2018 Opening Days Leader Profiles

Opening Days leaders are a diverse group representing all parts of the Willamette community in their interests and activities. They are actors and athletes, transfer and international students, Greek and independent, and represent all different ages and years of students.

The one thing these leaders all share is their desire to meet and assist new students. The leaders are carefully selected during a competitive application process in February of each academic year. After their selection, they complete a Spring Training and then return to school in August for intensive training and preparation before Opening Days begins.

Besides leading the new students during Opening Days, these leaders are also responsible for planning all the events and programs that occur during Opening Days. Every leader is a member of one of the OD committees, each responsible for planning different events.

Jump to my Opening Days group leader:
Alexa Anderson

Alexa Anderson

Year
Junior
Major
English
Favorite thing about WU

The intensely strong community of passionate people that you meet every single day, whether it's in your hall, in class, or in choir.

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog, because I am very friendly, loyal, affectionate, and I love to sleep.

Mariam Baig

Mariam Baig

Year
Senior
Major
Women and Gender Studies
Favorite thing about WU

The community.

Animal that best describes your personality

Elephants! Great memory, high amounts of empathy, can fly.

Katie Bordona

Katie Bordona

Year
Junior
Major
English/Music
Favorite thing about WU

Music people!

Animal that best describes your personality

Hamster because I am small, confused, and nocturnal.

Miranda Boman

Miranda Boman

Year
Sophomore
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The people!

Animal that best describes your personality

Lion: the pride and family orientation. As well as the strength and independence.

Benjamin Burton

Benjamin Burton

Year
Sophomore
Major
Environmental Science
Favorite thing about WU

The ducks!

Animal that best describes your personality

Western meadowlark because its an awesome bird and I'm an awesome person! Also, it's the state bird of both Kansas and Oregon and I moved here from Kansas, so it's like I never left!

Zoe Chittick

Zoe Chittick

Year
Sophomore
Major
Intended History and Anthropology Double Major
Favorite thing about WU

The community! Also the beauty of the campus and the baby ducks in Spring.

Animal that best describes your personality

River otter. They can live independently, but they are also very social and playful creatures. They are adaptable and curious and know how to have fun but also how to chill out. I relate to all of these traits. Also, river otters are really cute, and I like to think I am too.

CJ Chow

CJ Chow

Year
Sophomore
Major
Political Science
Favorite thing about WU

The ducks by the Mill Stream.

Animal that best describes your personality

Elephant, they always care for their family and those around them.

Nell Crittenden

Nell Crittenden

Year
Senior
Major
Politics/Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

How the communities that are created by peers and faculty foster safe spaces, awareness and a sincere sense of belonging.

Animal that best describes your personality

Black Bear. Pretty chill most of the time, tenacious when I gotta be.

Caspar Croft

Caspar Croft

Year
Junior
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

The open and friendly atmosphere that permeates campus.

Animal that best describes your personality

Crab, because they always seem to be relaxing and doing their own thing.

Sarah Dean

Sarah Dean

Year
Sophomore
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The students, staff, and professors (and professor’s dogs).

Animal that best describes your personality

Snow leopard- I can be feisty but also like my alone time when I do t have to talk to anyone.

Reagan Dreiling

Reagan Dreiling

Year
Junior
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

All the familiar faces on campus! And Lilly the dog.

Animal that best describes your personality

A red fox because I’m social, I’d hope to be pretty clever, and I love the forest.

Caitlin Forbes

Caitlin Forbes

Year
Junior
Major
English and Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is that you get so much one on one time with professors. Every class that I have taken (both within and outside of my major), the professors always emphasize that they want students to visit office hours if they need help, or want to discuss an assignment. It is truly a unique aspect of Willamette, and something that I count all Willamette students lucky to get to experience.

Animal that best describes your personality

An animal that best describes my personality is an indoor house-cat. I really like people, but I also enjoy a moderate amount alone time. I am very independent and like to figure things out for myself, and I am very curious about things that I am passionate about.

Sarah Fukushima

Sarah Fukushima

Year
Sophomore
Major
International Relations
Favorite thing about WU

Movie night!

Animal that best describes your personality

Sloth, because I like to sleep and can sleep anywhere.

Gregory Gandy

Gregory Gandy

Year
Sophomore
Major
Economics
Favorite thing about WU

The kindness and empathy of the Willamette community.

Animal that best describes your personality

Florida Panther, because a Buzzfeed quiz told me so.

Tova Hershman

Tova Hershman

Year
Senior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

I love the close relationships that I have had the chance to build with professors.

Animal that best describes your personality

A cat, because they like sticking to their own routine and being independent!

Michelle Hicks

Michelle Hicks

Year
Junior
Major
Political Science
Favorite thing about WU

Incredible professors who advocate for you <3

Animal that best describes your personality

Giraffe because I too am tall and awkward.

Jordan Hitchcock

Jordan Hitchcock

Year
Sophomore
Major
Anthropology & Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The leadership opportunities!

Animal that best describes your personality

Bearcat, because I love Willamette!

Alejandro Howell-Ramirez

Alejandro Howell-Ramirez

Year
Sophomore
Major
Chemistry Major
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is when the cherry blossoms have grown and the petals fall in the Mill Stream.

Callum Johnston

Callum Johnston

Year
Senior
Major
Computer Science
Favorite thing about WU

Many high quality people.

Animal that best describes your personality

Monkey! I love them they're fuzzy and climb on things.

Madelyn Jones

Madelyn Jones

Year
Junior
Major
English
Favorite thing about WU

The professors who are constantly supportive and inspiring!

Animal that best describes your personality

A golden finch, meet me and find out.

Nicole Kates

Year
Junior
Major
Psychology & CCM
Favorite thing about WU

Professor Mark Stewart (and the professors in general).

Animal that best describes your personality

I'm a dolphin because I'm very social and I like to swim. Also, I'm inclined to communicate in high-pitched screeching noises.

Kat Kelley

Kat Kelley

Year
Junior
Major
Art History and Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette would have to be the professors. They’re so passionate about what they teach and they all care about their students, always keeping their students’ interests at heart. You’re never a number in a class of people. Instead, you’re a person with your own voice, opinions, and ideas. In a class here at Willamette, I have the opportunity to be myself and to be heard.

Animal that best describes your personality

I’d be a chihuahua because I’m full of energy and I can bite on occasion, but I’m happiest when fed.

James Kelly

James Kelly

Year
Senior
Major
CCM and Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

Getting to know the people in my majors that I keep having classes with.

Animal that best describes your personality

A whale because nothing really can mess with a whale.

Alexandra Kennedy

Alexandra Kennedy

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

The ducks!

Animal that best describes your personality

Golden retriever because I'm usually pretty positive and laid back.

Allison Kerkhoff

Allison Kerkhoff

Year
Senior
Major
Economics and Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

All of the professors really care about the students and are always willing to help, and that has been so important for my academic and mental wellbeing.

Animal that best describes your personality

The tiger shark, as it's often called the "garbage can of the sea" because it'll eat anything, and I am often the garbage can of my friends and family at mealtimes.

Dakota Kuch

Dakota Kuch

Year
Sophomore
Major
Sociology & Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

Recognizing smiling faces as I walk about campus:)

Animal that best describes your personality

I'd say Yogi The Bear, because he's a nice, friendly, theoretically cuddley friend, but he eats a lot. And that's a priority.

Katie LaChasse

Year
Senior
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

I love the collaborative atmosphere with all the students and professors! It's very clear that everyone here wants you to succeed and I think that's awesome :)

Animal that best describes your personality

I am a good ol' opossum because I sleep a lot, I'm adaptable, I'm easily scared, and I am a slow moving creature.

Hannah Lea

Year
Senior
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

The people. I have met so many welcoming, kind, and inspiring people here. Also, you can't beat how beautiful and green Oregon is.

Animal that best describes your personality

An owl because they are nocturnal and love trees, just like me.

Isabelle Lilly

Isabelle Lilly

Year
Senior
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

The people! I'm inspired every day by my friends and classmates. I also really like the dogs.

Animal that best describes your personality

Monkey because they're really energetic and a little mischievous.

Rose Linville

Rose Linville

Year
Junior
Major
Environmental Science
Favorite thing about WU

The community (everyone is so supportive and dedicated to what they care about).

Animal that best describes your personality

I'm a bumble bee "bee"cause some people think I'm scary but really I'm just a softie trying to help out the people I love. I also enjoy the sweeter things in life and I'm a real big fan of flowers.

Emilie Ma

Emilie Ma

Year
Junior
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

The tight knit community.

Animal that best describes your personality

A quokka because I'm friendly, always smiling and love being around people.

Claire Mathews-Lingen

Claire Mathews-Lingen

Year
Sophomore
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The community and how welcoming everyone is!

Animal that best describes your personality

Bunny

Dylan McCombs

Dylan McCombs

Year
Senior
Major
Theatre
Favorite thing about WU

The Willamette community is my favorite thing about WU. The community here is considerate, passionate, and hardworking in a way that is rarely found elsewhere.

Animal that best describes your personality

I am definitely a pug. Pugs are goofy and a bit ridiculous, but at the end of the day they’re little balls of passion that are hard to miss.

Maggie Mellecker

Maggie Mellecker

Year
Senior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

I love that Willamette provides so many opportunities to interact with such a variety of people. Since my first year I;ve been able to learn about different cultures, as well as become a part of many sub-communities on campus.

Animal that best describes your personality

I'd say I'm most like a bulldog because I'm very loyal and loving, and I just love to lay around with friends.

Mina Mizutani

Mina Mizutani

Year
Junior
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

The people and community, and the Bistro cookies are a huuuge bonus

Animal that best describes your personality

Bunny because I'm friendly!

Mckenna Musket

Mckenna Musket

Year
Sophomore
Major
Civic Communication & Media
Favorite thing about WU

Bistro cookies!

Animal that best describes your personality

A giraffe, because I'm tall, I'm very clumsy because my legs are so long, I run like a baby giraffe, and I always seem to be eating.

Michelle Nagata

Michelle Nagata

Year
Senior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

It's so easy to get involved in anything I'm interested in.

Animal that best describes your personality

Monk seal because they're chill and are basically dogs of the water!

Ryleigh Norgrove

Ryleigh Norgrove

Year
Sophomore
Major
Creative Writing and CCM
Favorite thing about WU

The Bistro

Animal that best describes your personality

Cat

Kyle Paik

Kyle Paik

Year
Sophomore
Major
International relations
Favorite thing about WU

Kaneko cafe

Animal that best describes your personality

Dinosaur

Lily Painter

Lily Painter

Year
Sophomore
Major
English
Favorite thing about WU

The variety of people I’ve been meeting

Animal that best describes your personality

A dolphin because I’m social and curious about other types of people. I also love having fun and the ocean.

Katy Payne

Katy Payne

Year
Sophomore
Major
Theatre
Favorite thing about WU

The friends I have made along the way and bistro chocolate chip cookies.

Animal that best describes your personality

A Labrador Retriever, because they are loyal, friendly and energetic.

Maura Romano

Maura Romano

Year
Junior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

Ducks and squirrels.

Animal that best describes your personality

Koala, kinda lazy, sometimes crotchety but also cute!

Maya Roussell

Maya Roussell

Year
Junior
Major
Theater
Favorite thing about WU

I love the small-community feel and the ducklings that run rampant in the spring.

Animal that best describes your personality

A gorilla because I’m resourceful, loyal and tough.

Kyle Salois

Kyle Salois

Year
Senior
Major
Mathematics!
Favorite thing about WU

The professors! Specifically Colin Starr and his endless supply of Red Vines.

Animal that best describes your personality

An older dog: still friendly and kind, but not as energetic as some of the youngsters.

LaShae Smith

LaShae Smith

Year
Sophomore
Major
Physics and Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

The community!

Animal that best describes your personality

Hummingbird bc I’m constantly doing something and am always very energetic.

Jaelin Sonoda

Jaelin Sonoda

Year
Junior
Major
Anthropology
Favorite thing about WU

The amazingly supportive people.

Animal that best describes your personality

Tiger, because I am strong and powerful but in the end I'm just a big cat.

Sara Streete

Year
Sophomore
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

The amount of dogs that are always everywhere on campus!

Animal that best describes your personality

I took a quiz once that told me I'm most like a wolf because I'm loyal.

Dawn-Hunter Strobel

Dawn-Hunter Strobel

Year
Junior
Major
Theatre
Favorite thing about WU

The professors. In high school I never felt like I knew my teachers personally, but at WU I consider many of my professors my friends.

Animal that best describes your personality

A hummingbird. First of all, my mom loves birds so I have a soft spot for them in my heart. But also because hummingbirds are small and fast and very strong and I am small and fast and very strong.

Claire Sydeman

Claire Sydeman

Year
Senior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

The people!

Animal that best describes your personality

A panda because I'm nice and pretty chill but definitely have a strong will if I want to get something done.

Cameron Taggesell

Cameron Taggesell

Year
Sophomore
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

The community!

Animal that best describes your personality

A cat because they can be shy at first but once you get to know them, they’re super fun, loving and nice.