New Student Orientation

Meet the SOCs

What is a SOC?

SOCs, or Summer Orientation Counselors, are student leaders specially trained to make your orientation experience both worthwhile and memorable.  SOCs are bottomless wells of information about Washburn and great people to ask about the student experience.  Truly emulating the Ichabod, they are known for their spirit, enthusiasm, and helpfulness. 

2014 SOCs

Meet the 2016 SOCs

 

Camille Cortez

SOC Intern

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

Year: Senior

Major: Social Work

Favorite thing about WU: I love that you're not just a number at Washburn. The professors and staff really care about your well-being and they really want to see you succeed.

Best piece of advice for a new student: Don't be afraid to reach out to professors, staff, and other students. They are the biggest source of resources, help, advice, and support you can get. Trust me, you need all the help you can get through your freshman year.

 

2016 SOC Kaylee

Kaylee Erickson

SOC Intern

Hometown: Salina, Kansas

Year: Senior

Major: Elementary Education

Favorite thing about WU: THE PEOPLE! I can honestly say that people on Washburn's campus want you to succeed! There is always a smiling face and a helping hand. 

Best piece of advice for a new student: Go to class!!! Those days that you want to lay in bed and watch Netflix might be the day your professor gives out extra credit, I promise it is worth it.

 2016 SOC Josh

Josh Allen

Hometown: Horton, Kansas

Year: Junior

Major: Respiratory Therapy, Health Administration

Favorite thing about WU: The class sizes. This gives the students more opportunities for one-on-one time with professors.

Best piece of advice for a new student: Use your advisors! They are really helpful if you have any questions about your classes or your major.

 

2016 SOC Tambour

Tambour Bieker   

Hometown: Scranton, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Undecided

Favorite thing about WU: The people

Best piece of advice for a new student: Get Involved! College isn't fun if you're not being active.

 

2016 SOC Caroline

Caroline Clark

Hometown: Lenexa, Kansas

Year: Junior 

Major: Elementary Education

Favorite thing about WU: The community! Everywhere I go I see someone I know, and the faculty is so willing to help. 

Best piece of advice for a new student: Embrace the experience! You only get to do this once, so remember to focus on your studies foremost, but also allow yourself to have fun. 

 

2016 SOC Glynnis

Glynnis Debenham

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

Year: Junior

Major: Elementary Education

Favorite thing about WU: You know at least one person in each of your classes!

Best piece of advice for a new student: Sign up for things and get involved. That's the best way to make the most out of your college experience!

 

2016 SOC Michaela

Michaela Dervin

Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Psychology

Favorite thing about WU: how easy it is to get involved on campus, no matter what year you are!

Best piece of advice for a new student: college is where you're able to find out what you can and can't do; so don't be afraid to take chances!

 

2016 SOC Madie

Madeline Draper

Hometown: Holton, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: PTA / Health Science

Favorite thing: It is difficult to choose only one favorite thing about Washburn, because I love it here for many more reasons than one. If I had to choose though, I would definitely say that the professors here are wonderful. Each of my professors knew my name after maybe two weeks of class. They were genuine and really cared about the success of their students. Multiple professors told the students if their office hours didn't work with our schedule, just shoot them an email and they'd be happy to work out a time to meet with them for questions or extra help. That is amazing to me. And there are many more resources as well! There is no reason not to have the information and help you need and want. Washburn makes that easy for us!

Best piece of advice for a new student: If it seems overwhelming in the beginning, don't worry, you're not the only one who's felt that way. If you're one to get homesick, you're not alone there either. My advice for you is: give it some time. Get to know the campus, your professors, roommates, and anyone else you will see on a regular basis. Build relationships with these people and communicate with them often. It's amazing the kind of friendships and relationships you will build and grow in college. It definitely takes time to get into the swing of things. But once you have a routine and learn to leave a little time for yourself, there is no doubt you will have a wonderful experience at Washburn! There are incredible people here, so don't be afraid to ask questions. Our family of Bods are more than happy to point you in the right direction!

 

2016 SOc Sarah

Sarah Edelman :)

Hometown: Sabetha, Kansas

Year: Senior 

Major: Business management, leadership minor

Favorite thing about WU: I love everything about WU, but especially how amazing everyone is, from students to faculty to staff to maintenance. Everyone is friendly, welcoming, and lends a hand no matter the circumstances. 

Best piece of advice for a new student: Don't take life too seriously! These four years fly by, and should be fun :) 

 

2016 SOC Zach

Zach AlwaysFly King

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

Year: Junior

Major: Business

Favorite thing about WU: Involvement and acceptance. Very easy to get involved and become a part of a family.
Best piece of advice for a new student: You only get one life. Live it how you want.

 

2016 SOC Peter

Peter Latendresse

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas 

Year: Junior

Major: Nursing

Favorite thing about WU: lots of one on one time with professor and close to home

Best piece of advice for a new student: This is nothing like high school; your classes are each an individual commitment and you must treat each as such and allocate an appropriate amount of time to each course of study in order to be successful!

 

2016 SOC Desirae

Desirae Marston


Hometown: Mayetta, Kansas


Major: Pediatric Radiation Therapy


Year: Senior


Favorite thing about WU: The people


Best piece of advice for a new student: It's your experience, make the best of it!

 

Natasha Martinez

Hometown: Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Year: Junior

Major: Political Science 

Favorite thing about WU: I love the connections that I have made whether that be with my professors in the classroom, peers in organizations I have become a part of, or even just walking across campus seeing familiar faces. I have made some of my best friends at Washburn University and I have found some of the best mentors I could ask for. Washburn University is small enough that you can walk across campus and see your friends and still get amazing University opportunities! 

Best piece of advice for a new student: GET INVOLVED! I am a student that tends to love learning in the classroom, but some of my best friends have different majors and have never even been in a class with me. Don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and make friends, you may not even realize it is happening, just wait until you leave for breaks, you will know how much you miss that perfect roommate or your best friends. 

 

2016 SOC Lucas

Lucas Nutsch

Hometown: Belleville, Kansas

Year: Senior

Major: Nursing

Favorite thing about WU: I enjoy the community/family atmosphere while being on campus. Whether that's academically or socially. 

Best piece of advice for a new student: Ask a lot of questions!

 

2016 SOC Brooke

Brooke Peele

Hometown: Topeka

Year: Junior

Major: Entrepreneurship and Marketing

Favorite thing about WU: How evident it is that that the professors/faculty/staff here genuinely care about the students.

Best piece of advice for a new student: In college you can't let what happens to you define who you are, but you can use who you are to define what happens to you. 

 

2016 SOC Austin

Austin Pfalzgraf

Hometown: Wellington, Kansas 

Year: Sophomore 

Major: Finance/Economics 

Favorite thing about WU: Great campus size

Best piece of advice for a new student: Take responsibility for yourself, if you show up to class and do what you are expected you will do just fine. 

 

2016 SOC Abe

Abraham Pfannenstiel

Hometown: WaKeeney, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Political Science

Favorite thing about WU: My favorite thing about Washburn is the focus on academics and the passion for student excellence.

Best piece of advice for a new student: Take the time to get to know your instructors. It will be easier to go to them for help later on.

 

Brandon Pokrandt

Hometown: Sabetha, Kansas

Year: Senior

Major: Athletic Training

Favorite thing about WU: All the friendly faces across campus

Best piece of advice for a new student: Study!!!

 

2016 SOC Jeremy

Jeremy W. Ridge 

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Year: Sophomore

Major: Philosophy

Favorite thing about WU: I love the friendly faces and the small town atmosphere.

Best piece of advice for a new student: I would tell new students to get involved in activities, don't stress and to experience college with an open mind.

 

2016 SOC Becca

Becca Shelton 

Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Criminal Justice 

Favorite thing about WU: I really enjoy the intramural sports are Washburn because it helps reduce stress from school and you get to meet new people. 

Best piece of advice for new students: Don't feel pressured to choose a major right away, Washburn offers a class that can help you identify what you might be interested in for a possible carrier. Also just be yourself and don't always follow the crowd. Be you and be authentic! 

2016 SOC Ashlyn

Ashlyn Smith 

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

Year: Sophomore 

Major: Nursing 

Favorite thing about WU: I am not just a number! I love that my professors know my name and try to build a relationship with each of their students. 

2016 SOC Collin

Collin Smith

Hometown: Salina, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Physical Therapist Assistant

Favorite thing about WU: All of the opportunities/events that Washburn has to offer for students who want to get involved on and off campus.

Best piece of advice for a new student: Make yourself open to campus during Welcome Week. This is the perfect time for a new student to make a name for himself/herself. Whether it is to meet new people, get involved with clubs/organizations, or to get some awesome free t-shirts, this is the best chance to get to know what Washburn has to offer.

2016 SOC Madi

Madi Steinbrock    

Hometown: Topeka, Kansas

Year: Sophomore

Major: Athletic Training 

Favorite thing about WU: the family atmosphere on campus, you can't walk to a class without seeing someone to say hi to!

Best Piece of advice for new students: Get involved! The first couple of weeks people will be running around the LLC trying to get you to come to club meetings, my advice is to go with them and find a few places where you fit! 

 

2016 SOC Cameron

Cameron Thomas

Hometown: Whiting, Kansas

Year: Junior

Major: Kinesiology with and emphasis in exercise physiology Favorite thing about WU: the small school feel, it makes it easy to meet a lot of people.

Best piece of advice for a new student: Have an open mind, and be willing to try new things. College has lots of things to offer, which comes with a lot of potential memories.