A group of students walking down a sidewalk in front of a building.

Meet the Orientation Leaders

Orientation Leaders are undergraduate student leaders selected and trained to assist new students arrival to Benedictine. They act as guides, small group leaders, mentors and resources for new incoming students and parents. They will provide answers to any questions regarding the transition to Benedictine University. Click on their photo to learn more about each team member!

Orientation Leaders

Saalih Abdul-Salam

Saalih Abdul-Salam

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to be able to give back to the Benedictine community in some way, and I feel that this is one of the best ways to do it. My experience with Orientation Leaders was not only beneficial to me, but formulative of my college experience as well, and I feel that being an Orientation Leader to welcome in the next generation will allow me to build similar experiences for the next generation of Benedictine’s students.

Noor Abdullah

Noor Abdullah

Major: Sport & Exercise Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Love helping the new freshmen students !!

Joshua Abedu-Bentsi

Joshua Abedu-Bentsi

Major: Psychology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Being an Orientation Leader would provide an opportunity to positively impact incoming students by helping them acclimate to the university environment, giving them a sense of belonging and community. Additionally, the role would allow me to continually develop leadership, communication, and organizational skills transferable to various personal and professional endeavors.

MaryJane Aguilar

MaryJane Aguilar

Major: Psychology and Criminology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation leader not only because I had a good time last year and got to meet so many new people but I want to be there for the new students to answer any of the questions they may have as well as welcome them with a friendly face.

Subhaan Ahmad

Subhaan Ahmad

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? As an incoming freshman more than 2 years ago, some of my favorite memories come from my fellow Orientation leaders – who I still keep in touch with occasionally. I was extremely nervous coming into this new environment filled with new people, but my orientation leaders helped me feel comfortable at BenU and introduced me to some amazing people who I am honored to still consider close friends today. Having been an Orientation Leader this past summer, I got to utilize my social skills to help freshmen settle in while doing some fun activities along the way. It was one of the most fun weeks of my BenU career and I could feel the impact I made on those fellow freshmen – including one that I still keep in touch with and help to this day. I would be honored to get the chance to be an OL again and help another class of freshmen in my final year at BenU.

Amina Ahmad

Amina Ahmad

Major: Business Accounting Major + Pre-Medicine

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? In August last year, I walked into Benedictine University’s First Year Orientation with a smile on my face from the prospect of being introduced to the university. But, I was also accompanied by nerves and feelings of shyness. Even so, the Orientation Leaders gave a warm greeting at the entry of Goodwin Hall. They gently guided my fellow future classmates and I through the hallways on tours of the buildings and talked highly about what the university has to offer. We bonded over sports we played, our pick of study, and exciting events planned throughout the semester. The cheery welcome of the Orientation Leaders quickly built a sense of community and support from my upperclassmen. Now I would like to pay it forward. Being a friendly face on an exciting, but nerve-racking day, is just the best introduction to the fresh new start of university.

Aafreen Ahmed

Aafreen Ahmed

Major: Business Analytics

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader because I am friendly, ambitious, and a passionate individual that loves helping others.

Masirah Ahmed

Masirah Ahmed

Major: Psychology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? The orientation leaders had such a positive impact on me when I was an incoming freshman, and I hope to do the same for the new incoming freshman.

Fatima Akhoon

Fatima Akhoon

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to be an orientation leader because I remember the heartfelt experience I had during orientation myself as an incoming freshman. I enjoyed being able to do small icebreaker activities with other incoming freshmen and had a great time meeting and talking with other people. On top of that, my orientation leader James was a humorous guy. He cracked a couple of old dad jokes here and there and filled up those awkward moments of silence after icebreakers, with laughter.

Maya Alcantar

Maya Alcantar

Major: Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would love to be an Orientation leader because when I came here for my orientation day I love my leaders and being able to see other students would have the same interest as me and able to talk to them more one on one is what made me interested

Julia Alch

Julia Alch

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to interact with the incoming freshmen and teach them things I wish I was taught when I first came here last semester.

Angela Anani

Angela Anani

Major: Psychology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? In the fall of 2023, I worked as an Orientation Leader, and I had a great time getting to know the freshmen and assisting them in feeling at ease at BenU. I also made a lot of wonderful OL friends! In my final semester at BenU, I would really like to repeat it.

Afrah Aqeel

Afrah Aqeel

Major: Nutrition and Dietetics

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Being an orientation leader is important to me because it provides incoming students with a warm welcome, essential information, and a sense of belonging. As an orientation leader I can create a supportive environment, easing the transition into a new community and setting the foundation for positive experiences. Orientation leaders play a vital role in shaping a positive and inclusive campus culture and I want to be a part of the team that helps students achieve that.

Alvic Araneta

Alvic Araneta

Major: Biochemistry/Molecular Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I love helping new students and being a part of their freshmen experience.

Rohan Ariga

Rohan Ariga

Major: Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader to help new students, make solid friends, have good connections with teachers, and balance coursework, which I could share with them after learning the things that went wrong and right from my first semester. I changed my patterns, which made me happier and more successful, and I will help new students.

Zoya Arman

Zoya Arman

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I have been an Orientation Leader before and I really enjoy it. I’m a very social person and I love meeting new people and being able to help them. I really enjoy socializing and guiding people because I know that helped me a lot when I was a freshman.

Eimaan Arshad

Eimaan Arshad

Major: Business Analytics

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Becoming an orientation leader will allow me to connect with my community and assist incoming freshmen with college. When I was a freshman, college was very intimidating, but the orientation leaders made me feel more welcome.

Adiba Asad

Adiba Asad

Major: Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader because, being a freshman, I want to make the new students feel as welcome as I did when I started at Benedictine. I want the students to feel like Benedictine will have all the resources they need to thrive and want them to be comfortable with their decision of attending our university.

Ruqaya Atarchi

Ruqaya Atarchi

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Well I was one last year and really enjoyed the whole experience and would like to be a part of it again.

Adil Baig

Adil Baig

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? When I was a Freshman and attended orientation, the OLs were people that I would often find myself seeking out for advice, whether that be for how to navigate BenU’s academics, extracurriculars, or simply everyday life, I had someone to go to and ask. Mentorship and guidance are qualities that I attributed to the OLs and some of them, I’ve kept in touch with as I go through the second semester of my Junior year. I want to be an OL because I know what it is like not to know how to manage college life but I also know that being an OL, I can provide that support and leadership for incoming freshmen next year as they begin their undergraduate careers.

Mia Benavides

Mia Benavides

Major: Elementary Education

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader because I love Benedictine University and want to share the good experiences I have had with this school to other students.

Jasmine Bruce

Jasmine Bruce

Major: Secondary English Education

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I was told about the position by my friend Mia Benavides. I have worked as a camp counselor/director for the Naperville park district for almost 3 summers now so this is something I would be good at.

Tuan Cer

Tuan Cer

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I really enjoyed my past experience as an orientation leader and I feel that it is some of the many small ways that I can be a part of the school.

Demya Dixon

Demya Dixon

Major: Political Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to introduce smaller clubs to incoming students. Also demonstrate to any transfer students that Benedictine is a great fit for them.

Jacklin Doveno

Jacklin Doveno

Major: Computer Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I am interested in becoming an Orientation Leader because I believe in the power of a positive and supportive introduction to college life. Having personally experienced the challenges of relocating from Europe two years ago, I empathize with the feelings associated with starting something new. This unique experience has instilled in me a deep sense of empathy. I want to help new students navigate the challenges of this transition and create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

Mahnoor Fatani

Mahnoor Fatani

Major: Business & Economics

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader because I want students to feel welcomed and a part of the Benedictine community. This is the incoming freshman’s first impression of BenU, and I want it to be a good one. I want to share my insights with the incoming freshman with what I have learned over the course of the year. Being a freshman myself this year, I feel like I will be able to relate to the incoming freshman, as I was in their position not too long ago.

Lucia Fernandez Mato

Lucia Fernandez Mato

Major: Biology B.A.

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to gain more experience in being a leader and to get to know new individuals that’ll be coming into the school. I enjoy meeting new people from different backgrounds and would like to be a support system for many who will be coming to the school. I understand that having someone to go to for academic advice and, in general, being more comfortable and not feeling completely alone is important in getting adjusted and feeling comfortable in a new school.

Imad Hamid

Imad Hamid

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an orientation leader because I think it’s very important for the school’s future to help the freshman learn what the school can provide and how important it is to form connections with peers early on.

Iman Hamid

Iman Hamid

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to help out the freshmen since I know it’s super hard transitioning from high school to college. One of my closest friends I made this year is a freshmen and it brought me a lot of joy hearing from her that she appreciates meeting me and our other friends a lot. It was really touching and I would like to keep helping freshmen feel more comfortable and know they have help from people who have been there before.

Sana Haque

Sana Haque

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I strive to create a positive environment for incoming freshmen at Benedictine. The college application and commitment process is a mighty one, but my first year at Benedictine has taught me that there is nowhere I would rather be. Through the love, care, and support that embodies Benedictine’s student body and faculty, I learned that this school is capable of fostering the brightest of students. Orientation was my first window into this university’s incredible qualities, and I want to be an effective influence in that experience for others. My Orientation Leaders were kind and welcoming, and I believe that I am capable of providing this warmth for the incoming freshmen of the Fall 2024 semester.

Maaz Haque

Maaz Haque

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Last year, I wanted to be an Orientation Leader because my sister was coming into BenU and I wanted to guide her through that adjustment and adaptation period of starting at university. This year, I want to apply a similar thought to many more students. I hold a lot of special relationships with many Seniors at various high schools because of my community involvement, and I could apply a similar mentality to their fresh beginnings at Benedictine University with Ben Beginnings.

Jonathan Henderson

Jonathan Henderson

Major: Mathematics

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an orientation leader because I would love the opportunity to be able to assist and guide incoming freshman. I love freshman so much, and seeing their smiles as they walk through Benedictine for the first time gives me so much joy. I remember being a freshman and looking up to the upperclassmen, when I first saw the orientation leaders during my freshman year, I knew that one day I would want to be one too. I love helping other students and having the opportunity to become an orientation leader would mean everything to me.

Ishaa Jain

Ishaa Jain

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to help guide new students through beginning their futures at BenU, and give them the same warm welcome that was given to me.

Atif Kamal

Atif Kamal

Major: Psychology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I am motivated to help new students with their transition to a collegiate setting. I also want to meet new people and contribute to my community.

Alana Lockett

Alana Lockett

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I enjoyed serving as an orientation leader in the fall of 2023 and would love to have that experience again in the fall of 2024.

Nicole Lourdes Godoy

Nicole Lourdes Godoy

Major: Nutrition

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I’d like to be an orientation leader because I believe one of the first impressions you have as a first year/transfer is the energy of the people that welcome you in. I like to think that I’m a welcoming and inviting person, especially to those who are introverts like me. If I can be a part of the first people they meet on campus, they will surely have a great impression of the school.

Janna Mahmoud

Janna Mahmoud

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Along with leading, I would like to be an orientation leader to offer people true perspectives and insight into Benedictine University. As a recently confused first-year student myself, it was beneficial to have someone guide me who may have had similar experiences, questions, and doubts. I want to offer both comfort and guidance to students, in addition to showing them valid benefits and opportunities here at Benedictine. I believe this may be a way to give back for all that Benedictine has done for me thus far.

Addison McConnaughhay

Addison McConnaughhay

Major: Criminology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to help the freshmen who are coming into benedictine and show how great our school is!

Stephany Mondragon

Stephany Mondragon

Major: Business & Spanish

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to specially participate in the admitted student day, where I get to talk about all the amazing things BenU has to offer. Due to soccer I cannot participate in the OL part in the fall but I hope I can still be a volunteer for those events.

Sumaira Najeeb

Sumaira Najeeb

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? As an upperclassman, I want to contribute to the introduction of freshman to BU. The freshman orientation days were really helpful to me when I first started at Benedictine, so I want to make the same impact on the incoming freshman. I also believe it would be beneficial for me because it would help me improve on necessary skills, such as communication and leadership.

Karla Novoa

Karla Novoa

Major: Biology B.A, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Track

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want the incoming students to feel welcome and guide them with whatever information they need and bring excitement to them for the start of the new chapter of their lives.

Ayah Omar

Ayah Omar

Major: Health Sciences

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I would like to be an Orientation Leader to further advance my leadership skills. This would provide an amazing opportunity for my personal development. I also would love to create a sense of enthusiasm and community to the incoming students. Creating a sense of inclusion and positivity will play a big role on the incoming students.

Gwenneth Palmer

Gwenneth Palmer

Major: Marketing- Social Media Marketing Concentration and Management and Organizational Behavior

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an orientation leader because I have a passion for leadership, and I want to be able to help freshman transition into college life. I remember how I felt my freshman year and what I would look for out of upperclassman support, now I feel like I can provide that!

Jori Petrone

Jori Petrone

Major: Sport & Exercise Science, Psychology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader to invite the next group of eagles on campus. The OL’s my freshman year helped me to get acclimated, and I want to help the next generation the same way.

Shahista Rahman

Shahista Rahman

Major: Sports and Exercise Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want Freshmen to have a friendly face around and help them feel comfortable around campus!

Carmina Ramirez

Carmina Ramirez

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader to encourage freshman to be involved and promote creating connections to assist them in their career. I used to be shy and introverted, until I was able to find my crowd and I believe with some perseverance to encourage engagement students will be more open amongst each other and the community.

Arifa Ridah Lnu

Arifa Ridah Lnu

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? Transitioning from High School to College is way hard even as a commuter, which I wasn’t expecting. It is so hard navigating the school and knowing where to find help, especially throughout the first semester. I want to be someone that other kids that were in my shoes can lean on and provide them with information needed.

Amari Sanders

Amari Sanders

Major: Psychology

Yusuf Shakaib

Yusuf Shakaib

Major: Health Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I have been a part of this academic community for a significant period. I’ve not only taken a variety of classes and interacted with diverse professors but have also actively participated in a research program and attended numerous club events. This collective experience has given me a comprehensive understanding of the academic and social community of our university. I want to be an Orientation Leader to use my knowledge and insights to guide incoming students. Navigating the campus, understanding the complexity of different classes, and being a part of various extracurricular activities have given me the tools to assist new students in our unique university life. I believe my familiarity with the school’s resources and firsthand experiences will enable me to provide valuable guidance and answer questions from incoming students.

Mariam Sudhir

Mariam Sudhir

Major: Accounting

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to be an Orientation Leader because it allows me to help new students transition into college life, build connections, and contribute to a positive campus environment. It also gives me an opportunity to develop my leadership skills.

Aisha Sudhir

Aisha Sudhir

Major: Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? As a transfer student, I have experienced how it feels to be at a new school, and I want to help make other new students feel welcomed and valued at Benedictine.

Cassandra Villegas

Cassandra Villegas

Major: Sports and Exercise Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to help other people feeling the way I was during orientation. Going to college can be scary and I want to help them be more comfortable at BenU.

Michelle Watson

Michelle Watson

Major: Sports Exercise Science

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? I want to guide Freshman to a good start at this campus and give them a good experience here, as I didn’t have a good Freshman experience with another University.

Annalee Woll-Creed

Annalee Woll-Creed

Major: Biology

Why did you want to become an orientation leader? The people around me made me feel more comfortable coming to college and I appreciated them showing me around, so I would like to help the incoming class feel more confident coming to BenU.