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tudents selected to serve as Student

Orientation Staff (SOS) through

the Office of Assistant Dean for

Freshmen must learn and have a working

knowledge of Lycoming College’s basic

academic requirements, proper social

conduct, the judicial process, housing

matters, security issues, campus health

resources and student activities. And they

also have to have a great personality.

While it sounds like a difficult task

trying to find the right students for the

job, Andrew Kilpatrick, assistant dean

for freshmen, is up to the challenge. After

all, he’s hoping these students will gain

valuable leadership skills and help serve

the office for a couple years.

“I believe that sometimes the best

messengers are peers,” Kilpatrick said.

“I tell the SOS, ‘You are instruments

through which the new students and their

families integrate into this community.’”

Kilpatrick and his staff provide the SOS

with a semester-long training program

that helps them welcome new students,

as well as answer questions from the

students and their parents – or at least

know who to ask to find the answers.

SOS welcomes incoming freshmen

by helping them make friends, involving

them in orientation activities, finding

campus locations during orientation

sessions and working with academic

advisers to guide students through class


There is an application process that

requires a minimum grade-point average,

and Kilpatrick tries to match the SOS

with the various academic departments

so that most are represented. About 20

students are hired each spring with their

job beginning on Accepted Students Day

and lasting through the three summer

orientations and First Weekend.

Kilpatrick works with the students

closely throughout the semester and gets

to know them well.

“One of the best things about this

job is the experience these students

get,” Kilpatrick said. “Providing such

opportunities also is an important part of

the college’s educational mission.”

This year, there was a surprise in one

of the SOS applications. Ashley Burger

’16, of Montoursville, indicated that her

parents, Patti ’85 and Rob ’85, were both

SOS members.

“It’s the first legacy I know of,”

Kilpatrick said.

Rob added that he and his wife were

part of the first two SOS classes offered

when they were in their sophomore and

junior years, saying that it’s a “wonderful

compliment” that Ashley was selected.

“We’re really excited,” Patti said.

“It’s a great opportunity for her to meet

students and more of the faculty.”

“We take a team approach to

selecting the best SOS team each year,”

Kilpatrick said. “Our selection committee

includes graduating SOS members,

the director of student programs and

leadership development, the director of

the Academic Resource Center and the

Office of the Freshman Dean staff.”



SOS member Ryan Boccagno ’14 offers assistance

to incoming freshman Rachel Duncan ’17.