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Spaghetti, smiles and service

UAlbany student volunteers in front of the Albany Ronald McDonald HouseUAlbany’s Orientation staff is comprised of a high energy group of students who act as the University’s “ambassadors of good will” all summer to the over 2,000 new students coming to UAlbany in the fall. It’s not all hard work. The Orientation Office plans a wide variety of social activities for this group of 17 as well. “We call it ‘Mandatory Fun Time’, it’s an opportunity to bond as a staff,” said Josh Hewitt, Administrative Assistant in the Office of Orientation.

This year they also directed their seemingly boundless energy into serving the community. At the close of the Orientation period, the staff took some time to visit and volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House in Albany.

They did everything from cleaning, cooking and stuffing envelopes to playing with some of the children in the family room located in Albany Medical Center. “You could see how happy the children were when we came to the hospital to play with them,” said Alyssa Ziegler a senior political science major.

UAlbany student volunteers with childrenThe staff was divided into groups and some assigned to cook a spaghetti and meatballs dinner including salad, garlic bread and brownies. “My favorite part was when we brought the food to the hospital and the families were so grateful and excited to have a home-cooked meal,” said Kristina Fontanelli, a junior English major.

Following their work, the staff got a full tour of the House and learned about all its services. Sonya Meaders, a junior majoring in actuarial math and sciences said, “Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces put warmth in my heart. Plus, the Ronald McDonald House was simply amazing.”

Director of Orientation, Mary Schimley was proud of her staffs’ efforts to reach out. “They are so involved in our campus community and it was wonderful to see them reach out to the greater Albany community as well.”

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