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Meet the Team

Meet the NVU-Johnson First-Year Experience Team

NVU First-Year Experience Staff

Michele WhitmoreMichele Whitmore
Associate Dean of Students
“I fell in love with this place from the moment I stepped onto campus,” Michele says. Students were the driving force for getting her more involved with the division of student life. Her career has been on an upward trend ever since. In addition to her primary responsibilities, Michele serves as the men’s women’s tennis coach at NVU-Johnson.
Advice for new students: College is a wonderful opportunity that will provide you with lasting friendships, important life lessons and a network of people that will help you further your personal and professional development. Purposely connect with peers, faculty, and staff. These connections will be the pathway to your academic and social success as you navigate through your first year at NVU-Johnson. Make the most of this time in your life and appreciate the journey that you are about to begin.

Laura RaceLaura Race
Assistant to the Dean of Students
Advice for new students: Try everything you can.

Sarah Thornton
Sarah Thornton
Director of Student Activities and Community Service
Advice for new students: When registering for classes, let passion and excitement guide you. Use this year to explore and take classes that you find interesting and mentally stimulating. You never know what classes you like until you try them out!

Orientation Leaders

Janice Griggs

Janice Griggs
Major: Psychology, with a minor in Environmental Science and a certificate in Sustainability
Advice for new students: Start saying “hi” to people that walk by – even if you don’t know them. Campus will quickly become home and the students will quickly become family that way.

Amanda RosalboAmanda Rosalbo
Major: Psychology
Advice for new students: Be as active on campus as you can be! A huge perk of a small liberal arts school is that the opportunities are endless and super accessible to all students. Don’t be afraid to reach out and try new things – it’s a great way to make friends, get connected with staff and faculty, and explore new interests.

Opal SavoyOpal Savoy
Major: Creative Writing, Psychology
Advice for new students: Throw yourself in headfirst and take every opportunity you can. Johnson is such a great place to create a wonderful experience and you don’t want to miss out on all the amazing things you can do!

Skylar VandervortSkylar Vandervort
Major: Psychology
Advice for new students: Know that you are not alone. The transition to college is tough, but there are a ton of people on campus who are there for you and have felt the same anxiety as you. Always remember there are people on campus rooting for you!

Garrison FrenchGarrison French
Major: Studio Arts
Advice for new students: Get out and explore with friends. There are many places on and around campus to enjoy after this time of isolation. A little nature, adventure and friendship will help bring our spirit back up!

Sarina PesinkowskiSarina Pesinkowski
Major: Psychology
Advice for new students: Embrace change! It’s definitely intimidating, but embracing the changes that come with starting college can broaden your horizons in more than just academic ways.

Emily CarchiaEmily Carchia
Major: Business Management
Advice for new students: Advice for new students: get as involved in everything that interests you on campus. The more involved you are the more likely you are to find friends and meet new people. And remember nothing is as scary as it seems!

Kylie BerryKylie Berry

Major: Health Sciences/Pre-Professional Health Studies
Advice for new students: Don’t be afraid to be who you want to be, do what you want to do, and use your voice for how and what you want to. You are here to learn and grow, so use this opportunity to the best of your ability!

Porsch JohnsonPorsche Johnson
Major: Creative Writing
Advice for new students: Come into college with an open mind because most things are different than what you expect.

Diego GrayDiego Gray
: Health Sciences/Pre-Professional Health Studies
Advice for new students: Advocate for yourself and know when to ask for help.

Lauren BurgLauren Burg
: Interdisciplinary Studies
Advice for new students: Enjoy the process. Have fun while you are here because learning is meant to be fun. The biggest waste of time it to worry and stress out, especially when you could be enjoying yourself.

Porsch JohnsonRebecca Simon
Major: Wellness and Alternative Medicine
Advice for new students: Attend the activities and events campus holds. There are so many more ways to get involved in campus life aside from athletics and clubs! These events cater to a wide variety of interests, whether it be music, movies, video games, or crafts, there is always some fun event happening. These activities are not only fun and give you the opportunity to do some pretty rad things (where else would I make a lava lamp or get in a powdered paint fight?!), but they are a great way to see some new faces outside of the classroom, and you can connect with people who share similar interests with you, which is a great way to break the ice and make a new friend!

Matt ParkerMatt Parker
: Performance, Arts, and Technology: Theatre/Musical Theatre
Advice for new students: Treat your time here like an opportunity. Try something new while you have a community of people surrounding you that are eager to see you succeed.

Nataleia MedinaNataleia Medina
: Health Sciences: Health and Wellness Coaching
Advice for new students: Stay organized. Having multiple classes and a ton of activities can get crazy at times but staying organized can be a huge help.

Thomas NguyenThomas Nguyen
: Health Sciences: Health and Wellness Coaching
Advice for new students: Time management is your best friend, but also make sure to take the time to enjoy right now in the present moment.