Wilkes University’s Student Development team had been planning the first-year student Orientation for months not knowing quite what to expect. Would it be virtual, in-person, or somewhere in between? As spring turned to summer and restrictions were eased, it was determined that indeed all Orientation activities would be in-person.
Beginning on July 7 and concluding on July 14, this year’s summer orientation program included six separate day-long sessions. Each day started with incoming students and their families meeting their assigned E-mentors, and sessions throughout the day that included how to prepare for the college transition, meeting academic advisors, residence life including move-in details, financial aid info, fun activities, lunch and more.
“We are so excited to welcome all of our first-year students,” said Director of Student Development Melissa Howells the morning before one of the the orientations began. “Our E-Mentors are especially excited to participate in the first in-person orientation in two years.”
Wilkes President Dr. Greg Cant welcomed first-year students and their families to the first in-person Orientation in two years during the Welcome session. Listen to his speech:
Watch the video below to see Howells and our 2021-22 E-Mentors in action:
The E-Mentor program, now nearing its second decade at Wilkes, has proven to be a wonderful way to not only help new students acclimate to their new life at Wilkes, but to make, oftentimes, lifetime friends with their E-mentors and the other new first-year students in their E-mentor groups. E-mentors usually have 12-18 mentees, and they are paired based on commonalities including majors, athletics and hobbies.
The E-mentor program has certainly proven over the years to benefit the mentees—but the E-mentors gain great benefits as well. “My E-mentor was so great,” said political science major Kathrine Ermeus ’24. “During the pandemic, everything was online which was a struggle. But my E-mentor did everything she could to help us, and she was so sweet. The first day of class, she hung out with me and was there for anything I needed. I volunteered this year because I wanted to be that friendly face for someone else’s first day on campus.” Aariyana Gould ’23, musical theatre and history major agrees. “I was lucky because I was able to experience Orientation before the pandemic hit, and I enjoyed the weekend and my E-mentor so much. I always had a bunch of questions, and I loved that I had someone I could ask. I thought, let me put myself out there and be an E-mentor for someone else.”
Meet a few of our E-mentors and learn why they love the program:
Communications major, Orientation Coordinator,
Political Science major and E-mentor.
Musical Theatre and History major, E-mentor
Mechanical Engineering, E-mentor
View the media gallery: