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Orientation is About You

NCC Welcomes New Students

"Give it up for yourselves," Dr. Gloria Lopez told the soon-to-be Northampton students who filled Lipkin Theatre on May 10 at the first of a number of orientation sessions that will be held on the Bethlehem and Monroe campuses of Northampton Community College (NCC) over the next few months. 

"Orientation is about you," the dean of students said.  "We are so glad that you have chosen to become part of the NCC family." 

The college president himself was on hand to welcome students.  Dr. Mark Erickson congratulated the students on selecting a college where they can get an excellent education and get involved in a wide range of activities without taking on the debt that many of their friends may incur.  

Before registering for classes for the fall and getting their official college ID cards, students got to explore their goals, learn about the resources that will be available to them on campus, hear from current students, and have some fun.  

"Whatever was true about you in the past, you have a new moment now," Dr. Christine Pense told the students.  

Funeral services major Oksana Szankovics seemed to be living proof of that.  "In high school I was kind of a trouble maker," she admitted.  "I was that kid - sleeping in class, not turning in all my assignments."  She remained a loner during her early days at NCC, choosing to sleep or to play video games in her room rather than getting involved in college life.  That changed when other students and Frank Pologruto, director of student life and leadership development, asked her to help with activities they were working on.  Food also played a role.  Many of the events advertised on campus included refreshments.  "I saw the words 'free food,'" she reported half-jokingly.  "I was a broke college kid.  'I'm down with that,'" I said.  Now food is not required to get her involved.  She is president of the Senate Senate.  "It sounds really corny," she said, "but NCC changed my life." 

To be successful in college and beyond, Dean Pense encouraged incoming students to be curious, to ask questions, to change their minds if their minds need to be changed, and to "fill their heads" with experiences and ideas even if they don't see an immediate use for them. 

Asked what he is most looking forward to in college, John Grabovetz spoke about classes in his field - electrical construction technology. 

Saleena Crespo, a prospective dental hygiene major from Liberty High School, expects to benefit from new experiences in and out of the classroom. 

"I'm excited for her," said her mom, Essie Rockmore.   

Additional information about orientation can be found here.