by Michelle Thornton
At the University of La Verne, new student orientation is something that most students have experienced.
It was the one common experience that most students share at ULV, and it is often times one of the most memorable events.
That is due in part to the wonderful and hardworking people who put much of their time and effort into making this, one of the University’s most attended events, run smoothly.
There are a huge amount of Orientation Week Leaders (O.W.L.s) who join together to work under the supervision of one of the University’s fondest faculty members, Kate Mueller.
For the past two years, Mueller has been in charge of new student orientation and the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program, but this past December, she left the University to take the next step in her career.
That step took her to Chapman University in Orange.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I wasn’t looking to leave,” said Mueller, who currently serves as the associate director of student activities and organizations at Chapman.
After talking to Dr. Loretta Rahmani, dean of student affairs at ULV, Mueller decided that she would apply for the job.
Mueller said that although Rahmani does not want to lose her staff she encourages them to pursue new things. Rahmani knew that this would be a good advancement for Mueller and said to go for it.
“Loretta has been a wonderful dean and a great mentor,” Mueller said.
The process of applying was long and Mueller chose not to share it with anybody until she knew for sure whether she had gotten the position.
“They really put me through the ringer and I didn’t want to put them [the students] through that with me,” she said.
Once she found out that she told her two O.W.L. co-coordinators, sophomores John Joines and Gloria Ramirez, and senior Nancy Ikari, L.E.A.D. coordinator.
“We were shocked and were like ‘What are we going to do now?”said Ramirez.
Temporarily taking over orientation for Mueller this semester is Cal State Long Beach graduate student Kim Tittle.
“I had high words of encouragement and think highly of her [Tittle],” said Mueller of her replacement.
“Kim? She is awesome,” said Ramirez, of her new co-worker.
Ikari said that orientation has “taken off and is running.” Mueller felt that both the L.E.A.D. and orientation programs were being handled and were well taken care of at the time of her departure.
At Chapman, Mueller has her hands full with her new position. She continues her work with Chapman’s orientation as well as leadership development programs. She has become the campus adviser to the peer conduct committee and has also added some multi-cultural student activities to her plate as well.
Mueller said that she has wonderful students, and the Chapman campus is wonderful, but there are “days that I get homesick for La Verne.”
One of the perks of Mueller’s new job is that her commute went from 32 miles to three, since she is a resident of Santa Ana. But it is only a perk she said.
ULV is revamping Mueller’s vacant position and does not have anyone to fill it yet. Ikari said they hope to have a replacement by the end of the upcoming summer.