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Profile in Leadership: Orientation Assistant Lerone Joseph

July 15, 2008

Name: Lerone Joseph
Major: Chemistry
Hometown: Manhattan, N.Y.; native of St. Kitts and Nevis
Campus Involvement: Orientation assistant, resident assistant, Project Excel, NAACP, Charles Drew M.A.P.S.

More than 1,600 miles from the flowing sugar cane fields of his native country, St. Kitts and Nevis, Lerone Joseph sought opportunity at UAlbany.

"Two things most attracted me to the University -- the chemistry program and the diverse clubs and organizations on campus," said Joseph, a sophomore chemistry major.

Other aspects impressed Joseph as well. But it was UAlbany's welcoming atmosphere -- manifested in the smiles of student orientation assistants -- that ultimately led him to the University.

"When I arrived on campus for the first time, all I remember is seeing the smiles on their faces. Their joy and spirit just pulls you in," he said.

Now Joseph is an orientation assistant, hoping to create that same feeling for incoming freshmen and transfer students.

What attracts students to UAlbany?
UAlbany is a big school, yet still helps every student thrive. The University's location gives students the opportunity to experience a city lifestyle on a smaller scale. And, UAlbany is well-known for some of the best academic programs in the SUNY system.

What should students expect when they arrive at UAlbany?
When students come to the University, they're walking into a place where anything is possible. Students can just be themselves and be successful. Students should expect a warm, friendly environment created by both students and faculty and lots of school spirit.

What impact does orientation have on freshmen and transfer students?
Orientation is a great way to start University life because it gives students an opportunity to actually interact with current students and staff and build lasting connections. Orientation provides a small taste of exactly what is to come.

What is the most popular question posed by incoming students?
Most freshmen are concerned about roommates and housing. I think living with someone they have never met before is one of the hardest adjustments for new students. My advice to them is that college is all about meeting new people, learning from them, and learning to compromise and understand each other.

What is your favorite aspect of University life?
It's the school spirit. Being away from home is hard sometimes, but when you look around and see the school spirit, it's so comforting. And when you get involved, it brings out that spirit in you.

How has UAlbany affected your view of the world?
UAlbany has changed my outlook on life and the world in so many ways. The University campus is diverse. I was able to learn so much from just walking around and interacting with people. The University has taught me that nothing is impossible. With hard work and help from the people around you, you can make it.

What is your advice for incoming students?
Students should come to college with an open mind -- be yourself when you get here, get involved and have fun. But make sure to find that balance between play time and academics. Be receptive to change and remember you are not the only student going through this experience. But most of all, enjoy your university experience because it doesn't last forever.

Related Links:
Summer Orientation Video
Orientation 2008 Photo Gallery
Department of Chemistry
Department of Residential Life
Orientation at UAlbany

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