HESA Student Summer Share

Our students check in from across the country to share their summer experiences and offer advice for future cohorts.

Katrina Camerato ('19) is spending her summer working as an ACUHO-I* Housing and Judicial Affairs Intern at Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.  In her role at Jefferson, Katrina’s had the opportunity to work closely with Housing Operations, Judicial Affairs, and the Office of Student Engagement.  She’s working on a range of projects, including evaluating the current sanctioning model for student conduct policy violations and building new facilitation guides for creative and restorative sanctions.  “One of the biggest pieces of learning that I am taking away from this summer is the ability to navigate a small, private school,” says Katrina. “It has been a great opportunity for me to learn about organization management.”




Katrina's Summer Tip:

“Start preparing early! The internship search process can be stressful, but it is also something you can prepare for far in advance.”

*ACUHO-I  =  The Association of College and University Housing Officers – International


































Bridget Conaway ('19) is currently a NODA** Intern at Hofstra University in Long Island, NY.  Her internship is in Staff Development and Logistics for Hofstra’s New Student Orientation program where she assists in supervising 19 Orientation Leaders and one Head Orientation Leader.  Bridget’s goal for her summer experience was to explore an area of student affairs in which she had little prior experience.  In doing so, she says, she’s been able to learn more about herself as a professional and find another area of student affairs that she loves.  “Working with the Orientation Leaders has been the most rewarding part of the internship,” says Bridget. “Being able to connect with students is my favorite aspect of student affairs!”



Bridget's Summer Tip:

“Get out of your comfort zone!  Ask professionals in areas in which you are interested what they would suggest to build your network and expand your knowledge.”

**NODA = a pseudo-acronym for the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education

Bri Miloz ('19) is currently assisting with summer conferences at California State University Channel Islands.  Her role includes supervising the summer student staff, leading workshops and staff development tasks, and creating a method for assessing and improving the overall experience of the student staff.  “This role has given me the opportunity to learn more about the needs and operation of a smaller public institution,” says Bri.







Bri's Summer Tip:

“Make sure you thoroughly research the opportunity you are pursuing!  Pay attention to the institution, but also to the surrounding area.”



































Patrick Rogers ('19) is currently a NODA** Orientation Intern with New Student Programs at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, NC.  In his role, Patrick has had the opportunity to work alongside a talented set of professionals in supporting the transition of new students to the university.  He is part of a professional team that collaboratively co-supervises five Student Coordinators and 41 Orientation Leaders.  Working within NCSU’s unique institutional structure has been a great learning opportunity, says Patrick: “I have learned so much about the power of collaboration between academic departments and student support services.”  He’s also been discovering new ways to center social justice in his practice.  “I have learned how essential it is for student leaders to have an understanding of social justice,” says Patrick. “That creates an inclusive environment so that all new students feel welcomed and supported in their transition to the university.”

Patrick's Summer Tip:

“My advice for future HESA students thinking about summer experiences is to do what YOU think you'll need.  Identify your strengths and what you like about student affairs, and use that to identify what you feel like you're missing. Additionally, use the summer to recharge. I feel much more prepared to jump in to my next year of graduate school because of this summer!”

**NODA = a pseudo-acronym for the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education

Cory Sprinkel ('19) is spending his summer working for UConn in both Community Outreach and Dining Services, as well as traveling to Iceland with a friend.  In Community Outreach, his role includes searching for new community partners, evaluating and improving internal programs, and updating the format of the Community Outreach website, a project which he warmly refers to as “a wild adventure.”  His role in Dining Services is focused on sustainability initiatives, specifically those related to food waste.  Cory was also able to travel to Iceland with one of his best friends this summer, an experience he calls “one of the most wonderful weeks of my life.”  The beauty of the Icelandic landscape hit home for him given the nature of his work in Dining Services and his partnerships with conservation and environmental organizations in Community Outreach.  “I am constantly reminded of the enormity of the issues of climate change and pollution,” says Cory, “Being able to build this bridge between three distinct experiences reminds me of the power of our work and our schools.”

Cory's Summer Tip:

“Outside of work, think about how you are going to take care of yourself in a way that will help you grow! Prioritizing time for self-care can expose you to new perspectives and help re-energize you for the school year.”


































Alessa Strelecki ('19) is spending her summer as a Residence Hall Director for the Pre-College Program at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ.  In her position, she’s had the opportunity to fine-tune her event planning skills and learn more about the inner workings of residential life.  Working at Stevens Institute has been a great opportunity to experience a new student population, says Alessa: “Different types of institutions have very different types of students.”  







Alessa's Summer Tip:

“Apply to places you never thought you would end up! Stevens was not a place I had even heard of before this summer and it’s been a great experience.”

Matt Wenz ('19) is currently a NODA** Intern at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.  In his position, he helps supervise and train a team of 30 undergraduate student Orientation Peer Advisors, as well as assisting in the development and execution of orientation programming for the University.  “The opportunity to directly supervise students has been incredible,” says Matt. “The biggest takeaway has been to be ready for anything. We can work tirelessly on developing a well-structured program, but challenges inevitably arise. I have learned how to think critically and solve problems, especially when things don't go according to plan.”  





Matt's Summer Tip:

“Be open to a number of experiences and challenges!  Open yourself up to experiencing a new type of institution.”

**NODA = a pseudo-acronym for the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education


































Kayla Wong ('19) spent the first part of her summer backpacking through Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Croatia. After this month-long adventure, she headed to Colorado where her best friend lives and where she herself attended undergrad.  From Colorado, she and her best friend headed out on a road trip through Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming on which they rafted, camped, hiked, and explored.  As the summer winds down, she has returned to Connecticut and begun her assistantship with the Asian American Cultural Center, where she is preparing for the upcoming semester.  Kayla says that her "non-traditional" summer has been an experience of profound growth and learning: "Some people say they travel to get lost and find themselves.  This was not the case for me; I travelled and allowed myself to be who I have always been . . . the wheels that have been flat are turning in my head again, and I can feel my heart beating a little louder and a lot more passionately."

Kayla's Summer Tip:

"It's okay to be different; try to not compare yourself to others, live your life in alignment with your values, and take time to do what you want to do!"