New student scholars in the Gateway to Success program were surprised with a special delivery from the Gateway Leadership Team so they could start their online summer programming in style.
Dr. Angela McNeil, director of Act 101/Gateway to Success, Cristina Cintron-Marsh, assistant director of Undergraduate Studies, Romer Acosta, Financial Aid and Admissions counselor, and Counseling student Taylor Curtis ’21M hand delivered welcome baskets to 23 Gateway scholars in the Philadelphia area on June 23. These baskets included Arcadia swag, snacks and an Arcadia rental iPad to ensure each scholar had a device to join the virtual classes and activities throughout the summer.
“Because of COVID-19, we made the tough decision to move our Gateway summer program online to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Cintron-Marsh. “We decided to do something special for the scholars and make a personal delivery to their doorstep. It was nice for them to put a face to the folks who have been emailing, calling, and texting them all semester. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way, it embodies how we do things in Gateway and Arcadia.”
Donning face masks and respecting social distancing, the team delivered baskets to scholars as far as Mount Laurel, N.J. and Quakertown, Pa. For those farther away, the team is mailing the welcome baskets.
This is the first year the Gateway program has hosted its orientation online. Scholars who are participating in the Gateway summer orientation usually move onto campus at the beginning of July and participate in transition courses and community building activities to promote success in the fall semester. This year, scholars will participate in similar virtual opportunities that start today.
“Delivering welcome baskets is our first attempt at building community,” said Dr. McNeil. “Even with facilitating a virtual program, we are determined to build our ‘Gateway Family’.”
In addition to delivering the welcome baskets, the team has also launched a TikTok account to help scholars get to know their mentors and the University as a whole.