Transitioning Freshmen Into Pioneers

By Gabriella Nutile

Features Editor & Co-Copy Editor

Are you a freshman that is feeling homesick, nervous or just want to know where to sign up for clubs? Transition Mentors is a new program that is provided by Sacred Heart University to assist freshman in any way that they may need.

Denise Tiberio, Associate Dean of Students, launched the program with the idea of making sure that freshman have the best resources available to them. The Transition Mentors are there to be the freshmen’s guide to help navigate their way through their own transitional process from living home to being on their own.

Some of the freshman found that their Transition Mentor has been very helpful with her adjustment.

“I love my house, my family, my dog and I just miss them a lot, but my Transition Mentor has been very helpful. She gave me the advice to stay Labor Day weekend and to go home Columbus Day weekend because it will help with me being more adjusted and comfortable with the school,” said freshman Alexandra Loukeris.

Transition Mentors are Sacred Heart student’s who were Orientation Leaders this past June and are continuing their role into the school year.

“For the past 18 years, most of these students have been used to the same environment and routine, most importantly being surrounded by family. Then one day they are dropped off to school and are now completely left to do everything on their own for the first time,” said senior Orientation Leader Alexa Cozzarelli.

The Transition Mentor’s office is across from the school’s dining hall, 63’s, where the radio station for Sacred Heart used to be located. While the Transition Mentors are only required to be in the office for two hours a week the first eight weeks, the freshman are still encouraged to contact their mentor for anything via email or text.

“I like having my Transition Mentor because she is very helpful and texts us letting us know when events are going on, pushing us to go to them,”  said freshman Madelyn Bradway

Tiberio mentioned that “the goal of this program is two-tiered, the first being to make this transition as seamless as possible and the second being that the university gives them the best opportunities available.”

Overall, Tiberio said that the ultimate goal of this program is to make sure that the students who decide to come to Sacred Heart have made the right choice. The importance of ensuring the student’s expectations are met during the run of the program’s eight weeks in the beginning of the academic year, as they are vital to molding freshman’s thoughts and experiences with the school.

The Transition Mentor program had been a thought after last year’s freshman orientation. Past Orientation Leaders at Sacred Heart have also been pushing for this program to happen and Tiberio recognized that there was a need for this, as she finally put it into place this year.

“I really wish this was something that I had as a freshman,” said Cozzarelli. “There were a lot of silly little questions that I had and wish I could have had someone to ask really quickly. I truly believe that this program will be such a huge success, considering every single transition mentor on staff shares the same love for wanting to help people like I do.”

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