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First Year Experience

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2018 Orientation Team
photo of Jamie Gutierrez
Jamie Gutierrez
Assistant Director, Residence Life and First Year Experience
Davis Community Center
I was born and raised in Lomita, CA. I began my undergraduate studies at Chapman in the fall of 2008. As a first generation college student, my transition to Chapman was not easy. I think back on my experience and I credit the work done by Student Affairs professionals that allowed me to develop holistically. I was fortunate as an undergraduate to serve as an Orientation Leader and Orientation Coordinator. I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Educational Studies and in 2015 with a Master of Arts in Leadership Development. Prior to serving as the Assistant Director of Residence Life and First Year Experience, I supported the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs as the Graduate Assistant and Program Coordinator. I love Chapman University and I can’t wait to share that with incoming students!
photo of Jordan Vaughn
Jordan Vaughn
Graduate Assistant, Residence Life and First Year Experience
Davis Community Center
I recently relocated to Orange County to pursue a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy here at Chapman University. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of San Diego in May of 2016, and officially decided that I did not want to leave Southern California any time soon! I have always loved how special and unique a college community feels. This has fueled my passion for leadership and creating campus connections. I hope to assist the department in creating a welcoming and open environment for every incoming and current student here at Chapman University!
photo of Bobby Cary
Bobby Cary
Orientation Coordinator, Marketing and Publications
I arrived at Chapman in 2015, eager to begin my college experience. Although I did my best to remain optimistic, I vividly remember the inevitable feelings of anxiety and nervousness that every student goes through to some degree. But from the first day of Orientation week, I instantly knew that Chapman was a place where I could grow and thrive. My smooth transition into the Chapman community was greatly influenced by the amazing Orientation Leaders that welcomed and guided me through my first week. Their patience, support, and encouragement drove me to seek out different ways to get involved on campus. As a result, I have been active in several student organizations on campus, including Delta Kappa Alpha and The Player’s Society. My involvement within the Chapman community has given me lifelong friends and invaluable experiences that have shaped me into who I am today, and I encourage all students at Chapman University to break out of their comfort zones and find a place in this awesome community where you can let your passions shine. This year, I am proudly serving as an Orientation Coordinator working alongside an incredible team to create a welcoming environment for incoming students. As an Orientation Coordinator, I hope to create an engaging Orientation program that fosters connections and passion in both incoming and current students. I am so excited to have the opportunity to welcome the class of 2022!
photo of Maria Harfouche
Maria Harfouche
Orientation Coordinator, Special Events and Academic Initiatives
To be completely honest, in 2015 when I chose to come to Chapman, it was because I was offered a substantial scholarship that would’ve been silly to turn down. I was disappointed and deeply sad because Chapman was so close to my hometown, which I didn’t want, and it hadn’t been my first choice of school. I was convinced I couldn’t be happy here and that I wouldn’t have a good four years. Flash forward two and a half years later and Chapman is my absolute favorite place in the world. I have grown and been fulfilled academically, socially, spiritually, and intellectually. Chapman proved itself to be my dream school and a place where I’ve met the most incredible people. The opportunity to grow and evolve here has been the greatest privilege of my life. In my time here I’ve been involved as a tour guide and admissions fellow in the Office of Admission, joined a sorority, worked in the Office of Residence life and First Year Experience, become a published writer, currently serve as the Director of Recruitment for the Panhellenic community, served as an Orientation Leader, and now as the Orientation Coordinator for Academic Initiatives and Special Events! My heart lies in celebrating Chapman and showing it’s amazing opportunities to prospective, admitted, and current students. Being an Orientation Coordinator and being able to create these events for students to feel welcome, connected, and loved at Chapman makes my heart so full. Class of 2022, you are in for the best and most rewarding ride of your life, even if you don’t know it yet (I definitely didn’t). We’re so excited to welcome you home!
photo of Zach Ogie
Zach Ogie
Orientation Coordinator, Operations and Logistics
Being the first in my family to go to college, I was naturally very nervous going into Orientation Week and my freshman year here at Chapman University. I grew up in Poway, a small suburb of San Diego, where many of my high school classmates would not be first generation college students. My classmates and their families were more familiar with the overall idea of college, whereas my family and I were not. Taking the hour and a half drive from my home to Chapman on student check-in day was nerve-wracking, but also very exciting as I was beginning a new chapter of my life. All of my nerves were settled as soon as I stepped foot on campus and was exposed to the open and friendly environment at Chapman. Of all the memories I’ve made in almost three years here, one of my most memorable is my first Orientation. The friendships I made in my first week are friendships that will last a lifetime. I made friends that inspired me to get the most out of my college experience, including joining a fraternity on campus and spending a semester abroad in Spain. Driven by the impact that Orientation left on me my first year of college, I decided to come back and volunteer as an Orientation Leader my sophomore and junior years. Now, I have the opportunity to work as an Orientation Coordinator for my senior year, and give back to the one program that has left the biggest impact on my Chapman experience.
photo of Julie Remen
Julie Remen
Orientation Coordinator, Family and Transfer Orientation
I began my journey at Chapman in the Fall of 2015 as an undeclared student. My sophomore year I transferred into the film school as a Creative Producing major and took on Leadership Studies as my minor. I aspire one day to be a line producer helping to create and convey meaningful stories. Outside the classroom I thrive with a busy schedule of a job and an internship, while also staying involved on campus through my sorority, clubs, and honors societies. However, one of my top experiences at Chapman University, would have to be having the opportunity to be a part of the Residence Life and First Year Experience, serving as an Orientation Leader and now Orientation Coordinator. Coming to a new school, especially when it is college can be intimidating, but this program is geared toward the student and family transition. It is important to remember everyone wants you to succeed, Chapman is filled with friends, mentors, supportive professors, and leadership opportunities.