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University Relations

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April 10, 2006
Contact: Trina J. Ramirez, New Student Orientation, (785) 864-4270.

KU announces New Student Orientation dates, names 21 orientation assistants

LAWRENCE — Twenty University of Kansas students and one alumnus have been chosen as assistants for KU’s New Student Orientation programs this summer.

Two of the students, Charles Forsyth, Anthony senior, and Matthew Goble, Lawrence junior, are returning for a third year as orientation assistants. Five are back for a second year, including Donna Bascom, Kearney, Neb., junior; Patrick Ross, Lawrence senior; Ben Ryan, Salina junior; Antwan Winkfield, Kansas City, Mo., sophomore; and Chris Avila, fall 2005 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a minor in chemistry.

Orientation assistants are hired through a process that includes essay writing, group interaction activities, a five-minute speech and final interview. The assistants prepare for orientation sessions by attending three weeks of training that covers KU academic and student services, public speaking, interaction with the public and diversity issues.

New Student Orientation programs, which are tailored to students’ major fields of study, offer first-time freshmen, transfer students and readmitted students information about the university. The programs are designed to help students with their academic, social and personal transition to KU and to reduce anxieties about attending college.

The 12 freshman orientation programs, all two-day sessions, are scheduled for June 12-13, 15-16, 19-20, 22-23, 26-27 and 29-30 and July 6-7, 10-11, 13-14, 17-18, 20-21 and 25-26. Summer orientation for transfer students will be June 9 and July 5 and 24, and for readmitted students on July 5. Fall orientation for freshmen will be Aug. 15 and for transfer and readmitted students on Aug. 14 and 15.

Orientation assistants and their hometowns, majors, parents’ names and high schools or equivalents are:

From Fort Scott
John Alan Babcock, freshman in theatre and film, son of Paul and Debbie Babcock; Holton High School.

From Lawrence
Casey Ballard Jr., freshman in civil engineering, son of Casey and Denise Ballard; Lawrence Free State High School.

Samantha Eileen Birchfield, senior in history and women’s studies, daughter of Steve Birchfield; Lawrence High School.

Matthew Grant Goble, junior in psychology and journalism and mass communications (news and information emphasis), son of James and Dana Goble; Lawrence Free State High School.

From Anthony
Charles Alexander Forsyth, senior in religious studies and journalism and mass communications (news and information emphasis), son of Jim and Becky Forsyth; Chaparral High School.

From Overland Park
Emily Hendricks, sophomore in English and journalism and mass communications (news and information emphasis), daughter of Karl and Elizabeth Hendricks; Blue Valley Northwest High School.

From Leavenworth
Mary Carroll Melton, sophomore in communication studies, daughter of Sallie Melton; Leavenworth Senior High School.

From Paola
Anne Marguerite Sims, senior in communication studies, daughter of Warren and Cristie Sims; Paola High School.

From Council Grove
Cindy Rachelle Heilman, sophomore in pre-social welfare with a minor in women’s studies, daughter of Randy and Joyce Heilman; Council Grove High School.

From Salina
Ben Joseph Ryan, junior in English and language arts education, son of Joe and Christie Ryan; Southeast of Saline Senior High School.

From Wichita
Melissa Shippy, senior in humanities, international studies and pre-medicine, daughter of Chet and Judith Shippy; Maize High School.

From Wichita and Keller, Texas
Eric Stephen Williams, junior in journalism and mass communications (strategic communications emphasis) with a minor in English, son of Thomas Arthur Gaedtke of Keller, Texas, and Dana Gaedtke of Wichita; Wichita High School Heights.

From Topeka
Katherine Lauren Beam, junior in pre-optometry and speech-language-hearing, daughter of Mike and Karla Beam; Hayden High School.

Patrick Ross, senior in English and journalism and mass communications (news and information emphasis), son of Rebecca Ross; general equivalency diploma.

From Bonner Springs
Christopher Avila, who received a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry in fall 2005, son of Vicente and Magdalena Avila; Derby High School.

From Springdale
Arnold Phommavong, sophomore in art (basic studies emphasis) and journalism and mass communications (strategic communications emphasis), son of Sam Phommavong; Springdale Senior High School.

From Johnston
Sarah Emma Stone, senior in journalism and mass communications (strategic communications emphasis) with a minor in leadership studies, daughter of Brian and Ruth Stone; Johnston High School.

From Chanhassen
Valerie Wahbeh, sophomore in finance and marketing, daughter of V.N. and Becky Wahbeh; Chaska Senior High School, Chaska, Minn.

From Kansas City
Antwan De’andre Winkfield, sophomore in pre-social welfare, son of Patricia Thornton; Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts.

From Kearney
Donna Bascom, junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, daughter of George and Roxanne Bascom; Kearney High School.

From Keller and Wichita, Kan.
Eric Stephen Williams. See SEDGWICK COUNTY.

From San Antonio
Ashley Nicole Smith, sophomore in political science and pre-law, daughter of Charles Smith and Iris Renay Berman-Smith; Ronald Reagan High School.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045