Opening Days

2015 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:

Mark Andreoni

Year
Senior
Hometown
Naperville, IL
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

The cookies in the Bistro on campus!

Animal that best describes your personality

A sloth because I can sleep anywhere.

Stephanie Aronson

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Pleasanton, CA
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

I love all the academic support provided by the tutors and professors, as well as the friendly community on campus

Animal that best describes your personality

Dolphin. I love the water and having fuN! (and eating seafood)

Suzuka Asama

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Saitama, Japan
Major
English communication
Favorite thing about WU

The Bistro, Library, and Sparks

Animal that best describes your personality

Cat because people say I am similar to my cat.

Madelaine Au

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Portland, OR
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I like how so many of the programs are student run, like Opening Days. I feel like the students at Willamette have a pretty strong say in decisions that are made here.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be an otter because I like to work hard, but I also like to play hard too.

Collin Barnum

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Auburn, OR
Major
Environmental Science
Favorite thing about WU

The adorable ducks

Animal that best describes your personality

I would say I am most similar to a pygmy goat. They are adorable, but they can be feisty at times.

Rachel Bedolla

Year
Senior
Hometown
Tigard, OR
Major
Japanese Studies
Favorite thing about WU

I love the community. It's so easy to talk to anyone about anything - I've gotten into very deep meaningful conversations with people before I've even known their name.

Animal that best describes your personality

Hummingbird - I'm always flitting around doing something at rapid speed, and moving to the next.

Lauren Blake

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Arcata, CA
Major
Civic Communications and Media
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about WU is the great sense of community that exists on campus. Whether you're in line or sitting in the Bistro, you can just turn to the person next to you and strike up a conversation. Maybe you'll have a class with them or maybe you'll just have seen them in passing, but we can all bond over how much we love Bistro cookies. There are so many fantastic people here that I've loved getting to know and I'm looking forward to meeting all the new Bearcats!

Animal that best describes your personality

My spirit animal is the Lorax. We are both pretty sassy and passionate about the environment. While I'm a little taller than he is, we share the need to say what we think and stand up for what we believe in.

Mara Brashem

Year
Senior
Hometown
Mercer Island, WA
Major
Studio Art
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is that there is an unlimited number of opportunities for students to get involved in on campus and such a great variety of activities, that there is never any reason to be bored!

Animal that best describes your personality

I am definitely an otter because I am friendly, super enthusiastic, and enjoy the company of others!

Will Bremer

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Los Angeles, CA
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

Incredibly supportive teachers and my quickly expanding mallard-based empire.

Animal that best describes your personality

A manatee because I am almost constantly in a state of calm, contented existence, and I am inclined to go with the flow of life around me. I'm considered adorable by the masses when submerged in water.

Liz Brown

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Spokane, WA
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The ducks.

Animal that best describes your personality

Deer, because I have big eyes and am easily startled by sounds in the woods.

Robyn Burnside

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Kodiak, AK
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

The small, tight-knit community.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would say a Labrador dog because I am friendly and love to have fun.

Tor Carlson

Year
Senior
Hometown
Palo Alto, CA
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The people and the Bush park owls

Animal that best describes your personality

A Quokka, because it's always smiling.

Michael Chen

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Palo Alto, CA
Major
Economics/Math
Favorite thing about WU

I love the people, food, professors, the buildings, the leaves, AND OD!!!

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog because I'm super energetic, loving, and crazy!

Gordie Clary

Year
Junior
Hometown
Vacaville, CA
Major
Exercise Science
Favorite thing about WU

Some of my favorite things about WU include the Collegian, sunny afternoons by the Mill Stream, and wraps at Goudy.

Animal that best describes your personality

I am a chameleon, because I seem to be comfortable in any environment! Also I try to be as colorful as possible in anything I do!

Caden Crowston

Year
Junior
Hometown
Orland, CA
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

The people and the small size of the school

Animal that best describes your personality

A koala because I have all of the necessary koalafications

Todd Denning

Todd Denning

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Florence, OR
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

The professors!

Animal that best describes your personality

Dolphin

Gabriel Driver-Wilson

Year
Senior
Hometown
Healdsburg, CA
Major
Computer Science
Favorite thing about WU

How easy it is to meet new people and make friends in the small classes, dorms, Greek life, and the endless events going on at Willamette.

Animal that best describes your personality

"Well according to an online quiz I'm a dolphin. Who knew? Someone who cares about the people in their life, and is determine to achieve their goals. But I don't know how they know that stuff about dolphins... I'd say I'm more like a monkey. I stay true to my family and friends, I love a good time, good food, and climbing trees."

Rebecca Ellecamp

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Petaluma, CA
Major
Civic Communications
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is a tie between the small size of the student body/campus and Willamette's philosophy on education. The community is small enough that you get personal attention as a student yet large enough to provide excellent resources and opportunities. Also, the campus is, well, incredibly gorgeous! My second favorite thing about Willamette is the cookies they serve in the Bistro. They're bomb.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would probably describe myself as a manatee. They're pretty gentle and fun-loving creatures who do their own thing and don't get in tussles with other water-dwelling creatures.

Moira Finnegan

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Seattle, WA
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is probably the people. Everyone I have met has been super friendly and supportive. Whether that be the math tutors who gracefully put up with my questions, to the random people who hold open doors for others, to all the classmates I have had.

Alice Fontaine

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Auburn, CA
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I really enjoy the community here at Willamette. It is very close-knit here and everywhere I go people are welcoming and inviting. The campus is also quite amazing because it is so beautiful!

Animal that best describes your personality

I feel like the slow loris best describes my personality for various reasons. To start, they have round faces and big eyes (both of which I also have). Secondly, they move slowly and quietly, just like me! Finally, when in danger they stop moving and remain motionless, which is exactly my method of survival when watching horror movies.

Carson Foreman

Carson Foreman

Year
Senior
Hometown
Monterey, CA
Major
Rhetoric and Media Studies
Favorite thing about WU

The people! It's great to be surrounded by such motivated and friendly peers.

Animal that best describes your personality

A lion, because I like lion in the sun!

Trisha Fujiwara

Year
Senior
Hometown
Pukalani, HI
Major
International Studies
Favorite thing about WU

The amazing people and close community!

Animal that best describes your personality

A Cat

Owen Fuller

Year
Senior
Hometown
Rescue, CA
Major
Civic Communications and Media
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about WU, huh? Where to start? The campus is beautiful, my classmates are incredible, and the professors are amazing! If I had to decide though, I think I'd have to say that my professors and how accessible they are is the best. They have all been incredibly helpful in and out of class, and their offices being right there next to the class rooms has made finding them outside class very easy.

Animal that best describes your personality

The animal that best describes my personality (at least according to my best friend) is a lemur. I can dig it because I am energetic, I love climbing and leaping from things. And you know what? Zoboomafoo was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid!

Erin Gangstad

Erin Gangstad

Year
Senior
Hometown
Bellevue, WA
Major
Civic Communications and Media Studies
Favorite thing about WU

All of the communities I get to be a part of!

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be a Honey Badger because I'm adorable but also very strong willed.

Albert Garcia

Year
Senior
Hometown
Broomfield, CO
Major
Math and Economics
Favorite thing about WU

Ability to interact with professors on an individual basis and the small community feel

Animal that best describes your personality

"Big Ole' Grizzly Bear I like to lumber around without a worry in the world, but when its time to get going I'm a beast"

Wyatt Gibbons

Year
Junior
Hometown
Bainbridge Island, WA
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

I like the community atmosphere and the sense that there is always a support system for you when you find yourself in need.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would say I am similar to an elephant. I have a generally easygoing demeanor, a good memory (names and fun facts especially) and I like to roll with a crew.

Liz Gill

Liz Gill

Year
Junior
Hometown
Cheney, WA
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The people, and community atmosphere. People here will truly care about you!

Animal that best describes your personality

Golden Retriever- Mostly becuase I love them, but also I am loyal and hard working, as well as a go getter!

Austin Guimond

Austin Guimond

Year
Senior
Hometown
Denver, CO
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is how friendly the students are. You can be at the mill stream or in the bistro and always find someone to strike up a conversation with.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would say the animal that describes me best is a sea otter. I like to cut loose and have fun but at the same time i'm a hard worker. My favorite place to be is also the ocean.

William Hamer

William Hamer

Year
Senior
Hometown
Oakland, CA
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

The friends I've made, both the best friends and the ones you simply wave at as you're on the way to class.

Animal that best describes your personality

Lemur

Edna Htet

Edna Htet

Year
Junior
Hometown
Fremont, CA
Major
English or Politics
Favorite thing about WU

I love meeting so many interesting people everyday: students, faculty, staff, and visitors. I love the close-knit community that we have. Also, the Bistro cookies are the bomb.com.

Animal that best describes your personality

Sharks, because they're bloodthirsty and vicious.

Hadley Jackson

Hadley Jackson

Year
Junior
Hometown
Great Falls, MT
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The people, the trees, and the vegan chai cookies

Animal that best describes your personality

Manatee

Sumaiya Khan

Sumaiya Khan

Year
Junior
Hometown
Claremont, CA
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

Millstream and the community

Animal that best describes your personality

Lemur!

Kandace King

Kandace King

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
McKinleyville, CA
Major
Economics
Favorite thing about WU

Honestly the people, whether it be staff or students, you will find the most amazing, considerate, unique set of personalities at Willamette University!

Animal that best describes your personality

Dolphin

Kristen Kittelson

Kristen Kittelson

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Beaverton, OR
Major
Undecided
Favorite thing about WU

Diverse mix of friendly and amazing people

Animal that best describes your personality

Polar bear cub

Marika McCarthy

Marika McCarthy

Year
Junior
Hometown
Bellevue, WA
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

Sunny days by the Mill Stream

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be a hedgehog because they are cute and cuddly (but not too cuddly).

Kenya Reutin

Kenya Reutin

Year
Junior
Hometown
Beaverton, OR
Major
Exercise Science
Favorite thing about WU

The relationship we have with the international students from Tokyo International University

Animal that best describes your personality

A baboon

Jacob Saiki

Jacob Saiki

Year
Junior
Hometown
Bainbridge Island, WA
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

How friendly people are

Animal that best describes your personality

Red Panda because I saw a really funny GIF of one today

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

Year
Junior
Hometown
Camas, WA
Major
Vocal Performance
Favorite thing about WU

There are a lot of ways to get involved and so many smiles everywhere you go!

Animal that best describes your personality

Giraffe

Hannah Scott-Persson

Hannah Scott-Persson

Year
Junior
Hometown
Chico, CA
Major
Anthropology
Favorite thing about WU

The Bistro

Animal that best describes your personality

Dolphin

Taneesh Sra

Taneesh Sra

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Fremont, CA
Major
Economics
Favorite thing about WU

The close-knit community and all the amazing people in it.

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog because I am loyal, outgoing, caring, and smart.

Kate Steffy

Kate Steffy

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Danville, CA
Major
Civic Communications and Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

The community and the bistro

Animal that best describes your personality

Squirrel

Bridget Summit

Bridget Summit

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
Portland, OR
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I love the environment here. It is amazing to be surrounded by my friends 24/7 and to feel like a part of this amazing community!

Animal that best describes your personality

Cat

Allison Whitby

Allison Whitby

Year
Sophomore
Hometown
San Tan Valley, AZ
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The amazing people, who genuinely love to hear about your passions.

Animal that best describes your personality

Sea Lion