your resume as well as gain new friends with similar interest. Your time in college is a moment to get to know yourself more, do things that make you happy, live in the now and be okay with making mistakes. So, take a deep breath and get ready to grow! 

McKinley Cain, Orientation Leader

Hello, my name is McKinley Cain. I am a sophomore this semester majoring in Health Care Administration. I am from a small town called Mayville; about an hour northeast from here. I graduated with a class of just under 60 students and in high school, I kept to myself. I was ready to move on to bigger and better things. Going to college was a complete eye opener for me. I felt a warm welcome by the staff and the students. I live on campus in the First Street Residence hall. I am involved in intermural volleyball at the rec center on campus.  It is my honor to be one of the first to welcome you to the University of Michigan-Flint. I am anxious to meet you and show you the ropes around campus. Just remember everyone has been in your shoes before, don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Meghan Christian, Orientation Leader

Hello! My name is Meghan and I am a senior studying English. Moving on to college from high school is a huge and scary step that for some is hard to take. When it was time for me to come to college, I was terrified. Throughout my life, I have always been a shy person and the idea of all those people on this campus was very intimidating, but to make my experience rewarding, I had to just let all of that go. I joined a sorority on campus and I became an orientation leader to help me break out of my shell! No matter how scary it seems, get involved on campus! Check out a few or all of the amazing student organizations on campus! Best of luck to you on your journey here at UM-Flint! 

Shayla Craighead, Orientation Leader

Hi, my name is Shayla Craighead, I’m a sophomore from Detroit majoring in Biology to become a dermatologist. I love writing poems and traveling in my spare time. College is great, but it's really important to stay focused and take your freshman year seriously. Getting familiar with the campus can help a lot, that way you can be prepared and know exactly where your classes are, this also ties into time management. Being on time for all of your classes and being well organized is really important throughout your whole college experience. Last but not least, have fun and get involved! There are tons of organizations that the University of Michigan-Flint has to offer so it is very important that you take full advantage of them. I'm looking forward to meeting each and every one of you!

Go Blue!

Aaron Duncan, Assistant Coordinator

Welcome to UM-Flint! My name is Aaron; I am Business student double majoring in Finance and Management. Along with being a full-time student, I also work as an Office Assistant in the Student Success Center. I spend the majority of my day on campus either in class or socializing with friends. My favorite spot to hang out is on the second floor of the Riverfront building because of the giant windows that overlook downtown. When I am not on campus, I am either on the golf course or skiing because they are two things I’m very passionate about. An important thing to remember while in college is to not forget about your passion and what drives you to be successful! Always stay motivated and surround yourself with positive, like-minded people who will push you to be the best you can! 

Maryjo Gallagher, Orientation Leader

I am not only a senior studying Secondary Education, but also a non-traditional student. I am very proud of the path that brought me to the University of Michigan-Flint. I made some decisions during and after high school that weren’t in my best interest and didn’t begin attending UM-Flint until I was 25, long after many of my high school peers had already graduated. Being a non-traditional student may be a challenge, but I have found that there are many resources and friendly faces on campus to help the struggles become a triumph. I had poor grades in high school because I was unmotivated and didn’t feel like there were any resources or people to aid in my success, but now at UM-Flint I have earned decent grades and even made the Dean’s List! Find strength in your struggle and try to smile as much as possible!

Veronica Garza, Orientation Lead for Parent and Family Programs

Welcome to a new journey. I’m sure you are excited for new opportunities to get to know new people and try new things. Starting college gives you a fresh start to reestablish yourself to the world. My name is Veronica and those are all the things I thought of when I was a freshman. Now being a senior in the nursing program, I have gained experiences that have challenged the way I think about life and different subjects. Sure there have been hard times along the way, but I have been able to see the bigger picture of my education. My advice to you is to try as many things on campus as you can and to not stress out about the little things in life. And remember to have fun!

Livingstone Gowon, Orientation Leader

My name is Livingstone Gowon. I am a junior with a communication major and also, an international student from Nigeria. My hobbies are cooking and gaming. I do love to try out new recipes, but I'm not really adventurous with food. I’m not really into movies, but I do keep up on the ones I can watch. Attending at the University of Michigan-Flint is one of the best choices I’ve made. On getting here, I was nervous, shy, and didn’t know what to expect, but that didn’t stop me from keeping an open mind. The people here are nice and friendly; for this, it made me feel comfortable and in a way I feel like they are my family. I am the treasurer for the African Student Association (ASA), an organization on campus that has made my stay here worthwhile. My advice to any incoming student is to focus on your studies, because that’s what you’re here for. At the same time, have as much fun as you can, because that’s what makes your college experience a thing to remember.

Lejia Harris, Orientation Leader

Hi everyone, I am so glad that you have made it to the University of Michigan- Flint. Now let the memory making begin. My name is Lejia Harris and I would love to be a part of your first few memories on this campus and make it a great experience. I am a junior in the Criminal Justice program and I can’t wait to meet all of you guys in my major to help you and give you tips. However, even if you don’t have my major I can still help you through this transition into the university. I hope to connect with you all in many different ways. Such as, through my love of swimming, arts and crafts, and just hanging out. So, I’m sure not for the last time, welcome to the University of Michigan- Flint. I will see you guys soon!

Janay Johnson, Orientation Leader

College is a whole new window of opportunity, and so is your time at University of Michigan-Flint! My name is Janay. I’m a sophomore, and I recently transferred into the honors program so that I could challenge myself more. I was hesitant to come to the school because of what I heard about the area, but once I came here I got involved and couldn’t stay away. My advice would be to get involved with campus activities. I wish I would have taken risks and joined more clubs as a freshman. I loved participating, but I should have tried to get involved with some of the other great campus organizations instead of being in just one. Get out of your comfort zone and look at clubs you wouldn’t normally consider. I know your college experience will be a great one, and I am so excited to meet you all!

Mary Lenhart, Orientation Lead for International Students

My name is Mary and I am a senior studying Health Sciences with a concentration in Physical Therapy. I came to the University of Michigan–Flint because it was close to home and it felt very familiar and safe to me. What I didn’t expect was that I would fall in love with the university so fast. After starting in the fall, I realized that my favorite thing about our campus is the size. With a relatively small campus I was able to navigate around with ease. Since the university is small, I found it easier to make friends and everywhere I went I found a familiar face. A small university also makes learning a lot easier. With smaller class sizes I am able to interact more with my professors and peers and build more meaningful relationships. I am very excited to have you join our growing campus. I wish you the best with your studies and I hope that you find your time here to be very rewarding.

Aujéné Madden, Orientation Leader

As a high school student, you never realize the amount of studying and homework there is in college. You might have not had to try your best in high school but still got in to college, or maybe life was working against you and you tried your hardest to get in just to say you could do it. Either way, I am to super excited to congratulate you, because when all the odds were against you, you still made it! Welcome to our family at the University of Michigan-Flint! Now before the new semester starts, here are three things I believe you should know in order to succeed. One, do not be afraid to ask for help, use the tutors especially and your professors office hours. Two, the Student Success Center and academic department advisors are here to help make your college transition easier, they can also help you stay on track for graduation; they’re your own personal helpers. Lastly, no matter what college throws at you, never give up! We are here to help and we have tons of great resources to accommodate all of your needs. I am glad to call you my fellow Wolverine!

Drew Marsh, Orientation Leader

Hey there! My name is Drew and I am currently a senior studying Public Administration and Political Science. I graduated from Davison High School and moved to Flint in 2012. Like me, you too will soon be opening the first page to an entirely new chapter of your life. College can seem like a lot to deal with, especially that first year. That is why I’m here to help you to get the most out of your college experience, whether it’s the first day of classes or trying to register for graduation, and everything in between. In the years to come you will have the chance to create a better you, advance your academics, make a large diverse group of friends, and further your skills, along with many more opportunities. This is what I did and I challenge you to do it too! Develop relationships with your professors, get a job on campus, be an officer of a club, join Greek Life, represent your peers in Student Government, and make this great campus even better. Get those internships and prove yourself! That’s what college is all about. 

Avery Mitevski, Orientation Lead for Transfer Students

The next chapter of your life is beginning – you’re finally starting college and I am so happy to welcome you into the University of Michigan-Flint family. My name is Avery. I’m a junior in the honors program studying Applied Psychology. People will offer you a lot of different advice when it comes to college; like you need to study a lot, keep an open mind, and meet with your faculty as often as possible. My advice to you as you enter the university is to network yourself as much as possible. Join clubs and organizations, get to know people around campus, make connections anywhere you possibly can. One of the best things you can do is create a solid network of people who can vouch for you or help you to opportunities you’ve never expected. Make the most of your time here, because it really does fly by quickly.

Jaslyn Morris, Orientation Lead for Early Communication

Hello everyone! My name is Jaslyn. I’m a junior in the honors program studying Biology. I’m here to help make the transition to university life easier for you. Like some of you, I thought high school was easy; I never really had the interest or the need to study. As a college student, I’ve had to take a step back and assess which areas I would need to work harder on and act accordingly. My advice is to open your mind to new possibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and speak up when you need to be heard. You will learn to manage time and you will grow accustomed to college life sooner than you think and it’s okay to feel overwhelmed by everything at first. This is a time to better your education, find yourself, and make new connections that can last for a lifetime. Take advantage of your experience here at the University of Michigan-Flint and good things are bound to happen.

Alexis Pryor, Orientation Leader

You've completed high school and you've been accepted to college. Welcome to the next chapter in your life. I am a senior studying clinical laboratory science. I spent two years at a community college completing all of my pre-requisites. While at the community college I did not know the importance of studying. My first semester here I quickly learned that it is an absolute need to study. Remember to manage your time wisely, take advantage of the tutors, and get to know your teachers by visiting their office hours. You may have to cut back time that is spent with your friends, but it will pay off when you are on the Dean’s List at the end of the semester. You may already feel like you know a lot about the college life but I encourage you to get involved and take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you on campus. Take risks and do things you never would have imagined yourself doing. If you are a transfer student, I hope that I am able to help make your transition as smooth as possible and I look forward to meeting you!

Azmi Qubty-Kandalaft, Orientation Leader

Hello everyone! My name is Azmi Qubty-kandalaft. I am the president of my fraternity as well as an office assistant in the Student Success Center. I transferred to UM-Flint from Mott Community College in 2011 and this school has given me the true college experience. I have professors who want to see me succeed, as well as advisors who can do me no wrong. A few tips about campus in case you guys want a quick little heads up on where and what to do. Whenever I find myself on campus and want to spend some of my free time, I go and see which of my friends are hanging out in the student loft on the 3rd floor of the UCEN. The student loft is also the main hub for all student organizations on campus. One thing you’ll come to learn very quickly is we have a short name for everything here. University center = UCEN, Murchie science building = MSB, so on and so forth. It can all be rather confusing at first, but you’ll figure it out soon enough. I always make time to study in the library, quite honestly the only place I get things done, and they just extended their hours until 2 am. Lastly, if I am ever in need of good food for cheap prices, I always make my way across the road to Churchill’s for the burger of the month. The most exciting part of that for me is going from one end of campus to the other to get there, stopping everyone I know and getting them to come with me. Never fails. Finally, I would like to say that I truly look forward to meeting you all come orientation. I hope we have a great time during the sessions, and that your time here at the university is successful fulfilling.
Always remember, Go Blue!

Nilu Rajput, Orientation Leader

Namaste friends! I am Nilu Rajput, an international graduate student pursuing my major in Early Childhood Education. I work as an Assistant teacher at the Early Childhood Development Center and I am also a member of the Indian Student Association on campus. I am in love with the university as it offers a variety of social, leadership, and internship opportunities to enhance your talents and discover your true potential. It is a place where you can develop yourself academically, professionally, and personally through student-led organizations. The Squash court and sauna are my favorite places at the recreational center, which takes care of my health and fitness. There is also support and guidance from the academic advisors that has been phenomenal. It seems to be a real partnership, with professors who are truly interested in helping their students meet challenges and be the best they can be. Come dive in, in the most significant and productive phase of your life.

Dan Stohlin, Orientation Lead for K-12 Students

In high school, I was at the top of my class, outgoing, a multi-sport athlete, and good grades came to me naturally. Still, I had horrible time management. Everything kind of worked its way out for me that I didn't develop time management the way that I should have. When I started college, I was under the impression that I wouldn't have to work harder to get the same good grades. However, during my first semester on campus, I quickly fell behind on assignments and papers that I continuously put off for later. After getting involved with organizations on campus, while also commuting every day from home, my free time was running low. I couldn't afford to procrastinate anymore and I needed to develop my time management skills. It was after I sat down with the faculty member I realized I was going to have to be more responsible and put more effort into my own education. She recommended to me that I schedule study time specifically, just as if it were another class I were taking. Since then, I excel in my classes and I stay ahead. My advice to you is, take initiative and seek help when you need it. By developing faculty relationships, you are setting yourself up for future success. 

Christeen Williams, Orientation Leader

This is my third year at the university and I am majoring in Sociology with a minor in law and society. I graduated from Albion Senior High School in 2013 and later, I plan to go to graduate school to practice law, specializing in criminal defense. In my spare time, I love to spend time reading and shopping! One thing that I am always excited for, is finding out about the new Common Read. I can’t wait to be able to share it with all of you at your orientation. My advice to you while on campus would be to take advantage of tutoring and your professor’s office hours. It is so important to stay on top of your work and it is easy to fall behind in college if you don’t have the right discipline so study, study, study. Good luck!

Quin Williams, Orientation Leader

Hey Guys! I’m Quin, a junior majoring in Social Work. First, I would like to welcome and congratulate you on your acceptance to the University of Michigan-Flint. You may be scared, but Trust me it gets easier as you go. I know that the transition from high school to college may be hard, and lonely, but now you have a friend that can assist you throughout your experience. In high school I didn’t excel academically as much as I would hope, and actually going through my first semester in college is when I found out how important your academic standing is. I would encourage each of you to one stay focused on your education but to also meet new friends that would make this experience worthwhile. As you become a Wolverine, stand proud, stay focused, and live for today because tomorrows not promised. I’m so excited in meeting you guys soon, and just know the best is yet to come.

GO BLUE!