2016 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:
Juan Aguilera

Juan Aguilera

Year
Sophomore
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

The people here.

Animal that best describes your personality

Sloth, they are super relaxed. They live the dream.

Emma Ahern

Emma Ahern

Year
Junior
Major
Art History
Favorite thing about WU

The people here and the experiences they've given me.

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog, specifically a Shiba Inu (they dance!)

Stephanie Aronson

Stephanie Aronson

Year
Junior
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

I love the support my professors and the community provides academically (and that Bistro cookies exist).

Animal that best describes your personality

Dolphins! They live in the ocean and eat fish, which is a lifestyle I'm not opposed to.

Maddi Barnett

Maddi Barnett

Year
Junior
Major
Economics
Animal that best describes your personality

A turtle because they just like to chill.

Noah Black

Noah Black

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I love the people. There is always such little judgment within the Willamette community. No matter how you look or what you do, there will always be people who are willing to be your friend.

Animal that best describes your personality

A gorilla because they are mischievous and playful yet can take the lead in just about any situation.

Lauren Blake

Lauren Blake

Year
Junior
Major
Civic Communication and Media & Politics
Favorite thing about WU

Definitely the people! I've made so many great friends here that I can't imagine my college experience without them all!

Animal that best describes your personality

I feel like I relate very strongly to giraffes because we're both really tall and we eat plants!

Emily Büchi

Emily Büchi

Year
Junior
Major
Anthropology
Favorite thing about WU

The community. Everyone here is so welcoming and interesting- I have never met so many people I enjoy!

Animal that best describes your personality

Baby Beluga Whale because they're always smiling!

Robyn Burnside

Robyn Burnside

Year
Junior
Major
Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

The small and inclusive community.

Animal that best describes your personality

Puffin or Otter because they seem so fun loving - and they love the ocean and Alaska like me!

Meghan Burry

Meghan Burry

Year
Senior
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the friends that I have made here.

Animal that best describes your personality

Koala because they get to hang in trees all day, sleep and eat. They're super chill.

Alexis Cartales

Alexis Cartales

Year
Senior
Major
Creative Writing
Favorite thing about WU

Professors that care.

Animal that best describes your personality

Chinchilla because who doesn't want to be a Chinchilla?

Michael Chen

Michael Chen

Year
Junior
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

Opening Days, Dance Company, my friends, and Rebecca Ellecamp!

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be a Kodiak Brown Bear because I protect the ones I love. Also, I LOVE Kodiak, Alaska!

Kaiya Clark

Kaiya Clark

Year
Senior
Major
Anthropology
Favorite thing about WU

I love the smell of Eaton because it smells like an old book!

Animal that best describes your personality

An otter because I love being playful and keeping life happy!

Nell Crittenden

Nell Crittenden

Year
Sophomore
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The overt progressiveness and acceptance of marginalized identities. It's a long road to travel, but Bearcats are packed and ready for the ride.

Animal that best describes your personality

Definitely the elephant. They're my absolute favorite: loving and caring, but ferocious and tenacious right when they're undermined.

Caden Crowston

Caden Crowston

Year
Junior
Major
Civic Communications and Media
Favorite thing about WU

The people and the community at Willamette are amazing and have made me feel very at home here!

Animal that best describes your personality

A Koala because I have all of the necessary koalafications

Nate Dausman

Nate Dausman

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

The originality that the students have! Everyone is so uniquely individual and free to be themselves, that it really makes such a beautifully original and truly interesting place!

Animal that best describes your personality

Otter! They're smart and wily with the best sense of humor in the animal kingdom!

Jeff Decker

Jeff Decker

Year
Junior
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the Bistro (and its cookies!)

Animal that best describes your personality

I do not have one.

Todd Denning

Todd Denning

Year
Senior
Major
Physics and Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

The professors! They're brilliant and approachable at the same time.

Animal that best describes your personality

Orca! It's my favorite animal--social, smart, and cool!

Casey Dobbert

Casey Dobbert

Year
Sophomore
Major
Creative Writing
Favorite thing about WU

The Mill Stream!

Animal that best describes your personality

A cat because I'm sweet and cute but I can have an attitude

Tom Farley

Tom Farley

Year
Sophomore
Major
Economics/Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

Since it's smaller than a lot of other schools, you are held to a higher standard of values to contribute to your community, which is what the Willamette motto really means in my opinion.

Animal that best describes your personality

Capybara. No explanation necessary.

Alyssa Feskanin

Alyssa Feskanin

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I love how approachable the professors are, and their availability to help me whenever I may need it

Animal that best describes your personality

Garth (Wayne's World)

Sarah Freilicher

Sarah Freilicher

Year
Junior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

I love the people and the millstream. Hanging out with friends by the millstream is my favorite way to spend free time at WU.

Animal that best describes your personality

A sloth, a Buzzfeed quiz told me so.

Wyatt Gibbons

Wyatt Gibbons

Year
Senior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The Golden Man on a sunny day!

Animal that best describes your personality

I think this is generic but my friends always tell me a dumb dog. Probably one of the little yippy ones.

Liz Gill

Liz Gill

Year
Senior
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

Sunny days by the Mill Stream

Animal that best describes your personality

Golden Retriever: I am loyal and I never stop moving!

Logan Glass

Logan Glass

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is how friendly people are! I've only known my friends here since August, but it feels like we've known each other forever.

Animal that best describes your personality

I identify strongly with bears - big, goofy, sleep a lot - but my friends have started calling me "Bunny," which is a little more accurate.

Alex Gordon

Alex Gordon

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

Its a place that truly lets you do whatever you want with no judgment, and there are not a lot of places that can say that.

Animal that best describes your personality

The Griffin: because, like myself, it can't make up its mind about what it wants to be.

Tova Hershman

Tova Hershman

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I love the small community and the the opportunity to have close relationships with professors.

Animal that best describes your personality

A deer, because I am observant and caring.

Courtney Ibabao

Courtney Ibabao

Year
Junior
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing is the community! Everyone here is kind (:

Animal that best describes your personality

A dolphin because they are one of the happiest sea critters ever.

Maddie Immel

Maddie Immel

Year
Senior
Major
Politics and Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

Being able to travel to awesome places with the Debate team! I'm going to China and Ireland this summer with the team.

Animal that best describes your personality

River otter: They're fun and sometimes silly but they always swim around with some real confidence.

Callum Johnston

Callum Johnston

Year
Sophomore
Major
Computer Science
Favorite thing about WU

The People.

Animal that best describes your personality

Nighthawk

Mallory Kennaday

Mallory Kennaday

Year
Junior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

I love that everyone here is very friendly and their is an environment of cooperation and not competition. I know that someone I don't know might celebrate my successes with me or wish me luck and that makes me proud to be a bearcat.

Animal that best describes your personality

A honey badger, because 1) a buzz feed quiz said so and 2) they are small and unexpectedly fierce like me!

Allie Kerkhoff

Allie Kerkhoff

Year
Sophomore
Major
Mathematics and Economics
Favorite thing about WU

I love how passionate every student is about what they're involved in or what they want to do in life. It's really inspiring to see my peers constantly striving to make change.

Animal that best describes your personality

A fox because I took a test once and it told me so. Foxes are also my favorite animals.

Sarah King

Sarah King

Year
Junior
Major
History/Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the community and the staff here. I feel at home all the time on this campus, and the support is incredible.

Animal that best describes your personality

If I was an animal, I would be a wolf, according to the Buzzfeed quiz I took.

Kandace King

Kandace King

Year
Senior
Major
Economics
Favorite thing about WU

The people! Our community is so close-knit and running into wonderful people around campus always makes my day better. I have found my best friends at Willamette.

Animal that best describes your personality

An owl because I am always a HOOT (haha but really I'm a corgi)

Kristen Kittelson

Kristen Kittelson

Year
Senior
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

The community that we have, everyone is just so willing to help each other out and share a smile.

Animal that best describes your personality

Golden retriever. Energetic at times, calm at others, just wants to make people happy.

Kazutoshi Koba

Kazutoshi Koba

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the small community of passionate learners.

Animal that best describes your personality

Panda, because they're strong yet gentle.

Katherine LaChasse

Katherine LaChasse

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

I love the community, the Outdoor Program, and how beautiful the campus is!

Animal that best describes your personality

A sloth, because I really enjoy a good nap.

Joseph Landoni

Joseph Landoni

Year
Junior
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The amazingly supportive community that embodies everything that is Willamette

Animal that best describes your personality

Lion.

Molly Lathrop

Molly Lathrop

Year
Senior
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

Sunny days by the Mill Stream!

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be a sloth because sleeping, eating and hanging out in a tree would be the life!

Rebeca Lopez

Rebeca Lopez

Year
Sophomore
Major
Sociology & Politics
Favorite thing about WU

The small tight knit community

Animal that best describes your personality

A corgi because they are short and energetic

Jonny Louangrath

Jonny Louangrath

Year
Sophomore
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette would have to be the tight-knit community. Because of how small Willamette is, everyone seems to be connected with each other, including students and professors! It's refreshing to see familiar faces all around campus.

Animal that best describes your personality

A wolf because they represent loyalty, success, and perseverance. Wolves also embody freedom and companionship, both of which I value. (Plus, my high school mascot was a wolf!)

Nebraska Lucas

Nebraska Lucas

Year
Senior
Major
Philosophy
Favorite thing about WU

The people! I love how charismatic and welcoming everyone here is.

Animal that best describes your personality

A snake. I tend to be tricky and occasionally slimy.

Derek Lund

Derek Lund

Year
Junior
Major
Environmental Science
Favorite thing about WU

Cliche, but the sense of community and how open the student body, faculty, and staff all are. Everyone is willing to listen and engage with you on a personal level at Willamette.

Animal that best describes your personality

Wolf, they are intensely social animals that can sustain lasting relationships as well as thrive in any environment. I consider myself to be highly adaptable and social as well.

Kees McGahan

Kees McGahan

Year
Senior
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

Smiling faces

Interesting personal fact

Leaf Sheep (look it up)

Maggie Mellecker

Maggie Mellecker

Year
Sophomore
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the people here and the incredible relationships I've made during my first year.

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog because I am enthusiastic and excitable but also very caring.

Kiara Mina

Kiara Mina

Year
Junior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

The people!

Animal that best describes your personality

Hello Kitty because she is creative, energetic, and caring.

Misaki Mochizuki

Misaki Mochizuki

Year
ASP Student
Major
International Relations
Favorite thing about WU

American students are suuuuuper friendly and kind!!!!!!!!!!!

Animal that best describes your personality

penguin

Madison Montemayor

Madison Montemayor

Year
Senior
Major
Psychology and Civic Communications & Media
Favorite thing about WU

I love how involved everyone is in our community. I like to stay busy and its nice to know I'm not the only one!

Animal that best describes your personality

A raccoon because I love wearing black eyeliner and exploring at night (I also want a pet one really badly)

Michelle Nagata

Michelle Nagata

Year
Sophomore
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

I like the close community, beautiful campus, and vegan chai cookies.

Animal that best describes your personality

Monk seal because they are chill, happy, like to eat fish, and are basically dogs of the water!

Ottillia Ni

Ottillia Ni

Year
Junior
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

The numerous opportunities, such as sports, clubs, and academic classes, that allow students to discover new hobbies and interests.

Animal that best describes your personality

Turtles because they move at their own pace, are determined and peaceful creatures, and love the sun!

Anthony Ninthara

Anthony Ninthara

Year
Sophomore
Major
Computer Science
Favorite thing about WU

My favourite thing about Willamette is how supportive the community is. No matter what issue you are facing you can always find a friend or someone to talk to if you are feeling down or need a little cheering up.

Animal that best describes your personality

A wolf because they are energetic, free spirited, strategic, and know the importance of being in social circles. I am a very sociable, free spirited person who enjoys hanging out with people but also in the back of my mind planning what to do next!

Yoshimi Okazaki

Yoshimi Okazaki

Year
Junior
Major
Women and Gender studies
Favorite thing about WU

People!

Animal that best describes your personality

A cat because a cat does whatever it wants.

Elena O'Shea

Elena O'Shea

Year
Junior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

I like the community of excited, friendly people!

Animal that best describes your personality

I guess I would say a Border Collie because I like to keep everyone together.

Bri Owens

Bri Owens

Year
Senior
Major
Theatre
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is that it's a place where you can feel comfortable have different beliefs and opinions than others. But at the same time, people here are not afraid to question other people's beliefs or ideas. I like that because it eventually makes you question your own beliefs and helps you to feel really strongly about them.

Animal that best describes your personality

A manatee. Everyone is like, those things are so weird, but I like it. That's me in a nutshell.

Heather Pearson

Heather Pearson

Year
Junior
Major
Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

bistro cookies, tiny classes, inspiring professors, sunny days sitting by the Mill Stream

Animal that best describes your personality

A bison - they are so chill and laid back but also pretty mighty if riled up

Hannah Puckett

Hannah Puckett

Year
Senior
Major
Exercise Science
Minor
Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

That everywhere you go you see someone you know

Animal that best describes your personality

Olaf from Frozen because he likes summer and so do I

Ivy Rivas

Ivy Rivas

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite things about Willamette are the small classrooms and the dedicated teachers.

Animal that best describes your personality

A fox because the name Fox has been in my family for generations.

RoShaan Rogers

RoShaan Rogers

Year
Junior
Major
Economics
Favorite thing about WU

The community. When you get to know everyone, and everyone becomes your friend, it's just amazing and feels great.

Animal that best describes your personality

Cheetah! They are fast as I want to be.

Anya Romig

Anya Romig

Year
Junior
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

A bunch of nerdy people who laugh at my jokes!

Animal that best describes your personality

A pachycephalosaurus, my favorite dinosaur!

Ira Rubio

Ira Rubio

Year
Junior
Major
Biology
Favorite thing about WU

Seeing friendly faces everywhere!

Animal that best describes your personality

A dog

Maria Isabel Saldaña

Maria Isabel Saldaña

Year
Sophomore
Major
Physics
Favorite thing about WU

I like to see the styles and fashion around campus. It is really inspiring.

Animal that best describes your personality

Black Panther. I come off as quiet, calm and mysterious.

Kyle Salois

Kyle Salois

Year
Sophomore
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette is the sense of community!

Animal that best describes your personality

I'm probably an older dog, because I'm super loyal and will stand by you, but I'm not as energetic as a puppy.

Jenny Salwitz

Jenny Salwitz

Year
Junior
Major
Theatre
Animal that best describes your personality

Zoboomafoo or Doug (from Up). I love the energy that they both have, joyful, excited, and loving. I like to think that I embody some of these characteristics in my life. Or at least I try to.

Arianna Seal

Arianna Seal

Year
Junior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

The sense of community and how much of a home Willamette has become for me.

Animal that best describes your personality

I would be a seal, because they are happy, social, and always down to hang out and chill.

Frances Sheldon-O'Neal

Frances Sheldon-O'Neal

Year
Sophomore
Major
Economics/Sociology
Favorite thing about WU

I love the community and friendliness that there is on campus among everyone. I really enjoy being able to see so many familiar faces and people throughout my day here and it truly makes me feel at home!

Animal that best describes your personality

A red panda because I'm spunky, cuddly, and have red hair!

Christian Sidwell

Christian Sidwell

Year
Sophomore
Major
Math/Computer Science
Favorite thing about WU

I love the close connections that I have made with my professors, and how I know at least 10 people on campus that I can go to for any kind of help.

Animal that best describes your personality

A raccoon, because they never cease to make me laugh.

Emily Sperber

Emily Sperber

Year
Junior
Major
Creative Writing
Favorite thing about WU

I like the community of Willamette that allows for stimulating discussions in class, a great dialogue between students and teachers, and the camaraderie that comes from living in the dorms!

Animal that best describes your personality

A corgi because everyone loves a good corgi.

Michael Spetich

Michael Spetich

Year
Junior
Major
Mathematics
Favorite thing about WU

I really like the people here. Everyone here is very kind and supportive, even when it's raining.

Animal that best describes your personality

A wolf. I can function alone or with a pack.

Paige Spradlin

Paige Spradlin

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

The people! everyone is always friendly and willing to help out

Animal that best describes your personality

A honey bee--it was my childhood nickname

Kate Steffy

Kate Steffy

Year
Senior
Major
Civic Communications and Media Studies
Favorite thing about WU

The Bistro and the Professors

Animal that best describes your personality

Golden Retriever because I am loyal

Laurel Styner

Laurel Styner

Year
Junior
Major
Voice Performance
Favorite thing about WU

The good vibes.

Animal that best describes your personality

An egret; I am tall, pale, and elegant.

Risa Sugiura

Risa Sugiura

Year
ASP Student
Major
English Communication
Animal that best describes your personality

Sloth, because I love sleeping!!

Holly Walsh

Holly Walsh

Year
Junior
Major
English & Spanish
Favorite thing about WU

If I'm walking around on campus stressed out about a paper or something, there's always people who I know who will wave and make my day so much better. That's the upside of such a small campus. You'll always know someone!

Animal that best describes your personality

A hedgehog, because they're super cute but they can curl up into little tiny balls when they want to.

Annie Wang

Annie Wang

Year
Sophomore
Major
Undeclared
Favorite thing about WU

A very welcoming and close-knit community.

Animal that best describes your personality

Cat! Lazy but elegant might be the words for me to live by.

Matthew Wei

Matthew Wei

Year
Sophomore
Major
The people :)
Favorite thing about WU

The people :)

Animal that best describes your personality

Panda, because I am huggable

Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman

Year
Junior
Major
Politics
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite thing about Willamette are the professors. They're absolutely amazing.

Animal that best describes your personality

A wolf. It's my spirit animal because it is, I didn't choose the wolf, the wolf choose me.

Allison Whitby

Allison Whitby

Year
Senior
Major
Psychology and Religious Studies
Favorite thing about WU

My favorite things are the hidden cacti around campus that remind me of my home.

Animal that best describes your personality

A Bear, I value sleep and food too much to be anything else.

Sydney Wilson

Sydney Wilson

Year
Sophomore
Major
Biochemistry
Favorite thing about WU

Intramural volleyball, The Toilet Paper, and amazing professors!

Animal that best describes your personality

Squid because I'd go by squidney and I love the ocean!

Shadrach Wood

Shadrach Wood

Year
Junior
Major
Psychology
Favorite thing about WU

Hands down the chocolate chip waffles that Goudy serves every Sunday.

Animal that best describes your personality

According to a quiz, the Bear because I value grounding myself, emotional health, strength, and privacy.

Lavender Wu

Lavender Wu

Year
Junior
Major
Theatre, Communications
Favorite thing about WU

How much you can learn from people around you and the opportunity to try new things.

Animal that best describes your personality

Panda! I just love lying around and daydreaming about random little things :)

Andrew Yaginuma

Andrew Yaginuma

Year
ASP Student
Major
English communication
Favorite thing about WU

The mill stream

Animal that best describes your personality

Shiba inu, I often get told I am similar to shiba inu.