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Archive for the ‘Beyond The Polo’

Beyond the Polo: Sarah Pollei

Sarah Pollei was a member of the 2011 OTL team. She is a Biology Major with a minor in Leadership Studies and Biophysics. Being a first year generation student she has come a long way since beginning her college education at USF. Sarah was a family leader and had a lot of positive feedback on the position; “During the position I was offered jobs, internships and opportunities to volunteer or shadow physicians. It also allowed me to make close connections with the dignitaries on campus, which I still keep in touch with to this day!”

Since being an OTL Sarah has held many leadership positions here on campus. She is highly involved with: Tutoring Lab Coordinator for USF’s Chemistry Society, National Residence Hall’s Honorary, Student Alumni Association, P.R.I.D.E Alliance, Residence Life Mentor, and Participant/facilitator for the 2nd Annual Student Success Conference, Watch Your BAC committee, and also volunteers with many of volunteer programs that USF has to offer.

Sarah has been recognized many times for accomplishments she had done on and off campus. She has been awarded; USF Directors Award, Housing and Residential Education’s Academic Achievement Award, Deans List for the Chemistry Department (2009-present), and Haitian Renaissance Delegation- Academia. Currently she is a Resident Assistant, and has been one since the summer of 2010. Sarah has done a lot before and after her time as an Orientation Team Leader, and will continue to be involved and impact everyone around her by being a perfect example of a USF bull.

Beyond the Polo: Chad Cowan

Many leaders emerge after they finish their Orientation Team Leader position, and Chad Cowan is no exception. Chad has influenced many around him before and after he was chosen to become an OTL for 2010 team. Chad said this about his experience, “My OTL experience was empowering and transforming summer from the moment it began until it ended.”

Chad tries to help out his USF community the best way that he knows and getting involved was his best solution. He tries to enrich lives by showing what an ideal USF bull should look and act like. He was a former RA for Cypress Residence Hall, which to him was a “neat experience”. Chad is a part of Aletheia Student Organization, a member of the USF Bulls Triathlon Club, a member of Best Buddies, and a future member of American Marketing Association. Recently, he went to Wales for the study abroad program. With everything Chad does, Orientation is still dear to his heart. He was recently hired to become a Transfer Orientation Leader here on campus.

When asked how has the OTL experience helped him in the world, Chad replied, “Being an OTL has helped me overcome some of the barriers, like working with a team or public speaking to push me forward. If I did not go through this experience I might have missed out on many opportunities to come. So thankful that I got to be an OTL….it was AWESOME!”

Chad can be considered a prime example of what a Team Leader should be after finishing their process as an OTL, and a great USF bull.

Beyond the Polo: Krishna Patel

Krishna Patel was part of the 2010 Orientation Team and has been involved on campus ever since! She recently participated in an European Expo in London, England – 2011, and she is a member of the Undergraduate Public Health Student Association (UPHSA). In addition, she is a Green and Gold Guide (G3) and has been involved with various roles through the Office of Orientation.

She has held many leadership positions throughout her time at USF. They include being a Green and Gold Guide Tour Trainer (2011-2012), the Secretary for Undergraduate Public Health Student Association, Orientation Retreat Facilitator (2011-2012), Transfer Orientation Team Leader, Orientation Mentor 2011, and Orientation Team Leader 2010. She will continue to stay involved in various things throughout campus every time she is given the opportunity.

Krishna said, “One memory that sticks out from my experience as an OTL would have to be interacting with my team and becoming more outgoing. I was very shy and quiet before starting the position, but with all of the other OTL’s being supportive and learning along the way as well, I was able to break out of my shell and notice strengths I thought I never had. I got very lucky in working with the people I did.”

When asked how has the OTL experience helped you in the world outside of OTL, she replied; “I can honestly say it was the launching pad to everything I do today. Without gaining such a prestigious student leadership position, I wouldn’t have applied and tried half the things I am doing today. Through becoming an OTL, I joined other student organizations on campus and became involved in them which helped me achieve outstanding opportunities, such as going to England for a European Expo to recruit students from abroad. The OTL experience has made me a better public speaker, calmer when talking to large groups of people or even when giving presentations for classes, improved my time management, provided me with organizational skills, and much more!”

Beyond the Polo: Andres Mola

Andres Mola can be considered one of the best Orientation Team Leaders to have ever worn the illustrious orientation polo. Andres was part of the 2010 team, but his experience with orientation did not stop there. He joined the Orientation Mentor Program mentoring the incoming Orientation Team Leaders and later found himself working in the Office of Orientation as a student assistant. Recently, he was hired as a Transfer Orientation Team Leader. “My experience as an Orientation Team Leader changed my life- it was an experience unlike any other that will always be remembered,” said Andres, reflecting on his experience with Orientation.

Andres has done a lot for the USF community by being highly involved with what USF has to offer to all students. He is a USF Latino Scholarship Recipient and a member of the Arts and Sciences Honor Society. He is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He volunteers with Discover USF (new faculty and staff onboarding session) and also helps with other volunteer programs that USF has to offer such as Stampede of Service.

Andres has a lot to offer, and we all know he will do great things in life. When asked how has the OTL experience helped him in the world, Andres replied, “Orientation has a way of bringing out things in you that even you didn’t know existed. I walked into Orientation not knowing how to communicate with strangers. I also seemed to have an attitude about things when they didn’t go my way. I left Orientation a leader that is able to communicate with anyone in any situation and I’ve learned to smile about everything. The skills I walked away with impact the way I live through my day to day life.”

It’s a bird…. it’s a plane…. it’s Team SUPERBULL!

Beyond The Polo – Jasmine Fowlkes

Originally from Pensacola, FL, Jasmine began attending the University of South Florida in the Fall of 2006. She was a little apprehensive about going to a University that was seven hours away from her hometown, but because of the fun, excitement, and everlasting friendships she made during her freshman orientation that summer, she knew that she wanted to be an OTL at the end of her freshmen year. She was chosen to be an Orientation Team Leader during the summer of 2007. Jasmine stated that was definitely one of the best summers of her life. During her time as an OTL that summer, Jasmine grew a lot as a person, a leader, and a student. At the end of that summer, she won the “Coaches Catch” Orientation Team Leader Award given by Marnie Hauser for her help with the disabled incoming students who attended orientation that summer.

The one thing that Jasmine would like to tell all the other Orientation Team Leaders who came after her was this: “Being an Orientation Team Leader gives you the confidence, drive, determination, and knowledge of your University that will set you apart from other students. After being an OTL, you will never be the same, and you will achieve great things.” After being an OTL Jasmine developed overwhelming confidence to achieve other goals at the University. She eventually became a USF Ambassador, “Miss University of South Florida” (Miss USF) 2009, “Miss Black and Gold” 2008, a charter member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an executive board member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), and the Director of Marketing and Communications for USF Student Government.

Jasmine graduated from the University last May (Spring 2010) with Magna Cum Laude academic honors with a B.A. in Mass Communications. The day before her graduation at USF, she received an offer to move to New Jersey and work as a Marketing Research Analyst for the Gannett Company at the Asbury Park Press newspaper, where she’s been working ever since. Being an OTL has shaped the person and professional that she is today. The team building skills and conflict management experiences that Jasmine learned that summer back in 2007 has equipped her to deal with certain situations on the job as a young professional today. Jasmine is amazed and honored to say that being an Orientation Team Leader during her time at college has really rubbed off on the young adult she has become.

Beyond The Polo: Mayme Vestal

Mayme was an Orientation Team Leader in 2009 and continued with the Office of Orientation as an office staff member.

Aside from still being an office staff member, Mayme is very involved on campus. Following her OTL position, Mayme became the Co-President and Co-founder of BullRaisers, Co-Vice President for Phi Sigma Theta, and participated in Community Plunge as a site leader. Mayme also competed in the Miss International pageant as Miss Argentina.

Reflecting on changes at USF, Mayme is awed by how USF has expanded tremendously. She adds that USF is putting emphasis on the better facilities being built to make USF less of a commuter school.

Her favorite thing to do on campus is to work in the Office of Orientation. Mayme says that what she likes most about USF is that it is a comfortable place for her. She also loves the growth and spirit she sees around campus on a daily basis.

Beyond The Polo: Marcus Graham

In 2010, Marcus Graham enthusiastically joined the Orientation Team. Since his 2010 Orientation experience, Marcus has continued to illustrate his Bull Spirit by becoming a Green & Gold Guide, Vice President of Policy and Procedure for the Residence Hall Association, and member of the Office of Orientation staff. As a Green & Gold Guide, also known as the G3’s, Marcus facilitates campus tours for prospective students and their families. Currently, Marcus is in the process of redesigning the Admissions virtual tour that will be utilized when the weather does not permit campus walking tours.

As the Vice President of Policy and Procedure for the Residence Hall Association, it is Marcus’s responsibility to serve as the parliamentarian for RHA meetings and oversee all constitutional changes. Marcus is also the committee chair for the Residents’ Concerns Committee, and Dining Services Advisory Committee.  Due to his strong interest in residential life, Marcus plans on attending the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) conference in May at Western Illinois University. This leadership conference is primarily designated for student leaders who live on a collegiate campus. As a result of his leadership and involvement, Marcus will have the exceptional opportunity of becoming a Residential Assistant in Cypress Hall in the fall 2011 semester.

In the Office of Orientation, Marcus currently works as the Media Design Assistant. In his position, Marcus creates and designs Orientation publications. In order to maintain an environmentally friendly atmosphere within the Office of Orientation, Marcus has created the electronic orientation confirmation packet that will be emailed to students once they register for a session. Thanks to his contribution, Marcus’s leadership skills have definitely enhanced the Orientation process for students and their families.

In regards to his future, Marcus plans on attending Graduate School and attaining a Master’s degree in Collegiate Student Affairs. It is evident that Marcus’s witty charm and desire to lead will only guide him to success. Good Luck Marcus!

Beyond The Polo: Max Daniels

Max Daniels was an OTL in 2008. Recently, he was hired in the Office of Orientation as a Student Assistant.

He is an active member in Campus Crusade for Christ, also known as Cru. Also, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity for 2 years on campus. This past summer, Max traveled to California with Cru on a summer mission trip. He lived in San Diego for ten weeks, where he spent time structured around community service, engaging in conversations around campuses, developing personal faith and growing as a leader while helping the community.

Max is graduating this May and will be continuing his position in the office through the summer. This fall, he is hoping to travel and begin work in his ultimate goal is to find a good position with a campus ministry, whether it be working in a school or a church.

Beyond The Polo: Alex Taylor

Alexandria Taylor was an OTL in 2008. Since her orientation experience, Alex have been heavily involved with various student organizations. Currently, she is the President of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, 1st Vice President of NCNW, and a member of Dr. Meningall’s Circle of Student Advisors. She also works as a Student Assistant in the Office of Orientation. She has held this position for almost three years and has enjoyed every second of it. Since being an OTL she has changed her major four times, but will still manage to graduate within four years. She will be graduating this December with a Bachelor’s in Public Health. Alex plans to attend graduate school starting in the fall of 2012. She would like to attain a master’s degree in Collegiate Student Affairs with a focus in counseling. She has a lot to look forward to and is excited to continue her job with orientation before graduating and pursuing her next endeavor.

Beyond The Polo: Adelia Joseph

Adelia was an Orientation Team Leader in 2010. After her adventurous summer, Adelia continued her student involvement in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She is also a part of Reach Out and Read. Adelia is also proud to say she is continuing her involvement with the Office of Orientation as a Transfer Orientation Team Leader.

Adelia says that the impact of being an OTL was huge. She went from being a person who never talked to being a confident student who is able to approach everyone. Adelia has hopes to become a doctor in the future and says being an OTL provided her with leadership skills and the talking ability that would help her in her future aspirations. To sum up her experience about USF, Adelia says, “It was an unbelievable experience that I would not trade for anything in the world.”

How did orientation change you?
The change orientation had on my life was huge. I was one of the people who never talked and now my confidence has grown a lot.

What will you miss the most about being and OTL?
Being a part of a team that is also your family.

Sum up your OTL experience in one sentence.
It was an unbelieveable experience that I would not trade for the world.