Pratezel and Laverty Honored for Outstanding Orientation Leadership

By Purnell T. Cropper | September 9, 2011

Some of the loudest cheering at New Student Convocation was for Orientation Leaders being honored for their leadership roles in helping to bring the Class of 2015 and new transfer students into the Arcadia University family.

“The OL of the year award is named for Maude Farran, who entertained and educated many students when she spoke at New Student Convocation over a decade ago,” said Ashley Friedman, Assistant Dean for First- and Second-Year Programs. “When Maude passed away, the OPEC group at the time developed this award as a way to recognize her spirit. This year, there were 56 Orientation Leaders who were eligible. We ask the OLs to identify a peer who they believe best represents what an Orientation Leader should be.”

The 2011 Maude Farran Orientation Leader Award was presented to Chris Pratezel for his outstanding leadership as an Orientation Leader. Through his enthusiasm, dedication, and service to the University, others are energized and Arcadia University is a stronger community.

“This was Chris’s first year as an Orientation Leader,” Friedman notes, “and his second year of being part of the New Student Orientation team. (He was a member of OPEC last year). He is a natural leader. He challenges his peers to think positively in all situations and continue to improve themselves. Through his own actions, he inspires others to do better, be kinder, and support one another.”

The Jami Rodriguez award was created to honor the memory of Jami Rodriguez, a student member of OPEC who passed away in December 2000. “Jami is remembered for being involved in many activities, however, her biggest influence was on the orientation program and all those involved with it,” said Friedman. “To honor Jami’s legacy, the award recognizes a member of the orientation team (both OL and OPEC are eligible) who have made a significant impact on the NSO program.”

The 2011 Jami Rodriguez Service to Orientation Award was presented to Susan Laverty, recognizing her on-going dedication and extraordinary service to the Arcadia University New Student Orientation program. Her energy, spirit, commitment and tireless efforts have made a lasting impression on the Orientation program and Arcadia University.

“This is Susan’s third year as part of the NSO team. She spent one year as and OL and the past two years as a member of OPEC. She is absolutely passionate about New Student Orientation and believes strongly in the impact of the program—both on new students and staff alike. She is constantly looking for new ways to improve the program and is never satisfied with the status quo. She holds all of us on the NSO team to the highest standards and isn’t afraid to reach out to help others when they might be struggling to meet those expectations,” Friedman said.